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Program Edition 2011

Summer School LEX 2011, Ravenna, Italy

Managing Legal Resources in the Semantic Web

See the Summer School LEX Springer book

The students have to read the first 3 chapters before the Summer School as readings.

BASIC MODULE 5h-6h September

Date Teacher Title and Content description
5th Sept. Chairman: Vitali Introductive overview – BASIC MODULE
9:00-10:45 Vitali Title: XML tutorial: electronic management of documents

Abstract: The purpose of this section is to introduce the principal aspects of electronic management of documents:

  • What we actually mean by documents (the FRBR hierarchy)
  • What are the components of documents
  • What do we mean by data and metadata about documents

Lecture Session

Coffee 10:45-11:15
11:15-13:00 Vitali Title: XML tutorial: Markup languages and web technologies

Presentation of the main concepts of markup languages, XML characteristics, technical issues.

Abstract: The purpose of this section is to introduce some technologies related to electronic management of documents

  • XML
  • DTDs
  • XML Schema
  • XSLT
  • RDF and OWL

all somehow connected and related to parliamentary documents and other types of documents.

Lecture Session

Lunch 13:00-14:15
14:30-15:30 Palmirani-Di Iorio-Cervone Practical Section

Analysis of a simple legal text.

Presentation of how to markup a legal document (law): structure and references.

Analysis of the legal standard Akoma Ntoso

Present the Akoma Ntoso general structure.

Markup together a document.

Coffee 15:30-16:00
16:00-18:00 Palmirani-Cervone Practical Section

Project presentation

A practical project is assigned to groups. How to mark up legislative document, document metadata, normative references

Practical: Tagging the structure of a legislative Act

The aim of this practical section is to tag a legislative Act: structure, annexes, document metadata, references, quoted text and modificatory provisions.

18:00-19:00 Welcome Cocktail

Date Teacher Title and Content description
6th Sept. Chairman: Sartor Title: Structure, Naming, Processes in the legal domain – BASIC MODULE
9:00-10:00 Opening section and welcome

Mayor of Ravenna City

Fondazione Flaminia

Provincia di Ravenna

Ordine degli Avvocati di Ravenna

EUI representative

CIRSFID representative

ITTIG representative

10:00-10:45 Sartor Title: Legal sources on the web: rationale, benefits, principles, methodologies and tools

Abstract: Introduction to XML in legal informatics, in particular about the legal sources on-line. Some examples of concrete benefits in the legal sector should be presented.

Lecture Session

Coffee 10:45-11:15
11:15-12:00 Sartor/
Title: Legislative traditions and drafting guidelines: pre-requirement of the legislative document management

Abstract: The legislative drafting process comprises several distinct steps: It is based on the requirement of analyzing (and “understanding”) the respective political instructions, and it includes designing, composing, editing, and scrutinizing legislative documents. This regularly is to be done within a framework of legislative drafting rules, which in different normative systems may belong to different kinds of regulations, ranging from mere recommendations to binding legal rules.

The lecture will stimulate reflection on different legislative traditions and legislative drafting rules, but it will focus on a specific set of drafting guidelines developed within the Akoma Ntoso project and based upon the Akoma Ntoso standard. This set of legislative drafting guidelines takes into account the experiences of different normative systems belonging to the Continental as well as Anglo-Saxon traditions.

Finally, some practical advice and examples will be given. They will cover the different issues of style and usage in writing laws, as well as the “architecture” or systematic organization of legal regulations. Based on the experiences presented, four basic principles for legislative drafting may be developed:

economy, clearness, system and formalism.

Lecture Session

12:00-13:00 Francesconi,  Spinosa Title: Naming legislative resource

Abstract: The growing desire for improved quality and accessibility of legal information amplifies the need for interoperability among legal information systems at the  national, transnational and international level. A shared, open standard for identifying sources of law is an essential prerequisite for interoperability.

In this talk an overview of the motivations as well as the technical aspects dealing with unequivocal, persistent, location-independent identifiers for legal materials on the Web will be presented. In particular a possible implementation using the URN technique will be shown. Similarly examples of tools and services able to implement such a standard will be presented.

Benefits related to the adoption of this standard will be illustrated. In particular, besides legal content providers, Internet content creators including publishers operating well outside the traditional arenas of legal publishing (news, technical documentation providers, etc.) will benefit from a standard for identifying legal materials because it facilitates linking of legal documents and reduces the cost of maintaining documents containing references.

In the last few years a number of initiatives both in and outside Europe have arisen in the field of legal document standards to improve legal document accessibility on the Internet.

A proposal for a unique identifier for sources of law based on URN technique, capable of scaling beyond national boundaries, is presented as well: it is based on the definition of a namespace convention (LEX) and a structure for creating and managing identifiers of XML-encoded legal documents. This proposal is based on a shared modality of identifying legal acts through a set of metadata, common to other schema (as CEN-Metalex), able to identify any source of law at various levels of abstraction (work, expression and manifestation).

Lecture Session

Lunch 13:00-14:15
14:30-15:30 Vitali Title: Structuring legislative documents with XML standards

Abstract: We will consider how modern Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) are instrumental to the best access of citizens to legislation. Only through standards for data, processes and identification of legislation document we can exploit the advantages of ICT. For this reason we will introduce discuss standards and standardization activities with particular attention to legislative and parliamentary documents

Lecture Session

Coffee 15:30-16:00
16:00-18:00 Palmirani Title: Modelling the legislative lifecycle

Abstract: Legal resources are no longer isolated document and they result from a complex lifecycle including versioning, variant and derived sub-products. More and more the attention of the legislative informatics is moving from the eLegislation model to a new eParliament approach. In the latter approach all lifecycle events are modelled in digital way and proper metadata are capture in any phase of the legislative process and beyond in the publishing sector.

The lecture presents the metadata for modelling the lifecycle, the methodologies of consolidation/versioning, the metadata for tracking all the workflow inside of the legislative process.

Lecture Session and Practical Section

Informal Dinner on the beach (not cover by the fee)

ADVANCED MODULE - 7h-10th September

Date Teacher Title and Content description
7th Sept. Chairman: Palmirani Semantic Web in Legal document

9:00- 10:45 Schefbeck/
Title: Naming of referencing and modifications: theoretical models, legislative traditions and drafting requirements

Abstract: This session addresses naming and normative referencing in theory and practices with a comparative approach. We also consider the specific problem related to the modificatory provisions, which create often complexity and affect the legal certainty. We argue that certain aspects of the legal language can be standardised and simplified, and that can favour computer elaboration using the semantic web technologies.

The students will acquire the capacity to understand the existing approaches to legal drafting techniques and the concrete examples specified in the Legal Common Guidelines and in the Austrian Code with particular regard to normative referencing, modifications, naming of the parts.

Lecture Session

Coffee 10:45-11:15
11:15-12:15 Vitali Title: Structural markup and legal metadata

Abstract: The purpose of this section is to prove some basic methodological insights into the design of the legal document-models: what to look for when designing a vocabulary for XML documents, what regularities to exploit, what metadata to introduce, how to deal with metadata in a mixed XML and RDF/OWL environment.

Lecture Session

12:15-13:00 Francesconi Title: RDF and Semantic Mark-up of Legislative Texts

Abstract: This section will provide an introduction to RDF semantic Web standard, in particular with examples to illustrate the expressivity power of RDF. A case-study of using RDF in the legal domain will be illustrated: starting from a semantic model of legislation able to describe legal provisions, a possible technique for RDF semantic annotation of legislative texts will be shown.

Examples will be distributed to the classroom and commented with the students. The students should be able to understand the theory and the methodology, as well as to apply it to concrete cases.

Lecture Session

Lunch 13:00-14:15
14:30-15:30 Palmirani Title: Metadata in the modelling of judgments

The judgment document, or case-law, has a flexible and usually unstructured architecture. Nevertheless the metadata are really relevant in quantity and in quality.

This lecture aims to present these metadata and to provide the Akoma Ntoso framework for the markup.



16:00-18:00 Palmirani-Cervone Practical Section

Practical: Tagging amendments

Practical: Tagging judgments

20:00 Social Dinner

Via Corrado Ricci 24, Ravenna

Date Teacher Title and Content description
8th Sept. Chairman: Tiscornia Ontology in Legal domain – ADVANCED MODULE

9:00-10:45 Aldo Gangemi Title: Semantic Web Ontologies: OWL, Linked Data, and Basic Design Patterns

Abstract: A quick overview of the features of semantic web languages and semantic data linking will be presented.

The students are asked to read introductory material in advance for best results from this session.

The lecture will use a web browser and an ontology editor to introduce the language constructs and some data.

Lecture Session

Coffee 10:45-11:15
11:15-12:00 Nuria Casellas Title: Legal ontologies: types, methodologies and applications

Abstract: The session provides an overview of current design practices

and tools for the development of legal ontologies. As an example, legal

ontology applications will be displayed and an ontology editor will be

used to introduce sample practices.

Lecture Session

12:15-13:00 Tommaso Agnoloni, Ittig-CNR,


Montemagni, ILC-CNR

Title: Linguistic and Legal Ontology

Abstract: This session will present an overview of current research on lexical (also called linguistic or lightweight) ontologies. Compared to traditional linguistic resources, such as thesauri, classification schemas, etc., which are usually search-oriented, the structure of linguistic ontologies is based on lexical semantic, which guarantees a ‘neutral’ approach and, as a consequence is more effective in terms of interoperability, sharing, integration and reuse. Lexical ontologies can also provide simple but consistent solutions to the construction of multilingual lexicons. It is widely recognized that, while it is increasing the need of semantic tools for searching legal information in multi-national environments, a consistent methodology for building multilingual thesauri for legal domain doesn’t exist.

The session introduces and clarifies methodological implications both from a theoretical and empirical point of view. From the theoretical side, some fundamental questions related to the definition of a domain specific methodology will be addressed, while practical solutions will be explained trough the illustration of concrete projects. The methodology set up for the realization of multilingual lexicon structured along the lines of consolidated models (WordNet, Framenet) will be explained; terms extraction techniques applied in the projects will be shortly introduced and applicative results will be outlined; the course will also discuss operational issues related to the definition of collaborative platforms for incremental and distributed process of ontology construction.

Lecture Session

Lunch 13:00-14:15
14:30-15:30 Tommaso Agnoloni, Ittig-CNR,


Montemagni, ILC-CNR

continuing —

Lecture Session



16:00-18:00 Gangemi/

Hands-on linguistic ontologies and design patterns

Title: Hands-on Basic Ontology Design.

Abstract: This is a hands-on session in creating and publishing an ontology for a specific task in the legal domain. RDF, OWL, and design principles will be applied here. The students will use the NeOn Toolkit ontology editor with some of its plugins, please download it from:, choose your preferred platform, and add the following additional features: KC-Viz, OWLDoc, RaDON, Reasoner, SPARQL, Watson, XDTools.

Practical Session

Date Teacher Title and Content description
9th Sept. Tom Van Engers Legal Knowledge Management
9:00-10:45 Tom Van Engers Title: Introduction to Legal Knowledge Management

Abstract: Legal Knowledge Management is focused on strategic issues which might require improving accessible (legal) source of knowledge but surely couldn’t be limited to that. In this lecture an overview of strategic knowledge management issues is presented and illustrations from current developments are give and discussed.

Lecture Session

Tom Van Engers Title: Knowledge representation

LKIF-core: legal ontology and legal reasoning

Abstract: This lecture presents invariant elements in any legal system. These elements are described in a core ontology called Legal Knowledge Interchange Format Core ontology (LKIF-core)

Lecture Session

Coffee 10:45-11:15
11:15-12:00 Tom Van Engers
Title: Natural Language Techniques for Legal Knowledge Management

Abstract: A text with legal content expressed in natural language can, to a large extent, be automatically annotated with semantic mark-ups using natural language processing systems such as the General Architecture for Text Engineering (GATE).  The lecture gives an overview of GATE, some examples, and an indication of future research trends.

Lecture Session

12:00-13:00 Tom Van Engers Title: Computational Models of Legal Arguments

Abstract: This lecture presents the basic motivation for modelling argumentation is given. Examples from a practical case are used to demonstrate the current state of the art and the open issues.

Lecture Session

Lunch 13:00-14:15
14:30-15:30 Tom Van Engers
Title: The structure of argumentative legal texts

Abstract: Many legal texts are argumentative, such as the case files exchanged by the parties in a case, the court’s decision in a case, scholarly publications and discussions and opinions in legal blogs. In this part of the course  an introduction is given to the argumentative structure of such texts. The following topics will be discussed:

·         the structure of argument;
·         argument and counterargument;
·         legal argumentation schemes.
If time permits, the student will make some exercises on identifying these elements in an example argumentative legal text.



16:00-18:00 Tom Van Engers Practical Session

10th Sept.


Invited speakers: Success Cases of XML-ization in legislative domain

  • 10.00-12.00 Expert
  • 12.00-13.00 Student Project presentations

Lunch 13:00-14:15
Tour in Ravenna City

14.30-17.30 Guided tour in the Ravenna City