What is the Laws.Africa Content API?
The Laws.Africa Content API makes it easy to consume and work with the machine-friendly, structured legislation in the Laws.Africa commons. The API is a well-defined way for your systems to fetch legislation content and related information from Laws.Africa.
The Content API treats legislation as data, rather than as a PDF or a Word document. This means that a computer can work with the legislation in entirely new ways. For example, you can include legislation in apps, websites and machine learning.
What is available from the Laws.Africa Content API?
Legislation and related information is available from the Laws.Africa Content API. This includes both the text of the legislation, and supporting information such as amendment and publication details.
- Legislation in XML and HTML — Legislation content is available in machine-friendly, richly structured Akoma Ntoso XML and HTML formats. Work with entire Acts, or focus only on the chapters and sections you need.
- Embeddable HTML — Beautifully formatted HTML snippets with CSS styling ready to be added to your website or app. There is no need to work with XML for many use cases.
- Tables of Contents — Automated Tables of Contents that describe the chapters, parts, sections and schedules of legislation without needing to work directly with XML or HTML.
- Amendments — Details of the amendments that have been applied to a piece legislation, including links to, and details of, the amending work.
- Publication and Promulgation — Dates and details of the initial publication, including gazette numbers, with links to the gazette PDFs for reference purposes.
- Points in Time — Historical points in time for previous amended versions of legislation, where available.
See the Content API developer guide for more details.
Using the Content API
It’s easy for you or your developers to get started with the Content API’s free tier. You can then contact us to upgrade your account for more content when you’re ready.
To get started, follow our Quick Start guide to sign up for a free account and get going. This will give your developers an idea of what’s available from the API and what can be done with it.
Additional countries and localities
You can access content from more countries and localities (such as municipalities in South Africa) by contacting us to upgrade your account.
Guidance and support
We provide guidance and technical support to assist you with integrating your systems with the Content API. Please get in touch and we’ll be happy to assist you.
Access to the Laws.Africa Content API is free for most non-commercial purposes. This includes non-profit, academic research and education. Please contact us to upgrade your account or to discuss your use case.
For commercial use cases, pricing and additional services, please contact us.
Content API subscriptions are for a country or a municipality. Subscriptions are valid for a year and are renewed annually.
Subscriptions give you access to national or local legislation via the Content API. This includes historical points in time (when available) and all updates to the legislation during the subscription period. Updates include amendments, corrections and additions to the legislation.
Laws.Africa content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC-BY-NC-SA) license. This is a well-known, well-understood international license.
Please ensure you read and understand the license terms. In summary, the license means that you are free to:
- Share — copy and redistribute the content in any medium or format
- Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material
provided you follow these terms:
- Attribution — You must give appropriate attribution to Laws.Africa and our contributors.
- Non-commercial — You may not use the material for commercial purposes.
- Share-alike — If you remix, transform, or build upon the content, you must distribute your contributions under the same license as the original.
We cannot revoke these freedoms as long as you follow the license terms.
We recommend the following for providing attribution to Laws.Africa on your website or in your app:
We welcome and fully support commercial uses of Laws.Africa content, under more relaxed terms than the CC-BY-NC-SA license. Please contact us to discuss your use cases.
Commercial support helps to maintain the commons and supports free access to the law, for everyone.