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Subject: Re: [legalruleml] Legal Domain Ontology

Hi Tara,

good points! Thanks for this email.

1. I worked with the group of LKIF [http://www.estrellaproject.org/lkif-core/] in the Estrella project and I contributed in some parts [http://www.estrellaproject.org/doc/D1.1-LKIF-Specification.pdf; http://carneades.berlios.de/resources/Home/LKIF-Specification.pdf], so I am inclined to use it extensively for coping with one of the main goal of LegalRuleML: fill the gap between text and rule:
I want to use LKIF for different purposes:
a) to link the predicates/verbs of the rules to the connected ontology class. Example: Rel "premium" is a predicate so I want to connect this predicete with its definition in the ontology with the legal classe "premium". The same for "customer" considering the definition provided by the Consumer Law. This permits to link the predicate to the law definitions and to improve interoperability among different legal knowledge entgineers.
b) to link the text with the legal concepts. If the text said "end-user" instead of "customer" I can connect the Var "counterpart" to the legal concept of "customer" and in a such a way to favor the interoperability, the retrieval by concepts, the multilingual text, the interconnection among different base-rules.
c) to use the axiomes of the LKIF-core for the legal reasoning combined with the rules. The concept of "customer" in Consumer Law is a precise class of people with some properties. If I define these proprieties in the ontology, I can reuse it any time that I need it.
[Palmirani, et. al., Fill the Gap in the Legal Knowledge Modelling , RuleML2009]

<Assert mapClosure="universal" mapDirection="backward" mapMaterial="no">
        <Implies timesBlock="#t2" ruleType="defeasible" id="rule1">
            <then timesBlock="#t2">
                <Atom id="atm1">
                    <Rel refersTo="/ontology/lkif/consumerLaw:premium">premium</Rel>
                    <Var refersTo="/ontology/lkif/consumerLaw:customer">counterpart</Var>
            <if timesBlock="#t2">
                <Atom id="atm2" timesBlock="#t3">
                    <Rel>previous year spending </Rel>
                    <formula><Var>x</Var> >= 5000 euro</formula>
    </Assert >

After this introduction, when I said " LegalRuleML wants to define the main legal classes of the rules components" I have in mind a different kind of ontology: not thematic ontology linked to a specific legal domain, but the anatomy of the "legal rule". The question is: which parameters or attributes make the "legal rule" special and interesting respect a normal rule? which parts we have to define for permitting a correct and powerfull legal reasoning ?

2. the syntax is independent to the ontology because I can point-out to different ontologies using "refersTo" attribute (not only to LKIF). My goal is different: to define the meta-ontology of the "legal rule". This work influences for sure the LegalRuleML tags definition. E.g. as naf was created for capturing a particular concept of negation, so we have to define, and after to represent with appropriate tags in LegalRuleML, the essence of the "legal rule". E.g. obligation: subject of the obligation, addresser, authority, level of obligation (civil, penal, administrative), jurisdiction of the obligation (only in Italy, in all the world, for all the facts or for only the fact happended in Italy), temporal validity of the obligation.
( Semantic modeling in the LegalRuleML 1.0-core-spec http://www.oasis-open.org/apps/org/workgroup/legalruleml/download.php/44972/LegalRuleML0.1-core-spec-2012-01-30.doc)


Il 16/02/2012 00:37, Tara Athan ha scritto:
>From the discussion today it sounds like part of LegalRuleML will be an ontology of concepts in the legal domain.
Somethings I would like to see clarified are:

1. to what extent will this ontology be taken from existing ontologies, including upper ontologies, such as DOLCE [1], or legal domain ontologies such as lkif [2], and to what extent will it be new;

2. is it desirable that the parts of the syntax that are dependent on the ontology be separable (through modularization) from the parts that are independent.

I would argue that in #1 as much as possible be used from existing ontologies provided these ontologies have a broad acceptance, and for #2 as much separation as possible, so that if/when the ontology evolves or is replaced, it has minimal effects on the syntax that is independent of the legal domain.

[1] www.loa.istc.cnr.it/DOLCE.html
[2] https://github.com/RinkeHoekstra/lkif-core

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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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