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
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,
At the level of the European parliament, there are resolution,
decision and recommendation
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.
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
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
I do tend to agree with Grant.
Monica in your response you may find possible
- "bill" could become "proposal", you wrote
- "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" are about.
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
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
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
Associate professor of Legal Informatics
School of Law
Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna
Palazzo Dal Monte Gaudenzi - Via Galliera, 3
I - 40121 BOLOGNA (ITALY)
Tel +39 051 277217
Fax +39 051 260782