Supporting Access to Online Legal Information: Semantic Strategies

  • M. A. Biasiotti
  • G. Peruginelli


To have access to legal information is a fundamental requirement for a variety of communities: ordinary citizens, scholars and legal professionals. Users of legal information belong to different categories and have various requirements and competencies. They use legal information for various purposes, and differences exist in the way such information is disseminated. To ensure access, commercial publishing is insufficient. In particular in the context of legal information the Internet promises to effect a radical transformation in the existing system of legal material. Legal producers and providers have made a great progress in placing legal materials on the web; these efforts have almost been too successful, as the legal researcher must now deal with an enormous amount of information spread across different servers. This huge amount of available legal information does not correspond to an enlargement of the right to access such sources as contents are not easily searchable. Therefore some ICT tools able to facilitate the retrieval of legal documents are to be adopted. This paper presents some semantic strategies, tools as well as methodologies developed within some EU and national Projects for specific types of legal information.


National Court Legal Authority Legal Information Semantic Strategy Legal Material 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Poulin, Daniel. Open access to law in developing countries. First Monday, vol. 9, no. 12, December 2004.
  2. 2.
    Harris, Cheryl. An Internet education : a guide to doing research on the Internet. Belmont : Integrated Media Group, 1996Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Paliwala, A. et al. User Needs in Electronic Law Reporting: A Research Study of The Law Reports, The Journal of Information, Law and Technology (JILT), 1997 vol. 2
  4. 4.
    Gruber, T. R.. Toward principles for the design of ontologies used for knowledge sharing. In Guarino, N. and Poli, R., (ed.), Formal Ontology in Conceptual Analysis and Knowledge Representation, Deventer, The Netherlands. Kluwer, 1993Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Rinke Hoekstra, Joost Breuker, Marcello Di Bello, and Alexander Boer. The LKIF Core ontology of basic legal concepts. In Casanovas P., Biasiotti M. A., Francesconi E., Sagri M.A. (ed.), Proceedings of the Workshop on Legal Ontologies and Artificial Intelligence Techniques (LOAIT 2007), June 2007.
  6. 6.
    Biasiotti M.A., Faro S., Nannucci R. TransEuropean Access to National Caselaw: The Caselex Project. In Francesconi E. et al. (ed.) Jurix 2008 Conference ProceedingsGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    McKechnie, D. The Use of the Internet by Courts and the Judiciary: Findings from a Study Trip and Supplementary Research, The Journal of Information, Law and Technology (JILT), vol. 11 2003, 109–148CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Francesconi E., Peruginelli G. Access to Italian Legal Literature: Integration betweeen Structured Repositories and Web Documents. In: “DC 2003. Proceedings of the International DCMI Metadata Conference and Workshop”, Seattle, Washington, USA, pp. 99–107Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    OAI – The Open Archives Initative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting,

Copyright information

© Physica-Verlag Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Legal Information Theory and TechniquesCNRFirenzeItaly

Personalised recommendations