In the field of legal knowledge engineering development of expert systems is getting more common. At present, we are in the process of building a new environment for developing legal knowledge systems. Our previous knowledge based system development tool, AllexGold includes a rule-based reasoning engine with a transparent interface but struggles from limitations in expressive power. The new environment, Emerald, is being built around Semantic Web technologies, exploiting the benefits of using description logic (DL) reasoners. However, to keep the advantages of rule formalisms and interactive dialogues, we combine DL reasoning with production rules and a backward chaining algorithm. The article gives an overview about the new legal knowledge engineering environment and some of its internals.
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