Date: 08 Nov 2010

Introduction: Theory and Methodology in Legal Ontology Engineering: Experiences and Future Directions

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Ontologies have come of age in the legal field. A certain number of ontologies in different domains are already available and have been used in various applications. However, as a result of the growing of the field, a plurality of theoretical and methodological approaches has flourished. The multi-level complexity involved in legal ontology engineering suggests that there is no single way to address the development of legal ontologies, but rather we have a cluster of problems, perspectives, instruments, and goals that require a plurality of approaches, both on theoretical and on pragmatic grounds. This chapter, after introducing some challenges and new lines of development in the intersection of legal ontologies and next Semantic Web generation, briefly presents the contributions in the volume.