Ebook: Legal Knowledge and Information Systems
From its very beginning, legal informatics was mostly limited to the study of legal databases, but very early on, the Institute of Legal Information Theory and Techniques (ITTIG) started being involved with the specific topic of the Jurix conference, namely knowledge-based systems. This book includes programmatic papers with precise accounts of applications and prototypes. In many domains the focus has changed. For instance, research in retrieval has moved from classical boolean systems into the management of documents in the Web. It addresses in particular standards and methods for embedding machine readable information into such documents and search methods that deal with heterogeneous information. Similarly, with regard to legal concepts, the focus has moved from thesauri to ontologies or to techniques for the automatic extraction of concepts from natural language texts. In the domain of legal reasoning merely deductive inferences have been expanded with models of legal argumentation, dialogue and mediation. The conference 'Logica, informatica e diritto 1981' and Jurix 2008 share the connection between theoretical models and the development of applications and prototypes. However, while in 1981 one could mostly see a juxtaposition of papers in legal theory and papers in computer applications, in 2008 we can see how discussions of issues in legal theory are embedded within contributions to legal informatics. This shows how research in legal informatics is increasingly becoming an autonomous domain of scientific inquiry by creatively incorporating and developing knowledge and methods from the two disciplines from which it originates (legal theory and computer science), while preserving links with them.
This year the Jurix conference has come to Florencebeing hosted by ITTIG (Istituto di Teoria e Tecniche dell'Informazione Giuridica, formerly called IDG, Istituto di Documentazione Giuridica), one of the places where legal informatics started in Europe. In fact ITTIG began its activities in 1968, and has been cultivating legal informatics without interruption ever since.
At its very beginnings, legal informatics was mostly limited to the study of legal databases, but very early ITTIG started being involved with the specific topic of this conference, namely, knowledge-based systems. In the 80's ITTIG hosted the first international symposia dealing with artificial intelligence and law, the “Logica, informatica, diritto” (Logic, informatics, law) conferences, held in 1981, 1984 and 1988. These conferences attracted a wide international audience and anticipated indeed the two main series of conferences dealing with advanced applications of computing in the legal domain: ICAIL (International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Law) and Jurix. The “Logica, informatica, diritto” conferences contributed to stimulate the interest for legal informatics in Italy, where ITTIG was joined in the '80s by CIRSFID in Bologna, which also made legal informatics, and particularly artificial intelligence and law, the focus of its research interests.
If we compare the index of Jurix 2008 with the index of “Logica, informatica diritto” 1981, we notice that research in computers and law keeps an unchanged interest for certain fundamental issues: the logical representation of norms and their application through logical inference, the formal representation of legal concepts, the attempt to develop intelligent legal information systems for retrieval and decision support, the use of models provided by legal theory. Alongside such a continuity, we can however detect considerable progress in the 27 years between Logica, informatica e diritto 1981 and Jurix 2008. Merely programmatic papers have been substituted with precise accounts of applications and prototypes. In many domains the focus has changed. For instance, research in retrieval has moved from classical boolean systems into the management of documents in the Web, addressing in particular standards and methods for embedding machine readable information into such documents and search methods for dealing with heterogeneous information. Similarly, with regard to legal concepts, the focus has moved from thesauri to ontologies or to techniques for the automatic extraction of concepts from natural language texts. In the domain of legal reasoning merely deductive inferences have been expanded with models of legal argumentation, dialogue and mediation.
“Logica, informatica e diritto” 1981 and Jurix 2008 share the connection between theoretical models and the development of applications and prototypes. However, while in 1981 one could mostly see a juxtaposition of papers in legal theory and papers in computer applications, in 2008 we can see how discussions of issues in legal theory are embedded within contributions to legal informatics. This shows how research in legal informatics is increasingly becoming an autonomous domain of scientific inquiry by creatively incorporating and developing knowledge and methods from the two disciplines from which it originates (legal theory and computer science), while preserving links with them. This aspect of research in legal informatics is indeed visible in all sessions of the conference, which include the following:
• case-based reasoning (Ashley, Lynch, Pinkwart and Aleven; Mochales-Palau and Moens; Verheij),
• document management (Negroni, Davies, Cislaghi, Eleftherakis and Ferri; van Opijnen),
• information retrieval (Sanchez-Nielsen and Chavez-Gutierrez; Maxwell and Schafer; Francesconi, Faro and Marinai),
• knowledge-based systems (Caceres; Bellucci; Contissa and Laukyte),
• argumentation and reasoning (Phan Minh and Phan Minh; Governatori, Thakur and Pham; Wardeh, Bench-Capon and Coenen; Bex, Bench-Capon and Atkinson; van de Ven, Breuker, Hoekstra and Wortel; Prakken and Sartor; Governatori and Rotolo),
• investigation support (Cybulka, Jędrzejek and Martinek; van den Braak, van Oostendorp, Prakken and Vreeswijk),
• semantics and documents (Biagioli and Grossi; Brighi, Lesmo, Mazzei, Radicioni and Palmirani; Winkels and de Maat).
We think that this impressive list of contributions is sufficient evidence how legal informatics (and in particular AI & law) has fully recovered from the “AI Winter” of the 90's and is now enjoying a renewed success in theory and practice.
The papers accepted to Jurix 2008 also show how Jurix has changed during the 20 years since its beginning, transforming itself from a Dutch-only conference, mainly devoted to applications, into a European event, having an international audience and a broader scope. This year Jurix has indeed accepted 19 full and 4 short papers, out of 45 submissions (the highest number ever presented). The participants are from 10 countries, from 4 continents: Australia, Belgium, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Thailand, United Kingdom, USA. Considering papers accepted for the Workshops, many other countries are also present.
Besides the submissions included in this volume, Jurix 2008 will include two invited lectures, by Kevin Ashley, who has been for many years a leading researcher in case-based reasoning in the legal domain, and by Barry Smith, whose fundamental contribution to ontologies has been a major reference also for those working in the legal domain. The philosophical dimension of legal informatics will be addressed during the dinner speech by Luigi Lombardi Vallauri, professor of Philosophy of Law at the Florence University and ITTIG Director in the '80s, when he was a pioneer in envisioning the potentialities of formal methods and computational models applied to the legal domain.
The main Jurix conference is complemented by workshops addressing some of the most significant issues in contemporary legal informatics:
• Workshop on Legislative XML 2008: the Law in the Semantic Web and beyond,
• Workshop on Game Theory, Agents and the Law. New models for legal informatics,
• Workshop on the Natural Language Engineering of Legal Argumentation: Language, Logic, and Computation,
• 5th International Workshop on Online Dispute Resolution.
We would like to thank the members of the Program Committee, who have selected the contributions for the conference (a difficult task, given the high quality of most submissions) and have provided the authors with useful suggestions for improvement:
• Kevin D. Ashley, University of Pittsburgh, USA
• Katie Atkinson, University of Liverpool, UK
• Emilia Bellucci, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia
• Trevor J.M. Bench-Capon, University of Liverpool, UK
• Jon Bing, University of Oslo, Norway
• Daniele Bourcier, CNRS CERSA, University of Paris 2, France
• Frances M.T. Brazier, VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands
• Joost Breuker, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
• Stefanie Bruninghaus, University of Pittsburgh, USA
• Enrique Caceres Nieto, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico
• Pompeu Casanovas, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain
• Jack G. Conrad, Thomson Reuters, USA
• Rosa Maria Di Giorgi, ITTIG-CNR, Italy
• Tom van Engers, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
• Thomas F. Gordon, Fraunhofer FOKUS, Berlin, Germany
• Carole D. Hafner, Northeastern University, USA
• Frank van Harmelen, VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands
• Jaap van den Herik, Univ. Leiden & Univ. Maastricht, The Netherlands
• Gloria T. Lau, FindLaw & Stanford University, USA
• Arno R. Lodder, VU University Amsterdam & CEDIRE.org, The Netherlands
• Ronald P. Loui, Washington University St. Louis, USA
• Marie-Francine Moens, KU Leuven, Belgium
• Laurens Mommers, Universiteit Leiden, The Netherlands
• Roberta Nannucci, ITTIG-CNR, Florence, Italy
• Ajit Narayanan, Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand
• Katsumi Nitta, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Yokohama, Japan
• Kees van Noortwijk, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands
• Anja Oskamp, VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands
• Monica Palmirani, University of Bologna, Italy
• Marta Poblet, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain
• Henry Prakken, Universiteit Groningen & Universiteit Utrecht, The Netherlands
• Paulo Quaresma, Universidade de Evora & Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal
• Nino Rotolo, University of Bologna, Italy
• Burkhard Schafer, University of Edinburgh, Scotland
• Pierluigi Spinosa, ITTIG-CNR, Florence, Italy
• Giancarlo Taddei Elmi, ITTIG-CNR, Florence, Italy
• Leon van der Torre, University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg
• Bart Verheij, Universiteit Groningen, The Netherlands
• Kees de Vey Mestdagh, Universiteit Groningen, The Netherlands
• Fabio Vitali, University of Bologna, Italy
• Douglas N. Walton, University of Windsor, Canada
• Radboud Winkels, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
• Hajime Yoshino, Meiji Gakuin University, Tokyo, Japan
• John Zeleznikow, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia
Finally, many thanks also to the external reviewers, for their invaluable support to the work of the Program Committee.
Enrico Francesconi, Giovanni Sartor, Daniela Tiscornia
This paper presents a process model of arguing with hypotheticals and uses it to explain examples of oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court that are like those employed in Socratic law teaching. The process model has been partially implemented in the LARGO (Legal ARgument Graph Observer) intelligent tutoring system. The program supports students in diagramming oral argument examples; its feedback on students' diagrammatic reconstructions of the examples enforces the expectations of the process model. The paper presents empirical evidence that features of the argument diagrams made with LARGO are correlated with independent measures of argumentation ability. The examples and empirical results support the model's explanatory and diagnostic utility.
This paper investigates natural-language argumentation in the case law domain. The starting point is a study on the discoursive and argumentative characteristiques of ten legal documents from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). Then, a generalization of this study allows to formalize the structure of argumentation in the ECHR documents as a context-free grammar. The paper concludes with the evaluation of the grammar and a discussion of its main limitations.
The two main types of law are legislation and precedents. Both types have a corresponding reasoning pattern determining legal consequences: legislation can be applied and precedents followed. The separate modelling of these two reasoning patterns using logical techniques has recently seen considerable progress. About the logical links between the two less is known, although progress has already been made. This document focuses on such logical relations. The main question is: to what extent can the application of legislation and precedent adherence be considered as two sides of the same logical coin? Findings from the boundaries of logic and law will serve as a starting point.
This text is a translated, adapted and extended version of Verheij 2007.
This text is a translated, adapted and extended version of Verheij 2007.
The data security in the information exchange process is one of the major critical factors that justice sector professionals must cope with, particularly in international cooperation. The J-WeB project, running in the frame of the Information Society and Technology Programme of the European Union, intends to offer a new solution for secure and reliable multimedia document exchange and storage among judicial operators of different Member States working at joint cross-border pre-trial investigations on criminal matters. The J-WeB Judicial Collaboration Platform aims at the provision of Governmental bodies with more safe, easy-to-use and cost-effective working instruments, but also, through the involvement of the Italian and the Montenegrin Ministries of Justice as pilots, at the factual contribution to the policy and technology transfer from Europe to Western Balkans. This paper is meant to present the project and its technical features.
There is a growing awareness that the national judge plays a vital role in the European legal system, as is illustrated by the emergence of various initiatives for the cross-border access of national (EU-related) case law. Because these and various national systems all use their own identifiers, findability and citability are seriously hampered. This paper assesses current developments and tries to define a solution for remaining problems. A European Case Law Identifier and a central index are fundamental elements in this solution.
In order to be part of a modern society, Parliaments must open up to the public in the process of making new laws. The approach presented in this paper is conceptualized as a social system where information and communication technologies can change: (i) the way people interact with their elected representatives in Parliaments, (ii) the way people access to parliamentary proceedings and (iii) the way people subscribe to new parliamentary contents. In this paper, we explore the use of multimedia content delivery technologies, semantic technologies, personalized retrieval of multimedia contents and social feedback in order to present a smart information system for parliamentary proceedings. Currently, this approach is being developed for plenary sessions of the Parliament of the Canary Islands.
There exist two broad approaches to information retrieval (IR) in the legal domain: those based on manual knowledge engineering (KE) and those based on natural language processing (NLP). The KE approach is grounded in artificial intelligence (AI) and case-based reasoning (CBR), whilst the NLP approach is associated with open domain statistical retrieval. We provide some original arguments regarding the focus on KE-based retrieval in the past and why this is not sustainable in the long term. Legal approaches to questioning (NLP), rather than arguing (CBR), are proposed as the appropriate jurisprudential and cognitive underpinning for legal IR. Recall within the context of precision is proposed as a better fit to law than the ‘total recall’ model of the past, wherein conceptual and contextual search are combined to improve retrieval performance for both parties in a dispute.
This paper presents a methodological framework for semantic mapping between thesauri as well as a specific approach within such framework on a case study aimed at mapping five thesauri of interest for European Union institutions having only schema information available.
EXPERTIUS is the first Mexican AI and Law application. The system advices upon the determination of whether someone is entitled or not to a financial pension (under the so called “feeding obligation”), and upon the determination of the amount of that pension. EXPERTIUS is based on a multi-layered knowledge representation. At the first layer lies the so called heuristic or compiled knowledge needed to solve cognitive tasks. A set of cognitive tasks is associated to a set of decisions internal to particular procedural phases. A dialogical-confrontation structure supervenes on the decisions taken in the intermediate level.
This article describes research in developing a new theory of decision support in negotiation in family law mediation. AssetDivider was based on the principles of Family_Winner. As a Negotiation Decision Support System Family_Winner take ratings assigned to items by the parties involved and develops a list of allocations to each party; based on trade-offs inherently present in the dispute. Given advice provided from our industry partners Relationships Australia (Queensland) – RAQ, AssetDivider uses an ideal “percentage split” to guide the development of an allocation list for parties. The system has been tested informally by our contacts at RAQ, and we now look forward to extensive testing and evaluation by mediators at RAQ in the near future. We expect observations and comments made by mediators evaluating the system to indicate future developments, in particular in developing new research into emotionally intelligent NDSS.
This paper analyzes the representation of legal knowledge, and of Intellectual Property (or IP) law in particular. This is done by looking at two ways of representing the IP domain: through an IP ontology and by way of rule representation. And although these two solutions differ in many respects, they share the conceptual problems specific to this domain. This paper is based on research conducted under the EU-funded project ALIS (IST-2004-2.4.9).
To create a programming environment in which autonomous agents could be built to resolve contract disputes, we propose an extension of assumption-based argumentation (ABA) into modular assumption-based argumentation (MABA) in which different modules of argumentation representing different knowledge bases for reasoning about beliefs and facts and for representation and reasoning with the legal doctrines could be built and assembled together. A distinct novel feature of modular argumentation in compare with other modular logic-based systems like Prolog is that it allows references to different semantics in the same module at the same time, a feature critically important for application of argumentation in legal domains like contract dispute resolution where the outcomes of court cases often depend on whether credulous or skeptical modes of reasoning were applied by the contract parties. We apply the new framework to model the doctrines of contract breach and mutual mistake.
We present a model of past interaction trust model based on compliance of expected behaviours.
Error rates in the assessment of routine claims for welfare benefits have been found to be very high in Netherlands, USA and UK. This is a significant problem both in terms of quality of service and financial loss through over payments. These errors also present challenges for machine learning programs using the data. In this paper we propose a way of addressing this problem by using a process of moderation, in which agents argue about the classification on the basis of data from distinct groups of assessors. Our agents employ an argument based dialogue protocol (PADUA) in which the agents produce arguments directly from a database of cases, with each agent having their own separate database. We describe the protocol and report encouraging results from a series of experiments comparing PADUA with other classifiers, and assessing the effectiveness of the moderation process.
In this paper we present an approach to abductive reasoning in law by examining it in the context of an argumentation scheme for practical reasoning. We present a particular scheme, based on an established scheme for practical reasoning, that can be used to reason abductively about how an agent might have acted to reach a particular scenario, and the motivations for doing so. Plausibility here depends on a satisfactory explanation of why this particular agent followed these motivations in the particular situation. The scheme is given a formal grounding in terms of Action-based Alternating Transition Systems and we illustrate the approach with a running legal example.
We report on the research aimed at the creation of the system intended to support the investigators in their teamwork against the economic offenses. To achieve the goal, the workflow technology was employed. It enables the on-line management of the investigation processes carried out in practice. We propose to use the event calculus for modeling the crime processes, and we mention the accompanying research aimed at a creation of the core ontology of investigative and criminal processes.
In the AVERs sense-making tool for crime analysis different types of information are represented in different ways. More precisely, narrative knowledge is represented in an explanatory direction and testimonial knowledge in an indicative direction. This paper shows that this distinction agrees with the preference of potential users and reduces the number of interpretation errors made by them.
In this paper we describe HARNESS, a legal knowledge-based system that is developed in the context of ESTRELLA. This system is primarily aimed at the task of legal assessment, i.e. determining whether some case violates and/or complies with legal norms. We explain how the sound and complete reasoning provided by OWL-DL reasoners is exploited by a careful representation of norms, using examples from law on taxation of gifts. We describe a plugin for Protégé 4 that enables easy experimentation for this system, powered by Pellet.
This paper extends our previous logical analysis of presumptions and burden of proof by studying the force of a presumption once counterevidence has been offered. In the jurisprudential literature different accounts of this issue have been given: some have argued that a presumption is nullified by counterarguments while others have maintained that this gives presumptions a force that is too slight. We argue that these differences largely are not a matter of logic but of legal policy, and we show how the various accounts can be logically formalised.
This paper provides a novel mechanism to check whether business processes are compliant with business rules regulating them. The key point is that compliance is a relationship between two sets of specifications: the specifications for executing a business process and the specifications regulating it.
The paper presents a logic-based approach to legislative meta-drafting. A class of meta-data, corresponding to specific classes of legal provisions, is introduced and discussed. Such meta-data are then formalized using a simple and tractable Description Logic, and the reasoning tasks available in the formalism are described.
We are concerned with the automatic semantic interpretation of legal modificatory provisions. We propose a novel approach which pairs deep syntactic parsing and a fine-grained taxonomy of legal modifications. Although still in a developmental stage, the implemented system can be used to annotate with meta-information modificatory provisions of NormaInRete documents.
The work described here builds on , where we presented a categorisation of norms or provisions in legislation. We claimed that the categories are characterized by the use of typical sentence structures and that this would enable automatic detection and classification. In this paper we present the results of experiments in such automatic classification of provisions. We have defined fourteen different categories of provisions, and compiled a list of 81 sentence structures for those categories from twenty Dutch laws. Based on these structures, a parser was used to classify the sentences in fifteen different Dutch laws, classifying 94% of 476 sentences correctly. It compares well with other, statistical approaches. An important improvement of our classifier will be the distinction of principal and auxiliary sentences.