Special Issue on the Semantic Web for the Legal Domain Guest Editors’ Editorial: The Next Step

Tracking #: 1344-2556

Pompeu Casanovas
Monica Palmirani
Silvio Peroni
Tom van Engers
Fabio Vitali

Responsible editor: 
Pascal Hitzler

Submission type: 
Ontology-driven systems with reasoning capabilities in the legal field are now better understood. Legal concepts are not discrete, but make up a dynamic continuum between common sense terms, specific technical use, and professional knowledge, in an evolving institutional reality. Thus, the tension between a plural understanding of regulations and a more general understanding of law is bringing into view a new landscape in which general legal frameworks—grounded in well-known legal theories stemming from 20th-century c. legal positivism or sociological jurisprudence—are made compatible with specific forms of rights management on the Web. In this sense, Semantic Web tools are not only being designed for information retrieval, classification, clustering, and knowledge management. They can also be understood as regulatory tools, i.e. as components of the contemporary legal architecture, to be used by multiple stakeholders —front-line practitioners, policymakers, legal drafters, companies, market agents, and citizens. That is the issue broadly addressed in this Special Issue on the Semantic Web for the Legal Domain, overviewing the work carried out over the last fifteen years, and seeking to foster new research in this field, beyond the state of the art.
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