How we created web applications whose main commodity isn't goods, but information and time
In this case study, you'll find out
Since 2012, Slovak courts have been obliged to publish all court decisions within 15 days of their entry into force. Similar practice applies in the Czech Republic. Thus, every court in Slovakia and the Czech Republic has a database of decisions and users can search for them, usually on the official website of the institution. At the same time, the governments of Slovakia and the Czech Republic are obliged to publish all applicable laws and regulations.
For example, if a lawyer wants to study the issue of a particular court case and the laws associated with it, they usually have to take several steps:
The judikaty.info portal was created to significantly facilitate this process.
The solution is based on the PHP technology and works with databases of published decisions and laws from all important public sources:
User simply enters the relevant case-related keywords into the search engine. The application will take care of the rest. It searches the available databases for them and displays all relevant decisions and regulations published across the institutions.
Search results can then be sorted by relevance, date, number of citations, etc.
In addition, the decisions of the Supreme Court are marked with a special label in the case of judikaty.info. Here, the system also attaches links to other relevant documents (related regulations, laws, etc.) to the results of the decisions, which redirect the user to zakony.judikaty.info after clicking. They'll find the full text on this portal.
Legal concepts and arguments often contain complex verbal formulations. Thus, the process of searching for documents in the field of the practice of the courts can easily get complicated. Queries usually contain long phrases that cannot be handled by ordinary search engines. The solution is an improved smart search that we've designed for the judikaty.info web application.
Search is built on an algorithm that divides the query into smaller terms. These are then searched in the database. The search engine also contains a section of terms, which the document must or mustn't contain, or a category, area of law, date or the core of the matter. However, these parameters are optional and the system can find the relevant match even without filling them in.
Thanks to the algorithmic way of searching, the user gets really relevant results. In order to make the way of searching clear to each user, they'll also find a recommended procedure or a video tutorial on the portal. If the user is still unable to find the content they are looking for, they can even make a complaint to the search engine. Ultimately, that helps us to optimize the search engine.
The search function can be used by all users of the applications. However, for judikaty.info, only registered users can view the searched legal documents in full. If they decide to register, during the first days they have the opportunity to test all its functions free of charge. Subsequently, if the web application proves successful, they can purchase full access in the form of an annual subscription.
The price of access is not fixed. It varies depending on the number of users who will benefit from the registration, and it also depends on whether the new user is an independently acting lawyer or part of an organisation. Institutions such as police, ministries, offices or schools usually have access purchased for all their employees.
Currently, more than 100,000 users from 500 organizations in Slovakia and the Czech Republic are registered on the portal. The money raised by the application is used for its further maintenance, optimization and improvements.
In addition to administrative staff who communicate with users and take care of promoting the portal, temporary workers also work on its improvements. For example, they assign a category, area of law, content, keywords, etc. to new content to make it as easy as possible to find it. The website also includes original content in the form of blogs or webinars.
Judikaty.info was launched in 2014 and still generates profit. The project is an example of a service that benefits from probably the rarest commodities today - time and information.
Judikaty.info and Zakony.judikaty.info were created with a clear intention - to help people working in the field of law to do their work more efficiently. Over the years, we've managed to fine-tune these web applications so that some customers cannot even imagine their work without them. This is the biggest achievement the project can achieve, in my opinion. I'm glad that thanks to the cooperation with bart.sk, we're still able to find ways to improve the portals even more. I hope they'll continue to help people for years to come.