Date: 08 Nov 2010

The Legal Theory Perspective: Doctrinal Conceptual Systems vs. Computational Ontologies

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This paper addresses legal classifications by exploring the connections and possible synergies between legal doctrine and computational ontologies. In recent years legal ontologies have attracted a growing interest, not only from knowledge engineers but also from legal scholars. Indeed, several controversial issues arise concerning the elicitation and structuring of domain (legal) knowledge, and legal theory can provide useful insights in this respect. The existing tradition of definition and classification of legal concepts by legal doctrine can be regardes as an intellectual capital for the extraction and characterisation of concepts to be included in legal ontologies. The question arises as to what extent doctrinal structures can be reused in the construction of legal ontologies, and as to what extent doctrinal analyses can draw inspiration from computational ontologies.