Bruce, T. R., and Richards, R. C. (2011). Adapting Specialized Legal Metadata to the Digital Environment: The Code of Federal Regulations Parallel Table of Authorities and Rules. Paper presented at ICAIL 2011: The 13th International Conference on Artifici

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In the domain of print-based U.S. legal information, specialized tools that create connections between different categories of …

In the domain of print-based U.S. legal information, specialized tools that create connections between different categories of
metadata increase legal research efficiency. Such tools, redesigned for the electronic sphere, could enhance digital legal information systems. This paper illustrates this kind of redesign, through a case study of one such tool—the Parallel Table of Authorities and Rules in the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, which connects regulations to the statutes that authorize them.

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  • 1. Adapting Specialized Legal Metadata to the Digital Environment: The CFR Parallel Table of Authorities & Rules
    Thomas R. Bruce, Legal Information Institute
    Robert C. Richards, Jr., University of Washington
  • 2. Governments create multiple sources of law
    The sources are interrelated, but exist as isolated “islands” of legal knowledge & information
    How can one efficiently discover all sources of law related to a particular source of law?
    The Problem: “Islands”
  • 3. Example: How to find all regulations issued pursuant to US Food, Drug, & Cosmetic Act, 21 U.S.C. ch.9?
    Two “Islands”: The statute is in the U.S. Code, while the regulations are in the Code of Federal Regulations
    The Problem: Example
  • 4. In the print environment, specialized legal metadata sources were created, to make explicit relationships between different sources of law. We call these sources “ponts,” because they function as “bridges” between “islands” of legal information
    One Solution: “Ponts”
  • 5. Parallel Table of Authorities & Rules (PTOA)
    Metadata in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)
    Links statutes to regulations they authorize
    Example of a Pont: The PTOA
  • 6. 1 U.S.C. 112.......................................................1 Part 2 112a--112b.....................................22 Part 181 113....................................................1 Part 2 133..................................................32 Part 151
    2 U.S.C.
    136.................................................36 Parts 701, 702, 703, 705
    170...................................................36 Part 705
    PTOA: Excerpt
  • 7. Most ponts created for print environment require human intervention to ensure connection between the different legal sources they seek to link
    PTOA in print requires human intervention
    PTOA in Print: Human-Dependent
  • 8. Goals:
    Disintermediation:
    Make PTOA processable by software without human intervention
    Foster interoperability & re-use
    Foster innovation
    PTOA: Preparing It for Digital
  • 9. Recommended formats:
    XML
    RDF/OWL
    Why XML & RDF/OWL?
    Open, international standards
    Widely used and understood
    Enable re-use and interoperability
    Foster innovation: developers are equipped to create new systems to process them
    PTOA: Preparing It for Digital (cont’d)
  • 10. Information Retrieval & Discovery
    Bidirectional discovery
    Revelation of implicit relationships
    Automated retrieval
    Linked Data
    Scholarly Research
    Public Administration
    GIS
    eParticipation
    PTOA: Use Cases
  • 11. Semantics (Ambiguity)
    Directionality
    Granularity
    Data Quality
    PTOA: Obstacles to Preparation for Digital Use
  • 12. 1. Relationships between sources are ambiguous
    Relationships represented in a PTOA row may be of four possible types:
    “Is Express Authority For”
    “Is Implied Authority For”
    “Is Applied By”
    “Is Interpreted By”
    PTOA Obstacles: Semantics
  • 13. 2. Some PTOA rows list multiple sources on one or both sides:
    1 U.S.C. 112.......................................................1 Part 2 112a--112b.....................................22 Part 181 113....................................................1 Part 2 133..................................................32 Part 151
    2 U.S.C.
    136.................................................36 Parts 701, 702, 703, 705
    170...................................................36 Part 705
    PTOA Obstacles: Semantics (cont’d)
  • 14. Result: In many PTOA rows, relationships between sources are multiple and complex
    Result: In most rows, the precise meaning of relationships is implicit & often not discernible by software
    PTOA Obstacles: Semantics (cont’d)
  • 15. In PTOA, retrieval and discovery can only occur in one direction: from statute to regulation
    1 U.S.C. […]
    112a--112b................................22 Part 181
    PTOA Obstacles: Directionality
  • 16. But in digital world, PTOA could add great value if it were bidirectional: if it enabled discovery from regulations to statutes, as well as from statutes to regulations
    PTOA Obstacles: Directionality
  • 17. PTOA regulation cites refer only to the “Part” level of CFR
    But the relationships intended to be represented in PTOA usually occur at more granular levels: “section” or “sub-section”
    PTOA Obstacles: Granularity
  • 18. “1 U.S.C. […]
    “112a--112b................................22 Part 181”
    1 U.S.C. section 112b (subsection (f)) furnishes express authority for subdivisions of 22 C.F.R. part 181 (sections 181.1 through 181.7).
    1 U.S.C. section 112a (subsection (d)) furnishes implicit authority for subdivisions of 22 C.F.R. part 181 (sections 181.8 and 181.9).
    PTOA Obstacles: Granularity: Example
  • 19. So each PTOA row must be analyzed & divided into multiple rows at accurate level of granularity
    PTOA Obstacles: Granularity (cont’d)
  • 20. Production of PTOA is decentralized: each individual agency creates rows for its regulations
    Result: Inconsistent quality of PTOA data
    Need: For Digital PTOA to express editor’s evaluation of data quality, in machine-processable metadata
    PTOA Obstacle: Data Quality
  • 21. <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
    <ptoa>
    <ptoaentry>
    <!-- Example 1 -->
    <authority>
    <uscode>
    <title>1</title>
    <sectrange>
    <start>112a</start>
    <end>112b</end>
    </sectrange>
    </uscode>
    </authority>
    <authorized>
    <cfr>
    <title>22</title>
    <part>181</part>
    </cfr>
    </authorized>
    </ptoaentry>
    </ptoa>
    </?xml>
    Digital PTOA: XML Example: Barebones, No Remedies
  • 22. <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
    <ptoa>
    <ptoaentry>
    <authority type="implicit_authority">
    <uscode>
    <title>1</title>
    <section urn="urn:lex:us:federal:codified.statute:2010;1.usc.112a@official;house.gov:en$text-html:legal.information.institute">112a</section>
    <sectionfragment>d</sectionfragment>
    </uscode>
    </authority>
    <authorized>
    <cfr>
    <title>22</title>
    <part urn="urn:lex:us:federal:codified.regulation:2010;22.cfr.181@official;gpo.gov:en$text-xml">181</part>
    <section urn="urn:lex:us:federal:codified.regulation:2010;22.cfr.181.8@official;gpo.gov:en$text-xml">181.8</section>
    <section urn="urn:lex:us:federal:codified.regulation:2010;22.cfr.181.9@official;gpo.gov:en$text-xml">181.9</section>
    </cfr>
    </authorized>
    </ptoaentry>
    </ptoa>
    </?xml>
    Digital PTOA: XML: Now with URNs, Granularity, Ranges
  • 23. <owl:ObjectPropertyrdf:ID="implicitlyAuthorizes">
    <owl:inverseOf>
    <owl:ObjectProperty
    rdf:ID="isImplicitlyAuthorizedBy"/>
    </owl:inverseOf>
    <rdfs:rangerdf:resource="#AuthorizedItem"/>
    <rdfs:domainrdf:resource="#AuthorizingItem"/>
    <rdfs:subPropertyOf>
    <owl:ObjectProperty
    rdf:ID="isAuthorityRefFor"/>
    </rdfs:subPropertyOf>
    </owl:ObjectProperty>
    Digital PTOA: RDFS/OWL: Bidirectionality & Disambiguation
  • 24. <owl:ObjectProperty
    rdf:ID="hasUSCSectionFragment">
    <rdfs:domain
    rdf:resource="#USCodeSection"/>
    <owl:inverseOf>
    <owl:ObjectProperty
    rdf:ID="isUSCSectionFragmentOf"/>
    </owl:inverseOf>
    <rdfs:range
    rdf:resource="#USCodeSectionFragment"/>
    </owl:ObjectProperty>
    Digital PTOA: RDFS/OWL: Granularity
  • 25. Earlier studies of print-based ponts introduced into digital environment: Al-Kofahi et al. (2001); Dabney (1986) McDermott (1986)
    Findings:
    a. New uses of ponts arose in digital environment
    b. Ponts positively influenced retrieval performance
    Related Research
  • 26. Legislation.gov.uk (Legislative Information Retrieval): Table of Legislative Effects, CEN MetaLex (legislative status)
    AGILE (Public Administration System): CEN MetaLex & OWL
    Similar Projects
  • 27. Congressional Record: “History of Bills & Resolutions”
    CFR List of Subjects & Subject Index
    United States Code Subject Index
    Constitution of the United States Annotated (CONAN)
    Other Ponts to Examine
  • 28. Spring 2011: Receive input from colleagues at conferences
    Summer & Fall 2011: Build prototype
    Digital PTOA: Next Steps
  • 29. Al-Kofahi, K., Tyrrell, A., Vachher, A., Travers, T., and Jackson, P. 2001. Combining multiple classifiers for text categorization. In Proceedings of CIKM '01, 97-104. DOI=10.1145/502585.502603.
    AlviteDíez, M. L., Pérez-León, B., Martínez González, M., and Blanco, D. F. J. V. 2010. Propuesta de representación del tesauroEurovoc en SKOS parasuintegración en sistemas de informaciónjurídica. Scire 16, 2, 47-51.
    Bartolini, R., Lenci, A., Montemagni, S., Pirrelli, V., and Soria, C. 2004. Automatic classification and analysis of provisions in Italian legal texts: A case study. In Proceedings of OTM ’04. 593-604. DOI=10.1007/978-3-540-30470-8_72
    References (1/5)
  • 30. Boer, A. and Van Engers, T. 2009. The Agile project: Reconciling agility and legal accountability. In Proceedings ofICT4JUSTICE ’09. CEUR Workshop Proceedings 582, 41-49.
    Bontouri, L., Papatheodorou, C., Soulikias, V., and Stratis, M. 2009. Metadata interoperability in public sector information. J. Inform. Sci. 35, 2 204-231. DOI=10.1177/0165551508098601.
    Callister, P. D. 2009. Thinking like a research expert: Schemata for teaching complex problem-solving skills. Legal Ref. Serv. Q. 28, 1/2 (2009), 31-51. DOI=10.1080/02703190902961452.
    References (2/5)
  • 31. Dabney, D. P. 1986. The curse of Thamus: An analysis of full-text legal document retrieval. Law Libr. J. 78 ,1 (Win. 1986), 5-40.
    Dini, L., et al. 2005. Cross-lingual legal information retrieval using a WordNet architecture. In Proceedings of ICAIL ’05, 163-167. DOI=10.1145/1165485.1165510.
    Ekstrom, J. A. and Lau, G. T. 2008. Exploratory text mining of ocean law to measure overlapping agency and jurisdictional authority. In Proceedings of dg.o’08, 53-62.
    Francesconi, E., Montemagni, S., Peters, W., and Tiscornia, D., Eds. 2010. Semantic Processing of Legal Texts: Where the Language of Law Meets the Law of Language. Springer, Berlin.
    References (3/5)
  • 32. García, R. and Gil, R. 2008. A Web ontology for copyright contracts management. Int. J. Electron. Comm. 12, 4 (Sum. 2008), 99-114. DOI=10.2753/JEC1086-4415120404
    Marchetti, A., Megale, F., Seta, E., and Vitali, F. 2002. Using XML as a means to access legislative documents: Italian and foreign experiences. ACM SIGAPP Appl. Comput. Rev. 10, 1, 54-62. DOI=10.1145/568235.568246
    McDermott, J. 1986. Another analysis of full-text legal document retrieval. Law Libr. J., 78, 337-344.
    References (4/5)
  • 33. Nadah, N., Dulong de Rosnay, M., and Bachimont, B. 2007. Licensing digital content with a generic ontology: Escaping from the jungle of rights expression languages. In Proceedings of ICAIL '07, 65-69. DOI=10.1145/1276318.1276330.
    Ortiz-Rodríguez, F. 2007. EGODO and applications: Sharing, retrieving and exchanging legal documentation across e-government. In Proceedings of SW4Law ’07, 21-26.
    Robinson, D. G., Yu, H., Zeller, W., and Felten, E. W. 2009. Government data and the invisible hand. Yale J. Law & Technol. 11, 1, 160-175.
    References (5/5)
  • 34. Tom Bruce, Legal Information Institute, trb2 [at] cornell.edu
    Robert Richards, University of Washington, robertrichards03 [at] gmail.com
    Contacts