Publishing and Using Legislation and Case Law as Linked Open Data on the Semantic Web

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The Semantic Web, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Volume 12124
Legislation and case law are widely published on the Web as documents for humans to read. In contrast, this paper argues for publishing legal documents as Linked Open Data (LOD) on top of which intelligent legal services for end users can be created in addition to just providing the documents for close reading. To test and demonstrate this idea, we present work on creating the Linked Open Data service Semantic Finlex for Finnish legislation and case law and the semantic portal prototype LawSampo for serving end users with legal data. Semantic Finlex is a harmonized knowledge graph that is created automatically from legal textual documents and published in a SPARQL endpoint on top of which the various applications of LawSampo are implemented. First applications include faceted semantic search and browsing for 1) statutes and 2) court decisions, as well as 3) a service for finding court decisions similar to a given one or free text. A novelty of LawSampo is the provision of ready-to-use tooling for exploring and analyzing legal documents, based on the “Sampo” model.
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Hyvönen , E , Tamper , M , Ikkala , E , Sarsa , S , Oksanen , A , Tuominen , J & Hietanen , A 2020 , Publishing and Using Legislation and Case Law as Linked Open Data on the Semantic Web . in A Harth , V Presutti , R Troncy , M Acosta , A Polleres , J D Fernández , J X Parreira , O Hartig , K Hose & M Cochez (eds) , The Semantic Web : ESWC 2020 Satellite Events - ESWC 2020, Revised Selected Papers . Lecture Notes in Computer Science , vol. 12124 , Springer , pp. 110-114 , Extended Semantic Web Conference , Heraklion , Greece , 31/05/2020 .