An OWL ontology library representing judicial interpretations

Tracking #: 617-1825

Aldo Gangemi

Responsible editor: 
Guest editors Semantic Web 4 Legal Domain

Submission type: 
Full Paper
The article introduces a formal model of legal knowledge that relies on the metadata contained in judicial documents, and JudO, a judicial ontology library that represents the interpretations performed by a judge when conducting legal reasoning towards the adjudication of a case. For the purposes of this application, judicial interpretation is intended in the restricted sense of the acts of judicial subsumption performed by a judge when considering a material instance (a token in Searle’s terminology), and assigning it to an abstract category (type). JudO is centred on a core ontology featuring some judicial ontology patterns, which take advantage of constructs introduced by OWL2, in order to provide appropriate legal semantics, while retaining a strong connection to source documents (i.e. fragments of legal texts). The final goal of the framework is to detect and model of jurisprudence-related information directly from the text, and to perform shallow reasoning on the resulting knowledge base. JudO also constitutes the basis for the application of argumentation patterns through reasoning on a set of rules, which represent the grounding of judicial interpretations in deontic and defeasible logics.
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Minor Revision

Solicited Reviews:
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Review #1
Anonymous submitted on 26/Jan/2014
Review Comment:

The authors have revised the paper according to the original comments. I'm satisfied with the result.

Review #2
By Andrew Koster submitted on 20/Feb/2014
Minor Revision
Review Comment:

The authors have made significant improvements to the paper, incorporating more related work and making both the novelty of their approach and the reasons for their choices clearer. While I am not qualified to judge whether the way the legal domain is modeled is correct, I am confident that the authors' approach to the problem is a sensible, and suitably novel, one.

There are a number of minor orthographical, style and layout issues that should be revised:

- The caption of Figure 23 refers to Fig. 11. This should be Fig. 10.
- While the description and design of the figures has been significantly clarified, the use of different border thicknesses and colours in figures 10 and 23 still seems without purpose. For instance, in Fig. 23 "It. Parliament" has a black border, whereas the other agents have gray borders. The gradient background in the boxes doesn't seem to have a meaning, and boxes that seem related are given different colours (for instance: \alpha/\beta contract in the Medium box, and the \alpha/\beta contract in the Qualified box are opposite colours).

- There are very many underfilled lines. Mostly due to the high number of verbatim printed words. I am not sure this can be resolved with the narrow column format, but perhaps some rearranging of phrases could alleviate the worst of them, because it breaks up the flow when reading.

- There are some minor spelling and grammar errors, scattered throughout the text. They do not hinder the understanding, but a proof-reading to fix them is advised.

Review #3
By Thomas Bruce submitted on 28/Mar/2014
Review Comment:

Reservations in earlier reviews have been addressed.