Akoma Ntoso as a standard for the lifecycle and the transparency of legal and legislative documents  10th International &q...
Summary <ul><li>Akoma Ntoso </li></ul><ul><li>The main structure of the document </li></ul><ul><li>The deep structure of t...
AKOMA NTOSO <ul><li>It is an open legal XML standard for parliamentary, legislative and judiciary documents  </li></ul><ul...
AKOMA NTOSO <ul><li>A rchitecture for  K nowledge- O riented  M anagement of  A ny  N ormative  T ext using  O pen  S tand...
Learning to swim: the structure of documents
Managing the structure of the document - 1 <ul><li>An Akoma Ntoso document is either an act or a bill (legislative documen...
Managing the structure of the document - 2 <ul><li>Within the main body of the document, each document type has its own st...
Swimming in the pool: the semantics of content fragments
Managing the semantics of the text <ul><li>Text fragments describing and contextualizing the documents  </li></ul><ul><ul>...
Swimming: organizing the content in XML <ul><li>So far, we have organized in XML a legal document identifying its parts an...
Swimming: organizing the content in XML <ul><li>So far, we have organized in XML a legal document identifying its parts an...
Swimming: organizing the content in XML <ul><li>The main structural and semantic elements for the content of legislative a...
First dives: basic metadata
Basic metadata <ul><li>The structure of metadata in Akoma Ntoso is complex but can be studied piecemeal.  </li></ul><ul><l...
Scuba diving: FRBR
FRBR: the problems <ul><li>We would like a language that allows references: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To be either static or d...
The FRBR model <ul><li>Every document has four different aspects: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The  Work  represents the abst...
Using FRBR <ul><li>Each level of FRBR has its own address (URI).  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Higher levels refer to abstract co...
Things we get for free from FRBR <ul><li>Automatic support for multilinguism </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If legislation exists i...
Deeper and deeper: TLC
Top Level Classes (TLC) <ul><li>Top Level Classes is the Akoma Ntoso mechanism to provide unambiguous references to concep...
Advantages of Top Level Classes <ul><li>We can now identify concretely persons, organizations, roles, concpets, places, ac...
In the deep sea: consolidation, workflow and lifecycle
Consolidation, workflow and lifecycle <ul><li>First assumption: each document is the output of a specific step of a workfl...
Classification in judgments
Co nclusions: Benefits and fishes
Benefits of the adoption of Akoma Ntoso <ul><li>An Akoma Ntoso repository can mark up the text to the level it feels appro...
BungeniEditor- open source  Open Office markup editor
References <ul><li>www.akomantoso.org </li></ul><ul><li>www.parliaments.info , info at  [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>...
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Akoma Ntoso 2

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Powerpoint by Fabio Vitali and Monica Palmirani describing the Akoma Ntoso legal XML project

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Akoma Ntoso 2

  1. 1. Akoma Ntoso as a standard for the lifecycle and the transparency of legal and legislative documents 10th International &quot;Law via the Internet&quot; Conference, Durban, South Africa 26 - 27 November 2009 prof. Fabio Vitali Department of Computer Science University of Bologna prof. Monica Palmirani CIRSFID Interdepartmental Centre of ICT & Law
  2. 2. Summary <ul><li>Akoma Ntoso </li></ul><ul><li>The main structure of the document </li></ul><ul><li>The deep structure of the document </li></ul><ul><li>Basic metadata </li></ul><ul><li>Advanced metadata </li></ul><ul><li>Applications of metadata </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusions: benefits of the adoption </li></ul>
  3. 3. AKOMA NTOSO <ul><li>It is an open legal XML standard for parliamentary, legislative and judiciary documents </li></ul><ul><li>Promoted by the UNITED NATIONS Department for Economics and Social Affairs (UN/DESA) in 2004 from the Kenya Unit </li></ul><ul><li>It means “ Linked Hearts ” – a symbol used by the Akan people of West Africa to represent understanding and agreement – but it is now promoted also in Latin America, Asia and European regions </li></ul>
  4. 4. AKOMA NTOSO <ul><li>A rchitecture for K nowledge- O riented M anagement of A ny N ormative T ext using O pen S tandards and O ntologies: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Describes structures for legal documents in XML </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>References documents across countries using a common naming convention - URIs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Adds systematic metadata to documents using ontologically sound approaches </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Aims to </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Be extensible for the individual needs of any country </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Preserve the legal digital resources over time </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Guarantee legal principles </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Favour trust (authoritative versions, legal copies, etc.) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Learning to swim: the structure of documents
  6. 6. Managing the structure of the document - 1 <ul><li>An Akoma Ntoso document is either an act or a bill (legislative documents), or a report or a debateRecord (debate documents) or a judgment, or a generic document. </li></ul><ul><li>All Akoma Ntoso documents start with a metadata section, followed by an initial part (e.g., a preface, cover page, preamble, etc.) followed by the body of the document, and then a conclusion and possibly one or more attachments. </li></ul><?xml version=&quot;1.0&quot; encoding=&quot;utf-8&quot;?> <akomaNtoso> <act contains = &quot;originalVersion&quot; > <meta> … </meta> <preface> … </preface> <preamble> … </preamble> <body> …. </body> <conclusions> … </conclusions> </act> </akomaNtoso>
  7. 7. Managing the structure of the document - 2 <ul><li>Within the main body of the document, each document type has its own structure. </li></ul><ul><li>A hierarchy of parts for legislation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>E.g.: section, part, paragraph,chapter, title, book, tome, article, clause, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Any of a list named sections for debates </li></ul><ul><ul><li>E.g.: questions, answers, notices of motions, procedural motions, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A sequence of named sections for judgements </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Introduction, background, motivation, decision </li></ul></ul><preamble id = &quot;preamble&quot; > <p> An Act of Parliament to amend the Retirement Benefits Act, 1997 <eol /> ENACTED by the Parliament of Kenya, as follows: - </p> </preamble> <body> <section id = &quot;sec1&quot; > <num> 1. </num> <heading> Short title. </heading> <clause id = &quot;art1-cla1&quot; > <content> <p> This Act may be cited as the Retirement Benefits (Amendment) Act, 2003. </p> </content> </clause> </section>
  8. 8. Swimming in the pool: the semantics of content fragments
  9. 9. Managing the semantics of the text <ul><li>Text fragments describing and contextualizing the documents </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In all documents: docType, docTitle, docNumber, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In judgements, also: courtType, neutralCitation, party, judge, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>References </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Definitions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>References (individual, multiple, ranges) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quotations (individual, multiple, ranges) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Mention of relevant concepts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Times, dates, relevant entities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More later. </li></ul></ul><section id = &quot;art2&quot; > <num> 2. </num> <heading> Amendment of <ref href = &quot;/ke/act/1997-08-22/3/eng/main#art2&quot; > section 2 of No 3 of 1997 </ref></heading> <clause id = &quot;art2-cla1&quot; > <content> <p> The Retirement Benefits Act, 1997, is amended - </p> <list id = &quot;art2-cla1-lst1&quot; > <item id = &quot;art2-cla1-itma&quot; ><num> (a) </num> <p> by deleting the definition of &quot;financial year&quot; and <mod id = &quot;mod6&quot; ><ref id = &quot;ref2&quot; href = &quot;/ke/act/1997-08-22/3/eng/main&quot; > substituting </ref> therefore the following new definition - &quot; <quotedText id = &quot;mod6-qtd1&quot; > financial year&quot; - <eol /> (a) in relation to the Authority, has the meaning assigned to it in section 19' <eol /> (b) in relation to a scheme, means such accounting period as may be prescribed in the scheme rules; </quotedText> </mod></p>
  10. 10. Swimming: organizing the content in XML <ul><li>So far, we have organized in XML a legal document identifying its parts and providing a semantic description of the main structure and the most relevant inline fragments, including references and quotations. </li></ul><ul><li>This is enough to provide for </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Display on screen </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Print on paper </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hypertextual links </li></ul></ul><ul><li>It can be taken care of by a lower secretary in a back office with limited knowledge of legal documents, no knowledge of XML and a modified text editor (e.g. Bungeni). </li></ul>
  11. 11. Swimming: organizing the content in XML <ul><li>So far, we have organized in XML a legal document identifying its parts and providing a semantic description of the main structure and the most relevant inline fragments, including references and quotations. </li></ul><ul><li>The basic structures of Akoma Ntoso provide support for </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Different law systems (civil law, common law) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Different legal traditions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Descriptive contexts (in which the markup can only observe whatever structure was used in the document - legacy documents) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prescriptive contexts (in which the markup can be used to force desired structures and require the presence or abcence of some elements). </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The only requirements are: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Blind obedience, i.e., strict adherence to the wording of the document (a tome is a tome if it is called a tome) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No lie, i.e., no confusion between content and interpretation (e.g., missing document information that should be found in the preface but aren't, are added in the metadata section, and not in the preface). </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Swimming: organizing the content in XML <ul><li>The main structural and semantic elements for the content of legislative and legal documents in Akoma Ntoso are enough to provide for </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Display on screen </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Print on paper </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hypertextual links </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The identification of the right constructs for the organization of the document can be taken care of by a lower secretary in a back office with limited knowledge of legal documents, no knowledge of XML and a modified text editor (e.g. Bungeni). </li></ul><ul><li>This is appropriate with the settings of many legal drafting offices around the world. </li></ul>
  13. 13. First dives: basic metadata
  14. 14. Basic metadata <ul><li>The structure of metadata in Akoma Ntoso is complex but can be studied piecemeal. </li></ul><ul><li>Publication, keywords and notes are easy to deal with. </li></ul><ul><li>They require some higher grasp of legal aspects, and probably cannot be drafted by a lower secretary. </li></ul><ul><li>They help in contextualizing the document and searching for it according to themes and theasuri. </li></ul><publication date = &quot;2003-09-04&quot; name = &quot;Government Gazette 25437&quot; showAs = &quot;Government Gazette # 25437&quot; />
  15. 15. Scuba diving: FRBR
  16. 16. FRBR: the problems <ul><li>We would like a language that allows references: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To be either static or dynamic, according to need and legal nature of the text and of the reference itself </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>And thus when crossing a hypertext links brings the reader to the right version of the right document </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To be independent of the technological choices of the repository of the documents </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>And thus allows documents containing references to be moved to different machines, different server organizations, different server technologies, etc. guaranteeing the survival of the document collection in time. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Idea: the problem is NOT in the reference, but in the concept of documents itself. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR), a conceptual model for bibliographic items by the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA), provides an answer </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. The FRBR model <ul><li>Every document has four different aspects: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The Work represents the abstract concept of a document, across all its versions, languages, representations. The South African Act #12 of 2005 is a Work. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Each Work is realized in one or many Expressions , which are concrete selection of textual content. Each expression defines a specific version of the content, in time and language. The English version as of the 1/12/2009 of the South African Act #12 of 2005 is an Expression. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Each Expression is embodied in one or more Manifestations , actual representations of an Expression. Each manifestation chooses a computer format with its set of metadata for the expression. The Akoma Ntoso 1.0 version, with metadata by John Smith, of the English version as of the 1/12/2009 of the South African Act #12 of 2005 is a Manifestation. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Each manifestation is exemplified in one or more Items , physical copies of a Manifestation. Each item is a specific file stored on a computer. The copy on my computer of the Akoma Ntoso 1.0 version, with metadata created by John Smith, of the English version as of the 1/12/2009 of the South African Act #12 of 2005 is an Item. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>W E E M M I I W E E M M I I
  18. 18. Using FRBR <ul><li>Each level of FRBR has its own address (URI). </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Higher levels refer to abstract concepts, and are used in document. The item level is a physical URL and is never used in document, but only in resolving an abstract reference. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Thus changes in the physical organization and technology of the document repository does not require changes to the documents </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Dynamic references are references to works, static references are references to expressions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>When the document changes, a new expression exists, and the resolver will identify the expression that is most appropriate to a work reference </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Even when the document change, a static reference needs to be able to point to the old version of the document. Expressions never change, but are only added. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Addresses (URI) of FRBR levels are similar </li></ul><ul><ul><li>URI of lower levels of the FRBR chain are a composition of the higher level addresses + metadata specific of the level. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It is easy, given an address of a Manifestation, to identify its Expression, and viceversa. </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Things we get for free from FRBR <ul><li>Automatic support for multilinguism </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If legislation exists in multiple language, links allow you to traverse references always in the same language without being asked. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Multiple repositories of the same documents </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Some authoritative, some not. Some complete, some selected. Some commented, some not. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Non-authoritative consolidation of texts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Especially useful in those countries (e.g., Italy) where only a selected few acts are authoritatively consolidated. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Point-in-time versions and change tracking are immediate derived functionalities of consolidated texts. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Multiple metadata and comments of the same documents </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Different scholars and editors could add different sets of metadata elements and provide different views of the document </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Different selections of content </li></ul><ul><ul><li>E.g., private publishers could be interested in printing only a relevant fragment fo the act, omitting the rest (element <omissis/> ) </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Deeper and deeper: TLC
  21. 21. Top Level Classes (TLC) <ul><li>Top Level Classes is the Akoma Ntoso mechanism to provide unambiguous references to concepts, roles, organizations, individuals. </li></ul><ul><li>A formal conceptualization (technically, an ontology) has been realized for the concepts that are relevant to legislative and legal documents. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It is composed of 10 independent classes (top level) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Classes can be subclassed at will (e.g. Kenyan MP are the subclass of TLCPerson whose nationality is Kenyan and whose role is MP). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Each individual is associated to a unique URI across time and documents (e.g., the same MP appearing in different parliamentary hansards may be shown with a different spelling for the name, but will have the same URI) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Each reference in the document to a precise concept, individual, organization, role, is marked up with an <entity> eleemnt referring to a TLC instance in the <references> section. </li></ul></ul><references source = &quot;FV&quot; > <TLCRole href = &quot;/ontology/role/political/MES&quot; id = &quot;MES&quot; showAs = &quot;Minister for Education and Sports&quot; /> <TLCPerson href = &quot;/ontology/person/ken/MP/gha.John.Gidisu&quot; id = &quot;per07&quot; shortForm = &quot;Mr. J.K. Gidisu&quot; showAs = &quot;Mr. Joe Kwashie Gidisu&quot; /> <TLCPerson href = &quot;/ontology/person/ken/MP/gha.John.OsafoMaafo&quot; id = &quot;per08&quot; shortForm = &quot;Mr. Osafo-Maafo&quot; showAs = &quot;Mr. Yaw Osafo-Maafo&quot; /> </references> … <debate> <question by = &quot;per07&quot; to = &quot;MES&quot; > <from> Mr. J.K. Gidisu </from> <p> asked the Minister for Education and Sports the organic relations between … </p> </question> <answer by = &quot;per08&quot; as = &quot;MES&quot; > <from> Mr. Osafo-Maafo </from> <p> Mr. Speaker, … </p </answer>
  22. 22. Advantages of Top Level Classes <ul><li>We can now identify concretely persons, organizations, roles, concpets, places, across documents, spellings, languages. </li></ul><ul><li>Meaningful searches across documents (e.g., all speeches given by the Minister of Finance in 2009, or all acts mentioning company X) can be looked up with one simple query. </li></ul><ul><li>The actual position of the reference is also easily found (a problem if there are differences of spellings and a long text). </li></ul><ul><li>We have a solid foundation for more sophisticated inferences by exploiting the ontological framework underneath </li></ul><ul><ul><li>E.g., give me all documents in 2009 that contain a benefit ( a TLCconcept ) for company X ( a TLCOrganization ), or any company owned by company X or recursively owned by a company that is owned by company X. </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. In the deep sea: consolidation, workflow and lifecycle
  24. 24. Consolidation, workflow and lifecycle <ul><li>First assumption: each document is the output of a specific step of a workflow and may change over time. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>each intermediate output is an FRBR expression of the same FRBR work. We just need to associate each expression to a specific step in a workflow. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>E.g.: bill draft as proposed by MPs, as approved after first reading, as approved after second reading, as ready to be promulgated as act. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Second assumption: each document undergoes modifications due to events characterizing its lifecycle. Each event is the product of a specific document containing relevant information for the lifecycle, including modifications in validity, efficacy, and content. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Each event that changes content creates a new FRBR Expression with the modified content. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If the new content is not authoritatively produced, then it is possible to automatically consolidate the content by applying all relevant modifications. </li></ul></ul><lifecycle source = &quot;#cirfid&quot; > <event id = &quot;e1&quot; date = &quot;1997-08-22&quot; source = &quot;#ro1&quot; type = &quot;generation&quot; /> <event id = &quot;e2&quot; date = &quot;2003-12-19&quot; source = &quot;#am1&quot; type = &quot;amendment&quot; /> </lifecycle> <references source = &quot;#cirfid&quot; > <original id = &quot;ra1&quot; href = &quot;/ke/act/1997-08-22/3/eng/main&quot; showAs = &quot;Retirement Benefits Act&quot; /> <passiveRef id = &quot;am1&quot; href = &quot;/ke/act/2003-12-10/8/eng/main&quot; showAs = &quot;Amending Act&quot; /> </references>
  25. 25. Classification in judgments
  26. 26. Co nclusions: Benefits and fishes
  27. 27. Benefits of the adoption of Akoma Ntoso <ul><li>An Akoma Ntoso repository can mark up the text to the level it feels appropriate. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It is not necessary to understand, even less adopt, the more complex parts of the language. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Basic document structure, references to other documents and basic metadata are enough for most repositories, both authoritative and not. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>But if the need arises, the tools are there. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>it is not necessary to adopt a different standard and convert every document,but one can simply add the new information. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Even, added metadata can be provided in a separate document. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Scholars, special interest groups, political or economical organization can provide any missing information and metadata on top of the authoritatively produced Akoma Ntoso documents for their readers and constituency. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Since the underlying format is the same, the presence of new information is straightforward, smooth, transparent to the user. </li></ul></ul>
  28. 28. BungeniEditor- open source Open Office markup editor
  29. 29. References <ul><li>www.akomantoso.org </li></ul><ul><li>www.parliaments.info , info at [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>BungeniEditor on googlecode forum </li></ul><ul><li>thank you for your attention </li></ul><ul><li>Fabio Vitali – [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Monica Palmirani – [email_address] </li></ul>

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