Dr. Meritxell Fernández-Barrera of Cersa (Centre d’Études et de Recherches de Sciences Administratives et Politiques)- CNRS has successfully defended her Ph.D. thesis, entitled User-generated knowledge through legal ontologies: how to bring the law into the Semantic Web 2.0, at the European University Institute Department of Law, under the supervision of Professor Dr. Giovanni Sartor of Università di Bologna CIRSFID.
Here is the abstract:
This thesis presents a study of the epistemological and cognitive assumptions which currently underlie knowledge acquisition for legal ontology engineering. The hypothesis is that such assumptions might have a qualitative effect on the final ontological-terminological resources and therefore on the performance of the systems which use them.The first part of the thesis presents the state of the art in legal ontology engineering (the computational concept of ontology, a review of available legal ontologies and modelling methodologies). The second part of the thesis shows that currently knowledge acquisition in legal ontology learning is limited to very concrete legal genres, namely, legislation, case law and legal doctrine. The third part presents a case study in which two different legal genres are used for building a consumer law ontology: a traditional legal genre, Italian consumer regulation, and a Web 2.0 genre, namely an online corpus of citizens‟ queries regarding consumer justice. Results proof the impact of legal genre variation on the construction of the domain ontology. Thus main findings suggest that Web 2.0 corpora are a rich source for the construction of ontological resources, and at the same time these new types of ontological resources might be useful in e-government applications aimed at increasing online communication with citizens.
Some parts of the thesis are summarized in Dr. Fernández-Barrera’s recent VoxPopuLII post, entitled Legal Prosumers: How Can Government Leverage User-Generated Content?
For the full text of the thesis, please contact Dr. Fernández-Barrera.