Here are excerpts from the document:
Several OASIS members with expertise in the legal field are discussing starting a Technical Committee to develop a free, open markup standard for citations to legal materials. How might such a standard benefit the legal community?
One of the fundamental principles of legal writing is that every statement of law or fact must carry a citation to its source. Citations document the history of precedent that ensures the continuity and consistent application of the law. Legal documents always include citations within the body of the text and, in fact, would be unacceptable without them.
The standards that exist today for constructing citations vary depending on jurisdiction and language and describe how they should appear in print. There is no generally accepted data structure or metadata definition for capturing the essential facts about the citation in a way that supports automated processing. […]
Just as web browsers and related types of software have become core parts of our interactive computer environment thanks to the foundation of HTML, a legal citation markup standard can enable a new generation of tools and capabilities benefiting all players and allowing commercial entities to deliver new generations of products and services limited only by their imagination and ability to innovate.
A legal citations Technical Committee at OASIS would develop such an open standard for machine-readable tagging of legal citations. Specifically, the standard would provide a tagging model that:
- Enables cites to be richly tagged while leaving the visible text of the citation undisturbed;
- Works for the broad variety of legal content including court cases, legislation, and regulations;
- Supports any style of citations such as those used in different states within the US, those used in different countries, those documented in the Bluebook and the Universal Citation model (www.universalcitation.org);
- Allows other legal metadata to be associated with citations for purposes beyond just linking.
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