For me, the current terms are not problematic as they don't have special meaning inside the European legislation (we use "proposal", "draft" or "motion" to express the not approved text). And act can be used for binding and not binding text. So, I don't have
problem to say that a resolution is an act and a motion for resolution, a bill.
But I understand the problem to use as generic term a concept that has a specific meaning in some tradition.
Now, it is a big challenge to find a name for these element that has no specific meaning
(i.e., "proposal" is not a good term as it has the meaning of "proposed by another institution that the proponent", in opposite of "draft". So I have a problem to mark a draft as a proposal ;-)
Pragmatically, If "act" or "bill" elements are generic, maybe they need to have an additional attribute 'name' like "doc" element to put the type of "act" or bill.
Additionally, it could also be a good idea to standardize the metadata that are needed to qualify a document at a legislative point of view (type, proponent, ...).
For the "European law", you have treaty, then directive, decision,
At the level of the European parliament, there are resolution, decision and
(not the same meaning as the previous one).
For the Belgian legislation, we have the constitution, the code, loi, "décret", "arreté", "arrêté loi", arrêté ministériel, ...
I don't think it is a good idea to have one tag by name.
De : firstname.lastname@example.org [email@example.com] de la part de Ashok Hariharan [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Date d'envoi : vendredi 8 février 2013 15:55
À : monica.palmirani
Cc: Grant Vergottini; email@example.com
Objet : Re: [legaldocml] Bills and Acts
On 8 February 2013 02:31, monica.palmirani
Dear Grant,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?
The below note is from Flavio, since he couldnt reply to the mailing list ( I agree too ) :
Since we are talking about "people" I dare to step in.
I do tend to agree with Grant.
Monica in your response you may find possible "generic terms":
- "bill" could become "proposal", you wrote "pre-proposal"
- "act" could become "approved ?????"
So I do agree with Grant that "people" get mislead by terms like "bill/act" that are "loaded" with specific meanings. "Bill/act" may not be the best way to represent the "concepts" of "document proposal" and "document approved" that are what Akoma Ntoso "bill/act"
Il 07/02/2013 19:51, Grant Vergottini ha scritto:
Hi Monica, Fabio, All,
I can understand the need to define the relevant concepts in the fewest possible terms. In fact, I have tried to do this always. And I still carry the battle scars from when I tried to use terms in an abstract way that were already well understood in a
specific way. This simply did not fly. In my experience, people are extraordinarily sensitive to overusing terms for which they have a very precise definition.
It's quite acceptable to define a very general term for an abstract concept if that general term has no pre-existing meaning. But as soon as you hijack an existing term, they come to the meeting armed with whatever force they feel necessary to slay your
proposal in its entirety. You're doomed from the very start. I believe that will also happen to Akoma Ntoso too. Here is why:
1) You cannot call a resolution that does not propose law a bill. A resolution is most often a statement or an opinion made by the legislative body. Calling it a bill brings with it the notion that it is proposing law and, upon approval, will become a
law. Certainly, there are cases where a resolution does propose law - such as a US joint resolution. But this is the exception rather than the rule. What about a California Constitutional Amendment? It proposes an amendment to the constitution and is thus
regarded as a resolution - put forth to the people of the state, suggesting a modification to the Constitution. It is not considered a bill. When it is adopted, it causes the creation of a proposition to the people - a separate document. It takes successful
passage of the proposition for the law to change.
2) You cannot call an initiative by the people, proposing law, a bill. A bill is usually defined as a law proposed by a legislative body. An initiative is not a bill in that it comes from the people rather than from the legislative body. Calling it a bill
misplaces its source of origin.
3) You cannot refer to non-positive titles of the US Code as acts. You can call a non-positive title of the US Code a lot of things, but you most definitely cannot call it an act. It was not enacted - and that is an extremely important point. Without enactment,
it is only evidence of the law rather than law itself. The entire purpose of the codification of the US Code into positive law is to deal with this important characteristic. I cannot and will not suggest modeling a non-positive title in the US Code using an
<act> tag. It would be less controversial to suggest the non-sensical <automobile> tag.
I think you have to look at the meanings that the words like bill and act bring with them. They are not abstract terms. They have preexisting meanings and meddling with those meanings will only incite quarrels which will lead to the rejection rather than
adoption of the standard.
I bring this up as I have tried to deal with this issue too many times in the past and have only found that the only way forward is to either accept a broader vocabulary or to choose a vocabulary unencumbered with existing meaning.
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