Invited Speakers for JURIX 2010 in Liverpool Dec. 16-17

The invited speakers at JURIX 2010 in Liverpool Dec. 16-17 are:

  • John Sheridan, Head of e-Services in the Information Policy and Services Directorate of The National Archives. John is one of the main people behind and
  • Wiebe van der Hoek, member of the Agent ART Group at the University of Liverpool. His research in agents concentrates on Logics for Agent Systems, Cooperation, Negotiation, Games and Agents, Data Mining and the Semantic Web.

I previously met John Sheridan August 2009 to discuss legislation and the semantic web; see my post. It will be very good to hear what has been going on since, particularly in the context of JURIX.
By Adam Wyner
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Research Associate on the IMPACT Project at University of Liverpool

As of September 13, 2010, I have been working at the University of Liverpool, Department of Computer Science with Katie Atkinson (the PI) and Trevor Bench-Capon on the IMPACT Project (previously having worked on the project at the University of Amsterdam at the Leibniz Center for Law and also at the University of Leeds at the Centre for Digital Citizenship). I previously worked with Katie and Trevor on the ESTRELLA Project.
IMPACT: Integrated Method for Policy Making Using Argument Modelling and Computer Assisted Text Analysis

The IMPACT Project is a European Framework 7 project (Grant Agreement No 247228) in the ICT for Governance and Policy Modeling theme (ICT-2009.7.3). The project runs from January 2010 to December 2013.
IMPACT will conduct original research to develop and integrate formal, computational models of policy and arguments about policy, to facilitate deliberations about policy at a conceptual, language-independent level. These models will be used to develop and evaluate innovative prototype tools for supporting open, inclusive and transparent deliberations about public policy. To support the analysis of policy proposals in an inclusive way which respects the interests of all stakeholders, research on tools for reconstructing arguments from data resources distributed throughout the Internet will be conducted. (from Atkinson’s website).

Looking forward to working on these topics!
By Adam Wyner
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Call for Papers: JURIX 2010 Workshop on Modelling Legal Cases and Legal Rules

I am organising a workshop at JURIX 2010
Modelling Legal Cases and Legal Rules
As part of the Jurix 2010 conference in Liverpool UK, we will hold a Workshop on Modelling Legal Cases and Legal Rules. This workshop is a follow on from successful workshops at Jurix 2007 and ICAIL 2009.
Legal cases and legal rules in common law contexts have been modelled in a variety of ways over the course of research in AI and Law to support different styles of reasoning for a variety of problem-solving contexts, such as decision-making, information retrieval, teaching, etc. Particular legal topic areas and cases have received wide coverage in the AI and Law literature including wild animals (e.g. Pierson v. Post, Young v. Hitchens, and Keeble v. Hickeringill), intellectual property (e.g. Mason v. Jack Daniel Distillery), and evidence (e.g. the Rijkbloem case). As well, some legal rules have been widely discussed, such as legal argument schemes (e.g. Expert Testimony) or rules of evidence (see Walton 2002). However, other areas have been less well covered. For example, there appears to be less research on modelling legal cases in civil law contexts; investigation of taxonomies and ontologies of legal rules would support abstraction and formalisation (see Sherwin 2009); additional legal rules could be brought under the scope of investigation, such as those bearing on criminal assault or causes of action.
The aim of this workshop is to provide a forum in which researchers can present their research on modelling legal cases and legal rules.
Papers are solicited that model a particular legal case or a small set of legal rules. Authors are free to choose the case or set of legal rules and analyse them according to the authors’ preferred model of representation; any theoretical discussion should be grounded in or exemplified by the case or rules at hand. Papers should make clear what are the particular distinctive features of their approach and why these features are useful in modelling the chosen case or rules. The workshop is an opportunity for authors to demonstrate the benefits of their approach and for group discussions to identify useful overlapping features as well as aspects to be further explored and developed.
Format of papers and submission guidelines
Full papers should not be more than 10 pages long and should be submitted in PDF format. It is suggested that the conference style files are used for formatting (see IOS Press site). All papers should provide:

  • A summary of the case or legal rules.
  • An overview of the representation technique, or reference to a full description of it.
  • The representation itself.
  • Discussion of any significant features.

Short position papers are also welcome from those interested in the topic but who do not wish to present a fully represented case or elaborate discussion of a set of legal rules; the short position papers can outline ideas, sketch directions of research, summarise or reflect on previously published work that has addressed the topic. A short position paper should be not more than five pages, giving a clear impression of what would be presented.
All submissions should be emailed as a PDF attachment to the workshop organiser, Adam Wyner, at:
Programme Committee (Preliminary)

  • Kevin Ashley, University of Pittsburgh, USA
  • Katie Atkinson, University of Liverpool, UK
  • Floris Bex, University of Dundee, UK
  • Trevor Bench-Capon, University of Liverpool, UK
  • Tom Gordon, Fraunhofer, FOKUS, Germany
  • Robert Richards, Seattle, Washington, USA
  • Giovanni Sartor, European University Institute, Italy
  • Burkhard Schafer, Edinburgh Law School, Scotland
  • Douglas Walton, University of Windsor, Canada

Organiser of this workshop is Adam Wyner, University of Liverpool, UK. You can contact the workshop organiser by sending an email to
Paper submission: Friday, November 5, 2010
Accepted Notification: Friday, November 12, 2010
Workshop Registration: Friday, November 19, 2010
December 15th, 2010 Jurix Workshops/Tutorials
December 16th-17th, 2010 Jurix 2010 Main Conference
By Adam Wyner
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Presentation at Legal Know-how Workshop, Nov. 10, 2010

I have been invited to make a presentation on Textual information extraction and ontologies for legal case-based reasoning at a Legal Know-how Workshop, which is an industry oriented event organised by the International Society for Knowledge Management UK.
Date: 10 November 2010
Time: 13:30-19:00
Venue: University College London
Medical Sciences Building
A. V. Hill Lecture Theatre
Gower Street
London, WC1E 6BT
See the workshop website for registration fee (either free or under £25) and booking.
This will be a very interesting opportunity to hear from and talk with industry consultants and experts about the latest developments in legal knowledge management. My thanks to Stella Dextre Clarke of ISKO-UK for organising the event and inviting me to take part.


13:30 Registration
14:00 Welcome from ISKO-UK by Stella Dextre Clarke
14:05 Legal knowledge – the practitioner’s viewpoint
Melanie Farquharson, 3Kites Consulting

This session will focus on the practical situations in which lawyers look for knowledge in order to deliver legal services to their clients. It will identify some typical ‘use cases’ and consider ways in which knowledge can be delivered to the practitioner – even without them having to look for it.

14:35 Why lawyers need taxonomies – adventures in organising legal knowledge
Kathy Jacob & Lynley Barker, Pinsent Masons LLP;
Graham Barbour & Mark Fea, LexisNexis

This presentation will cover the practical issues encountered by a law firm in its quest to improve findability of one of its key resources – knowledge and information. We will discuss our approach to building taxonomies, the tools and processes deployed and how we anticipate our taxonomy will be applied and consumed by lawyers and publishers.
The LexisNexis part of the presentation will focus on the challenges of building and applying legal taxonomies to suit the breadth and depth of content they provide online. It will also examine ways in which taxonomies can be surfaced in the user interface and help to drive compelling functionality that improves the user’s search experience.

15:20 Taxonomy management at Clifford Chance
Mats Bergman, Clifford Chance

This talk will describe how taxonomy management works in practice at Clifford Chance. As an increasing number of core knowledge resources are making use of the same set of firm-wide taxonomies, the increased interdependencies necessitate the implementation of a controlled process for updating the taxonomies. A simple governance model will be presented. Some thoughts will follow on the evolution of taxonomy development within a larger organisation and the current challenge of using social tagging in conjunction with controlled vocabularies.

15:50 Refreshments (Lower Refectory)
16:20 Textual information extraction and ontologies for legal case-based reasoning
Adam Wyner, University of Liverpool

This talk gives a brief overview of current developments and prospects in two related areas of the legal semantic web for legal cases – textual information extraction and ontologies. Textual information extraction is a process of automatically annotating and extracting textual information from the legal case base (precedents), thereby identifying elements such as participants, the roles the participants play, the factors which were considered in arriving at a decision, and so on. The information is valuable not only for search (to find applicable precedents), but also to populate an ontology for legal case-based reasoning. An ontology is a formal representation of key aspects of the knowledge of legal professionals with which we can reason (e.g. given an assertion that something is a legal case, we can infer other properties) and with respect to which we can write rules (e.g. reasoning using case factors to arrive at a legal decision). Since it is expensive to manually populate an ontology (meaning to read cases and input the data into the ontology), we use textual information extraction to automatically populate the ontology. We conclude with an appeal for open source, collaborative development of legal knowledge systems among partners in academia, industry, and government.

17:00 Collaboration across boundaries
Gwenda Sippings & Gerard Bredenoord, Linklaters LLP

In this presentation, we will look at approaches to managing legal know-how in a major global law firm. We will describe several boundaries that we have to consider when organising our know-how, including boundaries between professionals, countries, internal and external resources and the well debated boundary between information and knowledge. We will also share some of the ways in which we are making our know-how available to the fee earners and other professionals in the firm, using social and technological solutions.

17:35 Reconciling the taxonomy needs of different users
Derek Sturdy, Tikit Knowledge Services

The last decade has seen the development of a substantial number of legal know-how and knowledge databases. It has also shown up a serious question on whether the metadata, and especially the taxonomies, that are applied to the various knowledge items, should be tailored to the particular needs of end-users, or whether, so to speak, "one size can fit all". In particular, this talk will discuss the overlapping, but discrete, needs of those using knowledge resources primarily for legal drafting and document production, and of those conducting legal research, and will address the relative value today, (as opposed to in 2000), of the effort put into internal metadata creation for those two sorts of end-users.

By Adam Wyner
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Paper accepted at JURIX 2010

My colleague Wim Peters and I have had our paper
Lexical Semantics and Expert Legal Knowledge towards the Identification of Legal Case Factors
accepted for presentation at JURIX 2010. The list of accepted papers is here. The paper will appear in the proceedings, but it is available by clicking on the paper title above.
Legal case factors are textually represented facts which are represented in reported legal case decisions. Precedent decisions contribute to the decision of a case under consideration. As textually represented facts, factors linguistically encode semantic properties and relationships among the entities which can be leveraged to identify and extract the legal case factors from decisions. We integrate legal and linguistic resources in a text analysis tool with which we annotate textual passages. Using annotations tailored to legal case factors, the legal researcher can rapidly zero in on textual spans which represent specific combinations of factors, participants, and semantic properties which bear on who played what role with respect to a factor. The research reports progress on the development of a tool.
Shortlink to this page.
By Adam Wyner
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