Office of the Parliamentary Counsel, London

I had the opportunity to give a talk at the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel, London, on 21 May 2019 about a small pilot project done with colleagues in the Parliamentary Counsel Office of the Scottish Government.

The talk is about applying some LegalRuleML elements as annotations to a corpus of Scottish legislation, making the annotated documents accessible on the Web, then visualising and querying the corpus to access particularly relevant information from across the corpus.

The slides of the talk are available here.

Thanks especially to Luke Norbury for the kind invitation and to the audience.

CodeX Weekly Meeting

I spoke briefly at the online CodeX weekly meeting about small pilot project done with colleagues in the Parliamentary Counsel Office of the Scottish Government.

The talk is about applying some LegalRuleML elements as annotations to a corpus of Scottish legislation, making the annotated documents accessible on the Web, then visualising and querying the corpus to access particularly relevant information from across the corpus.

There were other excellent presentations by:

CodeX will make a recording of the session available.

The slides of my talk are available here. The talk is a shortened and slightly modified version of a talk at the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel, London.

Thanks especially to Jameson Dempsey at CodeX for inviting me to participate.

Papers in JURIX 2013

I’m co-author of two papers at The 26th International Conference on Legal Knowledge and Information Systems (JURIX 2013), Bologna, Italy.
Bologna.  Food.
Argumentation Schemes for Reasoning about Factors with Dimensions
Katie Atkinson, Trevor Bench-Capon, Henry Prakken, and Adam Wyner
Abstract
In previous work we presented argumentation schemes to capture the CATO and value based theory construction approaches to reasoning with legal cases with factors. We formalised the schemes with ASPIC+, a formal representation of instantiated argumentation. In ASPIC+ the premises of a scheme may either be a factor provided in a knowledge base or established using a further argumentation scheme. Thus far we have taken the factors associated with cases to be given in the knowledge base. While this is adequate for expressing factor based reasoning, we can further investigate the justifications for the relationship between factors and facts or evidence. In this paper we examine how dimensions as used in the HYPO system can provide grounds on which to argue about which factors should apply to a case. By making this element of the reasoning explicit and subject to argument, we advance our overall account of reasoning with legal cases and make it more robust.
Bibtex
@INPROCEEDINGS{ABCPWJURIX2013,
author = {Katie Atkinson and Bench-Capon, Trevor and Henry Prakken and Adam Wyner},
title = {Argumentation Schemes for Reasoning about Factors with Dimensions},
booktitle = {Proceedings of 26th International Conference on Legal Knowledge and Information Systems (JURIX 2013)},
year = {2013},
pages = {??-??},
address = {Amsterdam},
publisher = {IOS Press}
}
A Case Study on Legal Case Annotation
Adam Wyner, Wim Peters, and Daniel Katz
Abstract
The paper reports the outcomes of a study with law school students to annotate a corpus of legal cases for a variety of annotation types, e.g. citation indices, legal facts, rationale, judgement, cause of action, and others. An online tool is used by a group of annotators that results in an annotated corpus. Differences amongst the annotations are curated, producing a gold standard corpus of annotated texts. The annotations can be extracted with semantic searches of complex queries. There would be many such uses for the development and analysis of such a corpus for both legal education and legal research.
Bibtex
@INPROCEEDINGS{WynerPetersKatzJURIX2013,
author = {Adam Wyner and Peters, Wim, and Daniel Katz},
title = {A Case Study on Legal Case Annotation},
booktitle = {Proceedings of 26th International Conference on Legal Knowledge and Information Systems (JURIX 2013)},
year = {2013},
pages = {??-??},
address = {Amsterdam},
publisher = {IOS Press}
}
FORTHCOMING AUXILIARY MATERIALS FOR THE ANNOTATION STUDY – CASES CITED AND TOOL OUTPUT EXAMPLES.
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By Adam Wyner

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Paper at RuleML Special Session on Human-Rules

I’m co-author of a paper in the special session Human-Rules at The 7th International Web Rule Symposium (RuleML 2013), Seattle, Washington, USA.
Seattle, Washington, USA
A Study on Translating Regulatory Rules from Natural Language to Defeasible Logic
Adam Wyner and Guido Governatori
Abstract
Legally binding regulations are expressed in natural language. Yet, we cannot formally or automatically reason with regulations in that form. Defeasible Logic has been used to formally represent the semantic interpretation of regulations; such representations may provide the abstract specification for a machine-readable and processable representation as in LegalRuleML. However, manual translation is prohibitively costly in terms of time, labour, and knowledge. The paper discusses work in progress using the state-of-the-art in automatic translation of a sample of regulatory clauses to a machine readable formal representation and a comparison to correlated Defeasible Logic representations. It outlines some key problems and proposes tasks to address the problems.
Bibtex
@INPROCEEDINGS{WynerGovernatoriH-R2013,
author = {Adam Wyner and Guido Governatori},
title = {A Study on Translating Regulatory Rules from Natural Language to Defeasible Logic},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the {R}ule{ML} 2013},
publisher = {{CEUR}},
year = {2013},
pages = {??-??},
address = {Seattle, Washington, USA},
note = {To appear}
}
Shortlink to this page.
By Adam Wyner

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Tutorial on "Textual Information Extraction from Legal Resources" at the 16th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Law, Rome, Italy

Topic

Legal resources such as legislation, public notices, case law, and other legally relevant documents are increasingly freely available on the internet. They are almost entirely presented in natural language and in text. Legal professionals, researchers, and students need to extract and represent information from such resources to support compliance monitoring, analyse cases for case based reasoning, and extract information in the discovery phase of a trial (e-discovery), amongst a range of possible uses. To support such tasks, powerful text analytic tools are available. The tutorial presents an in depth demonstration of one toolkit the General Architecture for Text Engineering (GATE) with examples and several briefer demonstrations of other tools.

Goals

Participants in the tutorial should come away with some theoretical sense of what textual information extraction is about. They will also see some practical examples of how to work with a corpus of materials, develop an information extraction system using GATE and the other tools, and share their results with the research community. Participants will be provided with information on where to find additional materials and learn more.

Intended Audience

The intended audience includes legal researchers, legal professionals, law school students, and political scientists who are new to text processing as well as experienced AI and Law researchers who have used NLP, but wish to get a quick overview of using GATE.

Covered Topics

  • Motivations to annotate, extract, and represent legal textual information.
  • Uses and domains of textual information extraction. Sample materials from legislation, case decisions, gazettes, e-discovery sources, among others.
  • Motivations to use an open source tool for open source development of textual information extraction tools and materials.
  • The relationship to the semantic web, linked documents, and data visualisation.
  • Linguistic/textual problems that must be addressed.
  • Alternative approaches (statistical, knowledge-light, machine learning) and a rationale for a particular bottom-up, knowledge-heavy approach in GATE.
  • Outline of natural language processing modules and tasks.
  • Introduction to GATE – loading and running simple applications, inspecting the results, refining the search results.
  • Development of fragments of a GATE system – lists, rules, and examination of results.
  • Discussion of more complex constructions and issues such as fact pattern identification, which is essential for case-based reasoning, named entity recognition, and structures of documents.
  • Introduction to ontologies.
  • Link textual information extraction to ontologies.
  • Introduction to related tools and approaches: C&C/Boxer (parser and semantic interpreter), Attempto Controlled English, scraperwiki, among others.

Date, Time, Location, and Logistics

Monday, June 10, afternoon session.
The tutorial was held at the Casa dell’Aviatore, viale dell’Università 20 in Rome, Italy.
Information about the conference is available at the website for the 16th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and the Law (ICAIL).

Slides

The slides from the presentation are available here:
Textual Information Extraction from Legal Resources

Further Information

Contact the lecturer.

Lecturer

Dr. Adam Wyner
Lecturer, Department of Computing Science, University of Aberdeen
Aberdeen, Scotland
azwyner at abdn dot ac dot uk
Website
The lecturer has a PhD in Linguistics, a PhD in Computer Science, and research background in computational linguistics. The lecturer has previously given a tutorial on this topic at JURIX 2009 and ICAIL 2011 along with an invited talk at RuleML 2012, has published several conference papers on text analytics of legal resources using GATE and C&C/Boxer, and continues to work on text analysis of legal resources.
A shortlink to this webpage
By Adam Wyner
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Presentation at LEX Summer School 2012

I was a lecturer at the LEX Summer School 2012 in Ravenna, Italy on September 14, 2012.
San Vitali Mosaic, Ravenna, Italy

The school aims at providing knowledge of the most significant ICT standards emerging for legislation, judiciary, parliamentary and administrative documents. The course provides understanding of their impact in the different phases of the legislative and administrative process, awareness of the tools based on legal XML standards and of their constellations, and the ability to participate in the drafting and use of standard-compliant documents throughout law-making process. In particular we would like to create consciousness in the stakeholders in the legal domain about the benefits and the possibilities provided by the correct usage of Semantic Web technologies such as XML standards, ontologies, natural language processing techniques applied to legal texts, legal knowledge modelling and reasoning tools.

The zipped file contains the slides and some exercise material.
The first lecture (Part 1) introduces the general topic, some samples of results, and a discussion about crowdsourcing annotations in legal cases. The second lecture (Part 2) discusses the parsing and semantic representation of a fragment of the British Nationality Act. The class materials are used for an in class exercise about annotation.
Port of Classe mosaic
Shortlink to this page.
By Adam Wyner

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Article in Artificial Intelligence and Law Journal for the 25th Anniversary of the International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Law

A forthcoming special issue of the Journal of Artificial Intelligence and Law will be a long multi-author paper that celebrates 25 years of the International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and the Law.
A History of AI and Law in 50 Papers: 25 years of the International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and the Law
Bench-Capon et al.
Journal of Artificial Intelligence and Law
To appear.
Each of the authors who contributed to the special issue wrote about a paper from the conference from this 25 year period.
For this special issue, I wrote three sections:

The long paper itself serves as an excellent overview of the field these many years.
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By Adam Wyner

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The Summer School on Law and Logic, Florence, Italy

I will be participating as a teaching assistant in the Summer School on Law and Logic in Florence, Italy, July 16-20, 2012. The school is jointly hosted by the European University Institute and the Harvard Law School.
From the description:

The Summer School on Law and Logic is the first course ever to provide a comprehensive introduction to the wide variety of uses of logic in the law. Our aim at this Summer School is to provide law students, graduate law students, and legal professionals with a knowledge of the methods of formal logic and the ability to apply those methods to the analysis and critical evaluation of legal arguments and sources of law (including statutes, cases, regulations, constitutional provisions).
The Summer School includes the basics of propositional and predicate deductive logic, as well as the use of logic for capturing representing deontic and Hohfeldian modalities, analogical reasoning and inference to the best explanation. It also addresses presents some aspects of non-deductive reasoning in law, such as defeasible reasoning, including argumentation schemes and inductive reasoning.
We believe that the kind of background in formal logic we offer in this course can be a very powerful tool for use in legal theory, for developing doctrinal legal research, for working in legal informatics (the application of computer programs to the analysis of law), and, more generally, for the practice of law.

This is an innovative school about core issues and approaches in Artificial Intelligence and Law. For me, it will be an opportunity to connect with familiar colleagues, work with new ones, and find out what lawyers think about formal logic. In addition, some of the legal materials that we will be analysing will be new to me, so that will be instructive.
I hope that this school is the beginning of an integration of AI into law school education.
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By Adam Wyner

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21st Century Law Practice and Law Tech Camp Presentations

As part of the 21st Century Law Practice Summer London Law Program, I had the opportunity to present a class on Topics in Natural Language Processing of Legal Texts. My thanks to Dan Katz for organising this and to the class for their interest.
Dan, co-organiser Renee Knake at Michigan State University, and their colleagues at the University of Westminster are up to good things in law and technology – well worth watching.
To cap off the Law Program, the summer program organised a Law Tech Camp of short and TED style presentations on topics. It is an excellent program of talks from members of the legal industry, practicing lawyers, and academics. I have a talk about Crowdsourcing Legal Text Annotation, which is also discussed in a previous post. The talks are videotaped and made available online (TBA).
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By Adam Wyner

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