Press Release

OASIS Open Approves LegalRuleML Core V1.0 Standard for Legislation, Contract, and Case Law

Standard advanced by Red Hat and others represents the particularities of the legal normative rules with a rich, articulated, and meaningful markup language.

28 September 2021 — OASIS Open, the global open source and standards consortium, announced that its members have approved LegalRuleML Core V1.0 as an OASIS Standard, a status that signifies the highest level of ratification. The LegalRuleML Core is designed to capture the logical structure of legal rules and includes formal features specific to legal norms, guidelines, policies and reasoning.

Legal texts, e.g. legislation, regulations, contracts, and case law, are the source of norms, guidelines, and rules that govern societies. As text, it is difficult to label, exchange, and process content except by hand. In our current web-enabled world, where innovative e-government and e-commerce are increasingly the norm, providing machine-processable forms of legal content is crucial. The objective of LegalRuleML Core V1.0 is to define a standard (expressed with XML-schema and Relax NG and on the basis of Consumer RuleML 1.02) that is able to represent the particularities of the legal normative rules with a rich, articulated, and meaningful mark-up language.

LegalRuleML extends Rule Markup Language (RuleML) with a range of elements specifically designed for the legal domain. In particular, LegalRuleML offers specific operators appropriate to the requirements of legal theory e.g., override rules, temporal parameters for modeling the validity of rules, sub-order list of deontic expressions, jurisdiction metadata, official legal source URI, deontic modalities, and linking ontologies.

“Such a combination of features allows LegalRuleML to offer a conceptual modelling of legal notions and to achieve a close correspondence between textual provisions and the corresponding LegalRuleML encoding,” said OASIS LegalRuleML Technical Committee co-chair, Monica Palmirani. “This correspondence, called legal isomorphism, facilitates the maintenance of LegalRuleML rulesets, enables tracing and transparency of application of the code, and eases the understanding of the encodings.”

LegalRuleML enables the modeling of alternative representations of a textual provision in order to support multiple interpretations that can account for different times of applicability of the norms, the relevant jurisdictions, and other parameters. LegalRuleML has mechanisms to link external ontologies for specific domains, including IPR, privacy, geospatial, etc.

“LegalRuleML provides a common standard for modeling legal rules so as to model interoperable, annotated corpora of legal norms,” said Dr. Guido Governatori, OASIS LegalRuleML TC co-chair. “The LegalRuleML TC intends to develop use-cases to support the implementation of the standard in the market and the development of tools/editors to promote the representation of legal documents in LegalRuleML.”

Additional Information
OASIS LegalRuleML Technical Committee

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