Institute of Legal Infomation Theory and Techniques

Italian National Research Council

Institute of Law and Technology

Universitàt Autonoma de Barcelona

Leibniz Center for Law

University of Amsterdam

Institute of Computational Linguistic

Italian National Research Council


3rd Workshop on Legal Ontologies and Artificial Intelligence Techniques
joint with
2nd Workshop on Semantic Processing of Legal Texts
June 8th, 2009, Barcelona, Spain

held in conjunction with ICAIL-09

Paper submission: April 3rd, 2009 (extended deadline: April 10th, 2009)

Over the last years the management of legal information has been significantly influenced by approaches from Artificial Intelligence (AI). In particular, legal reasoning, advanced semantic and cross-language legal information retrieval, legal drafting and document classification, have proved to be fertile areas where ontologies are successfully applied.

The ways in which ontologies are developed and used, can be characterised as either bottom-up or top-down. The two methodologies are usually targeted towards different aspects of legal information. For instance, machine learning techniques are used for legal document classification, legal information retrieval, legal knowledge discovery and extraction; similarly Natural Language Processing technology has been successfully implemented to extract knowledge from legal texts. As the use of these techniques becomes more widespread, it also becomes clearer how to enhance their performance. One way of doing this is to employ structured (domain) knowledge to reduce complexity and support correct reasoning. Legal ontologies play a crucial role in providing such knowledge at various levels of specificity and formality.
On the other hand, legal knowledge representation addresses key issues related to the support of legal reasoning. Here, ontologies play the role of a shared vocabulary or of a (formal) conceptualisation of legal notions. These ontologies often stand in the tradition of legal theory and philosophy, but may be grounded in common sense as well.

The LOAIT workshop aims to offer an overview of theories and well-founded applications that combine Legal Ontologies and AI techniques. The workshop will constitute a valuable opportunity for researchers and practitioners in AI, AI&Law, Legal Ontologies and related fields to discuss problems, exchange information and compare perspectives.
The first and second editions of the LOAIT Workshop, held in conjunction with ICAIL’05 and ICAIL’07, provided a valuable opportunity for researchers and practitioners in Artificial Intelligence and Law to discuss problems, exchange information and compare perspectives on Legal Ontologies and their automatic use.

A selection of papers of LOAIT '07 were published in the volume J. Breuker, P. Casanovas, M. Klein, E. Francesconi (eds.) Law, Ontologies and Semantic Web (IOS Press, 2009), collecting state-of-the-art contributions on legal ontologies. These results point at an increasing interest of the larger AI&Law community in the study and the use of Legal Ontologies as well as in Natural Language Technologies for legal information extraction.
Recently ontology learning approaches for the legal domain were discussed in the LREC 2008 Workshop on "Semantic Processing of Legal Texts", and selected contributions will be published in a Springer volume (Francesconi E., Montemagni S., Peters W., Tiscornia D. (eds.)). These results pointed, and still do, at an increasing interest of the larger AI&Law community in the study and the use of Legal Ontologies.

In this third edition of LOAIT, we would like to focus our attention on two main research area: Legal Knowledge Representation as a top-down approach, and Ontology Learning from Legal Texts as a bottom-up approach on legal ontologies. Authors are invited to submit papers describing original completed work, work in progress, interesting problems, use cases or research trends related to one or more of the topics of interest listed below. Submitted papers will be refereed by two experts based on originality, significance and technical soundness.

Topics of Interest include but are not limited to:

  • Knowledge discovery and organization by AI approaches
  • Design Patterns in Legal Ontologies
  • Ontologies, Legal Standards and machine learning
  • Ontologies and machine learning for classification tasks
  • Text Categorization and Ontology
  • AI techniques on legal standards
  • Ontologies and Semantic Web
  • Legal Ontologies for Semantic Web Services
  • Ontology learning from legal texts, including sub-areas such as ontology customization, ontology merging, ontology extension, ontology evolution, etc.
  • Ontology Matching
  • Lexicons for Legal Applications (Information Retrieval, Legal Drafting)
  • Natural Language Processing and Legal Ontologies
  • Natural Language Processing and Legal Information Retrieval and Extraction
  • Information Extraction from legal texts
  • Engineering of regulatory ontologies: conceptual analysis, representation, modularization and layering, reusability, evolution and dynamics, etc.
  • Multilingual and terminological aspects of regulatory ontologies
  • Ontological views on models of legal reasoning: regulatory compliance, case-based reasoning, reasoning with uncertainty, etc.
  • Experiences with projects and applications involving regulatory ontologies in legal knowledge based systems, legal information retrieval, e-governments, e-commerce
  • Modeling legal norms, concepts, rules, cases, principals, values and procedures, methods for managing organizational change when introducing legal knowledge systems
  • Regulatory ontologies of property rights, persons and organizations, legal procedures, contracts, legal causality, etc.

Invited Speakers

  • Prof. Joost Breuker, Leibniz Center for Law, Univ. of Amsterdam

    Dreams and awakenings about legal ontologies

  • Dr. Hugo Zaragoza, Yahoo! Research, Barcelona

    Exploiting linguistic annotations in Search

    Automatic linguistic annotations of text can be used today in a number of ways: to create richer interfaces to the information locked in document collections, to help the user express its information need, and to improve the relevance of the results obtained by the search engine. I will give an overview of our work in these three areas, and will highlight the main challenges we encounter and how we are trying to address them. I will also show several demos exploiting linguistic annotations for search on Wikipedia (Correlator,, Yahoo! Answers and financial news.

Author Guidelines

Important Dates

  • April 3rd, 2009: Paper submission (extended deadline: April 10th, 2009)
  • April 27th, 2009: Notification of acceptance
  • May 4th, 2009: Camera-ready paper
  • June 8th, 2009: Workshop

Program Chairs

Nuria Casellas (Institute of Law and Technology, University Autonoma of Barcelona)
Enrico Francesconi (Institute of Legal Information Theory and Techniques (ITTIG-CNR) Florence, Italy)
Rinke Hoekstra (Leibniz Center for Law, University of Amsterdam)
Simonetta Montemagni (Institute of Computational Linguistics (ILC-CNR), PISA, Italy)

Program Committee

Trevor J.M. Bench-Capon, University of Liverpool, UK
V. Richard Benjamins, Telefónica R&D, Spain
Guido Boella, University of Turin, Italy
Alexander Boer, Leibniz Center for Law, University of Amsterdam, The Netherland
Joost Breuker, Leibniz Center for Law, University of Amsterdam, The Netherland
Thomas Bruce, Cornell Law School, US
Paul Buitelaar, DERI research institute in Galway, Ireland
Pompeu Casanovas, Institute of Law and Technology, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain
Aldo Gangemi, Institute of Cognitive Sciences and Technologies (ISTC-CNR), Italy
Roberto García, Universitat de Lleida, Spain
Mustafa Jarrar, University of Cyprus, Cyprus
Michael Klein, VU University Amsterdam, The Netherland
Alessandro Lenci, Department of Linguistics, University of Pisa, Italy
Wim Peters, Natural Language Processing Research Group, University of Sheffield, UK
Giovanni Sartor, European University Institute, Florence, Italy
Marco Schorlemmer, IIIA-CSIC, Spain
Erich Schweighofer, University of Vienna, Austria
Barry Smith, University at Buffalo, US
York Sure, SAP Research, Germany
Daniela Tiscornia, Institute of Legal Information Theory and Techniques (ITTIG-CNR), Italy
Tom van Engers, Leibniz Center for Law, University of Amsterdam, The Netherland
Réka Vas, Department of Information Systems, University Corvinus of Budapest, Hungary
Radboud Winkels, Leibniz Center for Law, University of Amsterdam, The Netherland