Subject: Re: [legaldocml] Bills and Acts
sorry but as Fabio said in the previous email about ontology, I need to boring you, and the others, with some preliminary notions of theory of law (at the end I am coming from philosophy of law department). For your more curiosity you can find good literature in http://plato.stanford.edu/ (Kelsen, Bobbio, Hart, Raz, Ross, etc.).
Preamble: Lesson learn in Italy in the definition of taxonomy of legal documents.
One of the main discussion in Italy during NormeInRete definition standard was how to classify the different type of normative acts (including those document already passed like Royal Decree) and to find a common terminology. We discussed for two years and at the end we obtained a list of 20 different denominations for covering all the possible normative documentation used in Italy in any situation. We lost time, definitely we lost generality and abstractness and the possibility to have a fruitful dialogue with other legal system (e.g. Europe, US, etc.).
For each country "law" and "act" means a different type of documents and as well as for "bill".
Usually the meaning of these terms are linked to other parameters like authority, steps in the law-making process, juridical effect, jurisdiction, geo-spatial scope, legal tradition. Simply called metadata.
So we decided in AKOMA to use a different approach: to use neutral categories coming from the theory of law and not from a list of document nomenclature, list that each country could interpreted in different way. Example: US uses "bill" with a particular meaning in a such particular step of the process, but in Australia bill has a different meaning, and also in California bill is different respect House of Representative bill, and in UK the same, without to speak in Italy (we have several different bills: from government, from parliament, from people, from regions).
So let me start on the fact that we used more abstract categories coming from the theory of law: LAW, ACT and BILL (uppercase) belong to general theory of law definitions in this sense and not represent "the bill" "the act" as concrete document in a country tradition.
What is it a LAW in legal theory? it is not a document!!
1) LAW is any normative statements (also oral also in picture) that were endorsed by a powered authority, addressed to some subject, producing some legal effects. The authority could be for example, and this is not an exhaustive list: legislative body, governative agency, military committee, ministry, etc.
What is it a normative ACT ?
2) The normative statements are usually expressed, but not limited, by textual document called NORMATIVE ACT. A normative ACT (now called ACT as abbreviation) could be for example, and this is not an exhaustive list: legislative act (so called law lower-case), statute, constitution, resolution, etc. Also resolution includes normative statements that have some validity and some juridical effects (e.g. in jurisprudence, etc.).
LAW is a general concept of normative statements, LAW is expressed by a NORMATIVE ACT --> briefly called ACT
So a resolution is a NORMATIVE ACT, the positive code is definitely a NORMATIVE ACT, an act (lowe-case) is an ACT, the non-positive law probably is not a NORMATIVE ACT, but it is simply a DOC. I agree with you.
NORMATIVE ACT is also government act, ministry act, regulation, directive, ordinance, communication, municipality law, region law, etc.
What is it a BILL cleaned to the other parameters/metadata?
3) BILL is any preliminary document that the intention is to become a normative act.
BILL in our nomenclature is only a category of ideal document, neutral respect the other metadata that we can define separately. We have the block <workflow> for defining the procedural steps, we have <proponent> for defining the initiative proponent, we have @refersTo for defining the correct meaning of the document according to a local ontology.
BILL: include bill in strict sense, initiative by the people, bill that introduces amendments to other normative act, draft version of European directive, etc.
In other words we have a meta-level around NORMATIVE ACT and BILL (draftNormativeAct?).
Below we have a list of document nomenclature related to each single legal tradition, law-making process, etc.
GENERAL NORMATIVE ACT
/ | \
LOCAL LEGAL TRADITION act statue constitution ..... regulation.... etc.
About the terms chosen, at the end any synecdoche uses a well-known term for evocating something different ("Use of the term "The Internet" to refer to the World Wide Web http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synecdoche").
Finally: I propose you to define together a taxonomy/light-ontology/vocabulary (defined outside of the TC) concerning the nomenclature of the normative acts used in US and to link this taxonomy to the tag <act refersTo="#resolution"> using refersTo. In this way you can use your ontology, the Chile its ontology in Spanish with their specific nomenclature, Italy as well its ontology in Italian.
What do you think about this?
Il 07/02/2013 19:51, Grant Vergottini ha scritto:
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