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  1. On ontology and epistemology in law Joost Breuker Dept. of Computational Legal Theory (LRI) University of Amsterdam breuker@lri.jur.uva.nl Joost Breuker OntoWeb-2002, Sardinia

  2. Overview • Views & ontologies of law • legal theory • law as a social system • the world of legal documents • Epistemological promiscuity in proposed legal ontologies • Towards integration of legal ontologies • e-Court & E-POWER • LeXML • --> the legal world is ontologically distributed over the common sense world Joost Breuker OntoWeb-2002, Sardinia

  3. Views on the legal world (1) Legal theory / legal philosophy • justifying the law (ethics; power & authority; `discovering’ law, the bootstrapping of legality, etc) • some universal legal concepts (Hohfeld, Kelsen,…) • legal theory is concerned with epistemological issues rather than ontological ones • the legal decisions and the laws are meta-qualifications about some case/world. • these qualifications do not influence the world as such…but they may have drastic real world consequences (law enforcement) • legal theory is a reflection on practical legal problem solving (decision making, argument, legal case assessment, legal drafting) Joost Breuker OntoWeb-2002, Sardinia

  4. Language of Legal Relations (LLR)Hohfeld, 1913 ---> Layman Allen (74-97) • schemas of basic legal concepts as `legal positions’ e.g. normative : right duty no-right privilege competence: power liability disability immunity • legal norms as cascading typed propositions • bootstrapping from basic: duty -typed • all (43) relations are `derived’ by varying duty and introducing power and conditionals • justifying the law as evolving complexity on norms Joost Breuker OntoWeb-2002, Sardinia

  5. epistemological and ontological views in problem solving (Breuker, 95) • functions in problem solving methods: 1. generating solutions (`explanations’) 2. testing solutions (arguing why solutions are (in)valid/correct) 3. arriving at a conclusion  components of solutions: complete solution case model argument structure conclusion `justification’ `explanation’ Joost Breuker OntoWeb-2002, Sardinia

  6. Views on the legal world (2) Law as a social control system • controlling (socially) undesirable behaviour • norms: qualifying generic situations as (un)desirable • persons & organizations as legal subjects • autonomously acting social world --> legal cases: (stories) • legal decision making (courts) • assessing/compensating norm violations • resolving conflict • procedural justification: • reference to documentation (legal sources; `court-filing’ (case); …) • dispute, collecting evidence • procedural law • law enforcement: • monopoly of physical coercion (power) (police, prison, etc.) • legal system itself • social organization and roles (judges, prosecutors, police, etc.) Joost Breuker OntoWeb-2002, Sardinia

  7. FOLaw (functional ontology) normative reasoning (Valente, Breuker & Brouwer, 99) CASE Joost Breuker OntoWeb-2002, Sardinia

  8. FOLaw (functional ontology) causal reasoning (Valente, Breuker & Brouwer, 99) Who did what? Who is to be blamed? What has happened? CASE Joost Breuker OntoWeb-2002, Sardinia

  9. proven to be very useful • inference structure for legal reasoning • applied and works very well for: • legal knowledge systems (legal case assessment): ON-LINE `legal assessment shell’. • analyzing regulations (eg for educational systems) • legal information retrieval • CLIME project: 15.000 rules (norms) about ship `classification’ include international sea law (Winkels et al, 2002) • developing representation & inference on • norms (deontic operators): see Valente et al, 99 (no deontic logic!) • …responsibility….(Lehmann, forthcoming) Joost Breuker OntoWeb-2002, Sardinia

  10. but… • mainly epistemology…(except for the world knowledge!) • other examples of legal core `epistemologies’: • Visser & van Kralingen (1995): • frames for norms, actions, concepts, etc. • metadata for DB fields • Mommers (`applied legal epistemology’ 2002): • disentangling epistemology from ontology? NB: for SW etc epistemological frameworks may be as useful as ontologies! they shouldn’t be mixed nb 2: tasks, problem solving methods, arguments etc are NOT parts of ontologies but epistemic frames! Joost Breuker OntoWeb-2002, Sardinia

  11. Mixing O & E in a core for law(Mommers, 2002) ontological status layers epistemic roles knowledge based model of the legal domain ontology of law 1 ontology of law 2 ontology of law 3 Joost Breuker OntoWeb-2002, Sardinia

  12. Mixing O & E in a core for law(Mommers, 2002) ontological status layers epistemic roles knowledge based model of the legal domain ontology of law 1 ontology of law 2 ontology of law 3 Joost Breuker OntoWeb-2002, Sardinia

  13. Mixing O & E in a core for law(Mommers, 2002) ontological status layers epistemic roles knowledge based model of the legal domain ontology of law 1 ontology of law 2 ontology of law 3 Joost Breuker OntoWeb-2002, Sardinia

  14. legal concepts as subtypes of `regular’ concepts…(1) Joost Breuker OntoWeb-2002, Sardinia

  15. legal concepts as subtypes of `regular’ concepts…(2) Joost Breuker OntoWeb-2002, Sardinia

  16. intermediary summary • the main business of law is justification of decisions/power • epistemological frameworks rather than ontologies • perfect for reasoning architectures (FOLaw), but • not one has been expressed in a KR/DL formalism! • from exclusively normative to some subtyping of `regular’ (top) ontologies (see also Gangemi et al. 2001) Joost Breuker OntoWeb-2002, Sardinia

  17. Views on the legal world (3)Legal information serving • access to legal documents/information is a major requirement in e-government & e-business on the SW • document standards for the WWW/SW: XML-Schemas & tagging/annotation • LegalXML: USA (part of OASIS) • LeXML: Europe (…informal…) • LeXML views on documents: • form/structure: • formal requirements (eg. standard phrases in Dutch legislation) • sectioning • role/function/legal-status • content/topics…. Joost Breuker OntoWeb-2002, Sardinia

  18. lexml.nl: legal ontologies as part of the `dictionary’ (Boer et al, 2002) Joost Breuker OntoWeb-2002, Sardinia

  19. use of ontologies in (legal) information serving • Tagging/annotation • manual: ontology as consistent standard vocabulary • semi-automatic: • instantiation/identification (“the judge” --> <judge-1>) • interpretation: ?? NLP --> instantiating RDF-triples etc ==> abstracts (SW) • Information retrieval • expanding query (CLIME; Winkels et al, 2002) • clustering return set of documents by using additional information (eg multiple classification, ranges ) Joost Breuker OntoWeb-2002, Sardinia

  20. what kind of ontologies?(example: e-Court) e-COURT IST-2000-28199 • documents: criminal trial hearings (transcriptions) • document-(meta-) data (identifiers etc.)--> LeXML • sectioning (-> tagging): • formal trial phases ---> formal criminal law • nature of text/discourse: ---> dialogue • type of dialogue (interrogation; dispute) • …argument-types/structure? • turn-taking (agents/roles) • topics (content) • common sense events/things….---> Wordnet? • criminal law (substantial, formal) Joost Breuker OntoWeb-2002, Sardinia

  21. Ontology of Dutch criminal law: agents Joost Breuker OntoWeb-2002, Sardinia

  22. Ontology of Dutch criminal law: roles Joost Breuker OntoWeb-2002, Sardinia

  23. Ontology of Dutch criminal law: criminal actions Joost Breuker OntoWeb-2002, Sardinia

  24. what kind of ontologies?(example 2: E-POWER)* ist 28125 • goal: information management for drafting tax legislation • documents: tax legislation • document-(meta-) data (identifiers etc.)--> LeXML • sectioning (-> tagging): • sectioning: chapter/article/`full-phrase’ .)--> LeXML • nature of text/discourse: ---> individual statements, many references • topics (content) • tax law (substantial, formal) *) European Programme for an Ontology based Work Environment for Regulations and legislation Joost Breuker OntoWeb-2002, Sardinia

  25. parts of ontology for tax law agent person natural_person juristic_person.... organization.... role... public_servant juridical tax_inspector financial_crime_police_officer... judicial judge... physical_object... document form tax_form... regulation tax_regulation physical_quantity amount money (M) income (M)... action..... declaring_income_tax procedure.... appealing_legal Joost Breuker OntoWeb-2002, Sardinia

  26. typical legal documents • regulations • statutes, codes, provisions, rules… • contracts • forms and requests (citizen -> administration) • exhibits and declarations (criminal law) • transcripts of hearings (court sessions) Joost Breuker OntoWeb-2002, Sardinia

  27. What’s in a regulation • Dutch traffic code (RVV-90) • art. 3 Vehicles should keep to the right • art. 6 Two bicycles may ride next to each other • art. 33 A trailer should have lights at the back • incoherent & inconsistent • regulations are not typical text: • they are `comments’ (legal qualifications) • on some generic situations that may exist • in some implicit (legal) world Joost Breuker OntoWeb-2002, Sardinia

  28. ontology of the (legal) world of traffic traffic-term agent action vehicle position part of road pedestrian driver move indicate motorized relative change direction lane traffic consists of actions of drivers with vehicles that change positions on the road Joost Breuker OntoWeb-2002, Sardinia

  29. legal ontology: layers? • legal domain specific • a (legal) world (traffic, income, crime, …) • but overlap between domains eg roles, documents, etc • law specific: • document: regulation • qualification: right --> forbidden --> violation liability • common-sense: • event, intention, object, etc. • we better start from a `regular’ upper ontology for • consistency • integration • knowledge acquisition support… Joost Breuker OntoWeb-2002, Sardinia

  30. e-COURT Upper (ECU) vs SUMO…. Joost Breuker OntoWeb-2002, Sardinia

  31. major distinctions • mental world ( analogous to physical world) • ambiguous objects (eg agent): multiple classification (no `mind-body’ problem…) • representation-relation of mental objects to physical objects (eg concept --> symbol) • mental_processes & mental_objects as ontological reification of epistemic processes (eg reason, argument,…) • occurrence: events & states as INSTANCES_OF (mental, physical) processes and actions • time/space: define positions of events/states • physical world: processes as changes of matter/energy (..both.. i.e. multiple view but distribution..) • not yet: life ( organic_matter!) Joost Breuker OntoWeb-2002, Sardinia

  32. conclusions • law is a typical `epistemic business’; not an ontologically founded one • legal domains have ramifications all over the common sense world • an upper ontology is very welcome: • NOT TO IMPOSE STANDARDS! • standards are to be expected & required for typical legal document description (LeXML,..) • to support distributed, local development of legal domain ontologies for: • public access to law • harmonization of (European) law Joost Breuker OntoWeb-2002, Sardinia

  33. Joost Breuker OntoWeb-2002, Sardinia