Professor Dr. Enrico Francesconi of Università degli Studi di Firenze Dipartimento di Sistemi e Informatica and ITTIG/CNR has published Structuring Legal Semantics in Legislation, Jusletter IT, 22, Feb. 2011. Here is the abstract:
The effective implementation of the Semantic Web concept faces obstacles due to the difficulties in adopting shared knowledge modelling. Promising steps forward seem to be achievable in more limited domains, as the legal one, characterized by a specialized and technical information, well defined semantic structure of legislative documents, as well as peculiar user needs in terms of legal information retrieval, reasoning and consultancy services. This paper discusses legislative text semantics whose management is an essential pre-condition to implement the Semantic Web concept in the legal domain. In particular a model able to analytically describe the semantics of legislative texts, as well as tools able to facilitate its implementation are presented; moreover, possible advanced services, which can be offered to public administrations, legal experts and citizens, on the basis of this model are discussed.