Empirically Grounded Developments of Legal Ontologies: A Socio-Legal Perspective

  • Pompeu CasanovasEmail author
  • Núria Casellas
  • Joan-Josep Vallbé
Part of the Law, Governance and Technology Series book series (LGTS, volume 1)


This paper shows the multiple relationships between empirical data and semantic content in the legal field. One of the well-known problems of ontology construction is the “knowledge acquisition bottleneck problem” pointed out many years ago by Edward Feigenbaum and others. This problem has not been completely solved in the next generation of Semantic Web developments. It is our contention that both an accurate description of the legal environment and well-grounded previous sociological studies may help to address it in a more satisfactory way. This means adopting a user-centered approach to legal ontologies, in what we will call an “iterative and integrated pragmatic cycle” involving legal theorists, socio-legal researchers, professional people (lawyers, magistrates, prosecutors…) and computer scientists. We describe the example of how the ontology of iuriservice was built up.


Knowledge Acquisition Legal Theory Legal Culture Legal Expert Legal Knowledge 
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.



The research presented in this paper has been developed within the framework of the following projects: SEC2001-2581-C02-01; FIT-150500-2002-562; FIT-150500-2003-198; EU-IST 2003-506826 SEKT; SEJ2006-10695; FIT-350101-2006-26.; FIT-350100-2007-161; TSI-020501-2008, 2008–2010; CSO-2008-05536-SOCI.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pompeu Casanovas
    • 1
    Email author
  • Núria Casellas
    • 1
  • Joan-Josep Vallbé
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Political Science and Public LawUAB Institute of Law and Technology, Faculty of LawBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Department of Political Science and Public LawInstitute of Law and Technology, Faculty of LawBarcelonaSpain

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