OASIS Mailing List ArchivesView the OASIS mailing list archive below
or browse/search using MarkMail.


Help: OASIS Mailing Lists Help | MarkMail Help

legaldocml message

[Date Prev] | [Thread Prev] | [Thread Next] | [Date Next] -- [Date Index] | [Thread Index] | [List Home]

Subject: Re: [legaldocml] RE:[legaldocml] RE:[legaldocml] Two similar tags: alinea and intro

So, let's get to a specific case:
      <p>This is the first paragraph</p>
      <p>This is the second paragraph</p>
So here we have a legislative Paragraph made up of two normal paragraphs. Right? Except that this is an extremely rare occurrence in all the jurisdictions I have worked - and when it does occur it is an anomaly. I can count the number of times I have seen multiple unnumbered normal paragraphs within a level with the fingers on one hand - and I don't need all the fingers. The reason is that in legislation there is a need to number each and every paragraph (and I'm talking normal paragraph, not legislative Paragraph).  So far, in every case I have run across where there are multiple apparent paragraphs, the additional paragraph has been a proviso - and it always begins "Provided that..." or something to that effect.
So I'm going to invent a tag and assume it lives alongside an artificial <p>element: (I don't that this model is the right way to go, but I want this example to be symmetric with my example above)
      <p>This is the text of the paragraph</p>
      <proviso>Provided that...</proviso>
The amending language I have seen reads something like:
Amendment 1: In Paragraph A, after the first "the", insert...
Amendment 2: In the proviso of Paragraph A, after..., insert...
I have included, as an attachment, a sample from Hong Kong. This fragment has two provisos. The first proviso shows most clearly as a second apparent paragraph for subsection (1) - but it's known as the proviso.
If you look at the second proviso, you see that it itself becomes a hierarchical structure, and the words "Provided that-" become introductory text (or intro, chapeau, umbrella, top bread, etc.) The hierarchical structure of the proviso is separate from the normal hierarchy. So, for example, they would refer to "Paragraph (a) of the proviso of Subsection (4)" and this is not the same as "Paragraph (a) of Subsection (4)". For this reason, I am inclined to think the structure should be:
      This is the text of the paragraph
      <intro>Provided that-</intro>
And finally, both the US House and Hong Kong seem to have the same basic notion of a proviso - so it's not a Hong Kong invention. It's origins are probably in the UK.

On Thu, May 16, 2013 at 2:42 PM, Fabio Vitali <fabio@cs.unibo.it> wrote:
Dear Grant,

> So do we have some confusion by having a tag also called <an:alinea> when the "paragraph" meaning from French is intended? How do we clarify this?

There is only one guideline applying for elements belonging to the legislative hierarchy (i.e., the hcontainer pattern): whenever describing a legislative structure, you should use the name that is the closest to what your local tradition uses for it. Therefore, if (FOR THE SAME STRUCTURE) civil law countries use the term "article" (articolo, articulo, artigo, article, artikel, etc.) whereas common law countries use "section", you SHOULD USE "article" when marking a civil law document, and "section" when marking a common law document. This implies, for instance, that "section" means a different kind of structure when describing a civil law document than a common law country, because they use the term differently. This is a design feature and not a design bug of Akoma Ntoso.

> (Another interesting construct I see, which I have been arguing with my colleagues here within Xcential about in recent weeks, is the nesting of an <an:p> within an <an:paragraph>. To me it seems redundant and only adds weight to the markup. Fabio??)

Patterns, patterns, patterns. Combined with the fact that legislators all over the world like to use common terms for specialized purposes. So, a paragraph in legislation is NOT "a subdivision of a written composition that consists of one or more sentences, deals with one point or gives the words of one speaker, and begins on a new usually indented line" (Webster Dictionary). Rather, in the US, "the Code is divided into 51 titles. All titles have sections as their basic coherent units, and sections are numbered sequentially across the entire title. Sections are often divided into (from largest to smallest) subsections, paragraphs, subparagraphs, clauses, subclauses, items, and subitems." (Wikipedia)

The term is the same, the concepts absolutely not. Therefore, in Akoma Ntoso, we have two separate elements for paragraphs a la Webster (<p>) and paragraph a la US Code (<paragraph>). They are different not only in meaning and use, but also and more importantly in the patterns they use: <paragraph> is an h-container, while <p> is a block.

As a hcontainer, <paragraph> has content model of one or more heading elements (such as <header>, <num>, etc.) and EITHER sub-hierarchy elements, OR an element <content> that contains one or more block elements (e.g., <p> or <block>). Please note that this does NOT happen directly within the hierarchical element, but within the <content> element, which is the switch between the hcontainer and the block pattern. Therefore the nesting of p and paragraph is never direct.

Hope this is clearer.




Fabio Vitali                            Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly,
Dept. of Computer Science        Man got to sit and wonder "Why, why, why?'
Univ. of Bologna  ITALY               Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land,
phone:  +39 051 2094872              Man got to tell himself he understand.
e-mail: fabio@cs.unibo.it         Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007), "Cat's cradle"

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

Attachment: Cap132_s82.pdf
Description: Adobe PDF document

[Date Prev] | [Thread Prev] | [Thread Next] | [Date Next] -- [Date Index] | [Thread Index] | [List Home]