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Subject: Re: Terminology Map

Dear Grant,

thank you for your file. I think that finding a common nomenclature for legal concepts is an extremely useful activity, and one that would likely result in better understanding of similarities and differences in legislative practices around the world. 

Nonetheless, I am quite scared by the mere size of the endeavour. What our experience tells us from examining dozen of countries and legislative traditions in the last six years is that terminology is plentiful, detailed, and hopelessly confusing. To mention just the situation in Italy, the century old tradition of latin terms for these things has everybody using different terms for even the most trivial cases, for instance the Senate using a different name for bills than the Chamber of Deputy and yet a different one than the Government. 

For this reason, I am weary of devoting time of the TC to generating such a list. It is out of scope and really open-ended, because of the time and precision required by a good work. I do not object, and in fact I heartily approve of maintaining and updating such a list as a private activity parallel to the discussions in the TC, but I personally would not let the TC spend time on this task, as I fear it would derail the conversation to endless minutiae about minuscule details. 

I believe we should strive to define abstract terminology, neutral from each local legal tradition, independent from the workflow of each assembly and following the "pattern principle" of the Akoma Ntoso schema. I believe that whenever a term is used by different legal traditions in different or ambiguous ways, we should choose a different, more neutral term. 

Example: the type of document "bill" in Akoma Ntoso is neutral respect the phase of the legislative process. It is a <bill> when it is an initial proposal, it is a <bill> when it is a consolidated bill, it is a <bill> when it is an approved and vote bill. I would definitely prefer to concentrate our efforts on finding and approving neutral terminology, on common scenarios (examples), and on generating the documentation so that we can hopefully arrive by the end of November to the Public Review stage.

Please find the same file in attachment with a new column where you can find the Akoma Ntoso neutral terminology inspired by the document-type and to the patterns.


Il 08/10/2012 23:29, Grant Vergottini ha scritto:
Hi Everyone,
As I am now working in many different jurisdictions and as the terminology used by various terminology is often quite similar and at the same time somewhat dissimilar, I thought it would be instructive to build a terminology map. I have used the terminology that Monica introduced a few weeks ago and then added around it the terminology I deal with in California and at the federal level. I have also thrown in some other terms I have come across from other jurisdictions (such as Hong Kong) which differ. I've tried to extend the terminology map to encompass all the overloaded terms to make it clear the different usages. In some cases, terminology is colloquial so I have show that in italics. Also, often parts of the official term are omitted for brevity so I have placed in parenthesis the often omitted words.
I think that a map like this would address Ashok's concerns about the terminology debates we have and would give us all reference from which to map our local customs into the customs of other people on the committee. It would also allow us to agree to disagree on local terminology and hopefully drive to more neutral terms that don't lead readers to misinterpret parts of Akoma Ntoso.
My maps is simply written as an Excel spreadsheet. However, a more collaborative approach would be for me to open a Google docs spreadsheet to anyone that wished to contribute terminology. I know that OASIS requires that all documents be self-contained within the OASIS website, so this cannot be an official document. However, it could service as a working reference from which we could derive an OASIS glossary.
What do you think?

-- Grant
Grant Vergottini
Xcential Group, LLC.
email: grant.vergottini@xcential.com
phone: 858.361.6738

Associate professor of Legal Informatics 
School of Law
Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna 
C.I.R.S.F.I.D. http://www.cirsfid.unibo.it/ 
Palazzo Dal Monte Gaudenzi - Via Galliera, 3 
I - 40121 BOLOGNA (ITALY) 
Tel +39 051 277217 
Fax +39 051 260782 
E-mail  monica.palmirani@unibo.it 

Attachment: terminology-4.xlsx
Description: application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.spreadsheetml.sheet

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