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Subject: Re: [legaldocml] Bills and Acts

Start again with the main pillars of Akoma Ntoso:
  • We need two terms general enough for not depending from a particular legal tradition (e.g. too much US oriented for instance or not too much Euroepan), not depending to a specific government form (one chamber, two chambers, three chambers) or to a specific senate/chamber regulation, not depending to the law-making process (steps and workflow)
  • We need two terms that represent two macro-categories of legislative documentation: normativeDocumentApproved and draftNormativeDocument (in Swiss they have a beautiful document that is a pre-draftNormativeDocument called avamprogetto). Take in care the point that we need to include also secondary law, regional law, ordinance, subsidiary law, etc. not only the primary law and also government regulation/legislation. Please don't skip this crucial issue that you didn't address in the last answers.
  • We need also two terms that are closed to the legal domain because the people need to understand without confusion
  • The terms must be sound to all the legal traditions not only to anglophone's one.
  • Akoma Ntoso is an XML schema based on the principle of descriptiveness but general enough for not enter in the list of the specific local nomenclatur

So these are the main pillars.
Please propose a tentative list of TWO terms that are compliance with those rules.


Il 08/02/2013 15:43, Thomas R. Bruce ha scritto:
On 2/7/13 6:31 PM, monica.palmirani wrote:
Dear Grant,

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.

Sorry, but I must agree with Grant on this matter -- to the point of insistence.  This is not a philosophical point; it's a pragmatic political issue.  The people that we wish to adopt AkomaNtoso need to find it recognizable. You may argue all you want that you have, for sound reasons, chosen a single term to serve as an abstraction covering many.  But if they hear something used generally for which there is a specific meaning, they will doubt your expertise and the soundness of the standard.  To them, it sounds as though you're pointing at a cow and telling them it's a chair, when in fact you've chosen "chair" to mean "all things beginning with the letter c".

That is particularly so when you jump branches. Grant has a horror of referring to resolutions as "bills";  I suspect it will be even worse if you refer to an executive branch document like a proposed rule (regulation) or an ANPRM (advance notice of proposed rulemaking) as a "bill".

Put another way, all the arguments that have led you to allow localization of the names of nested elements for text structure (parts, sections, chapters, etc) apply to this as well.

I believe it needs to be fixed, not as an intellectual matter, but as a matter of credibility with the people we are trying to persuade to use the standard.

All  the best,
Thomas R. Bruce
Director, Legal Information Institute
Cornell Law School
twitter: @trbruce

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 

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