Towards Legal Compliance by Correlating Standards and Laws with a Semi-automated Methodology

  • Cesare BartoliniEmail author
  • Andra Giurgiu
  • Gabriele Lenzini
  • Livio Robaldo
Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 765)


Since generally legal regulations do not provide clear parameters to determine when their requirements are met, achieving legal compliance is not trivial. The adoption of standards could help create an argument of compliance in favour of the implementing party, provided there is a clear correspondence between the provisions of a specific standard and the regulation’s requirements. However, identifying such correspondences is a complex process which is complicated further by the fact that the established correlations may be overridden in time e.g., because newer court decisions change the interpretation of certain legal provisions. To help solve these problems, we present a framework that supports legal experts in recognizing correlations between provisions in a standard and requirements in a given law. The framework relies on state-of-the-art Natural Language Semantics techniques to process the linguistic terms of the two documents, and maintains a knowledge base of the logic representations of the terms, together with their defeasible correlations, both formal and substantive. An application of the framework is shown by comparing a provision of the European General Data Protection Regulation with the ISO/IEC 27018:2014 standard.


Legal compliance Legal requirements Security standards General data protection regulation 



This work is financed by the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR) CORE project C16/IS/11333956 “DAPRECO: DAta Protection REgulation COmpliance”. Robaldo has received funding from the EU Horizon 2020 Programme for Research and Innovation under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 690974 for the project “MIREL: MIning and REasoning with Legal texts”.


  1. 1.
    Arora, C., Sabetzadeh, M., Briand, L.C., Zimmer, F.: Automated checking of conformance to requirements templates using natural language processing. IEEE Trans. Software Eng. 41(10), 944–968 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Athan, T., Boley, H., Governatori, G., Palmirani, M., Paschke, A., Wyner, A.: OASIS LegalRuleML. In: Proceedings of the Fourteenth International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Law (ICAIL), pp. 3–12. Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), June 2013Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Athan, T., Governatori, G., Palmirani, M., Paschke, A., Wyner, A.: LegalRuleML: design principles and foundations. In: Faber, W., Paschke, A. (eds.) Reasoning Web 2015. LNCS, vol. 9203, pp. 151–188. Springer, Cham (2015). doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-21768-0_6 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bartolini, C., Muthuri, R., Santos, C.: Using ontologies to model data protection requirements in workflows. In: Proceedings of the 9th International Working on Juris-informatics (JURISIN). pp. 27–40, extended version to be published in LNAI book, November 2015Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Benjamins, V.R., Casanovas, P., Breuker, J., Gangemi, A. (eds.): Law and the Semantic Web: Legal Ontologies, Methodologies, Legal Information Retrieval, and Applications. LNCS (LNAI), vol. 3369. Springer, Heidelberg (2005)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Boella, G., Di Caro, L., Humphreys, L., Robaldo, L., Rossi, R., van der Torre, L.: Eunomos, a legal document and knowledge management system for the web to provide relevant, reliable and up-to-date information on the law. Artificial Intelligence and Law to appear (2016)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Boella, G., Di Caro, L., Graziadei, M., Cupi, L., Salaroglio, C.E., Humphreys, L., Konstantinov, H., Marko, K., Robaldo, L., Ruffini, C., Simov, K., Violato, A., Stroetmann, V.: Linking legal open data: breaking the accessibility and language barrier in European legislation and case law. In: Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Law. ICAIL 2015, pp. 171–175. ACM, New York (2015)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Boella, G., Di Caro, L., Rispoli, D., Robaldo, L.: A system for classifying multi-label text into eurovoc. In: Proceedings of the Fourteenth International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Law. ICAIL 2013, pp. 239–240. ACM, New York (2013)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Copestake, A., Flickinger, D., Pollard, C., Sag, I.A.: Minimal recursion semantics: an introduction. Res. Lang. Comput. 3(2), 281–332 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Davidson, D.: The logical form of action sentences. In: Rescher, N. (ed.) The Logic of Decision and Action. University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh (1967)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    De Hert, P., Papakonstantinou, V., Kamara, I.: The cloud computing standard ISO/IEC 27018 through the lens of the EU legislation on data protection. Comput. Law Secur. Rev. 32(1), 16–30 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Dimyadi, J., Governatori, G., Amor, R.: Evaluating legaldocml and legalruleml as a standard for sharing normative information in the AEC/FM domain. In: Proceedings of the Lean and Computing in Construction Congress (LC3) (to appear, 2017)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Giurgiu, A., Lommel, G.: A new approach to EU data protection. Crit. Q. Legislation Law 97(1), 10–27 (2014)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Governatori, G., Olivieri, F., Rotolo, A., Scannapieco, S.: Computing strong and weak permissions in defeasible logic. J. Philos. Logic 42(6), 799–829 (2013). MathSciNetCrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Governatori, G., Rotolo, A., Sartor, G.: Deontic defeasible reasoning in legal interpretation. In: Atkinson, K. (ed.) The 15th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence & Law, San Diego, USA (2015)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Hansen, J.: Prioritized conditional imperatives: problems and a new proposal. Auton. Agent. Multi-Agent Syst. 17(1), 11–35 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Hobbs, J.R.: Toward a useful notion of causality for lexical semantics. J. Semant. 22, 181–209 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Hobbs, J.R.: Deep lexical semantics. In: Gelbukh, A. (ed.) CICLing 2008. LNCS, vol. 4919, pp. 183–193. Springer, Heidelberg (2008). doi: 10.1007/978-3-540-78135-6_16 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Hobbs, J.: The logical notation: ontological promiscuity. In: Chapter 2 of Discourse and Inference (1998).
  20. 20.
    Horty, J.: Agency and Deontic Logic. Oxford University Press, New York (2001)CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Horty, J.: Reasons as Defaults. Oxford University Press, New York (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Jørgensen, J.: Imperatives and logic. Erkenntnis 7, 288–296 (1937)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Kamp, H., Reyle, U.: From Discourse to Logic: An Introduction to Model-Theoretic Semantics, Formal Logic and Discourse Representation Theory. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht (1993)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Makinson, D., van der Torre, L.W.N.: Input/output logics. J. Philos. Logic 29(4), 383–408 (2000)MathSciNetCrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Makinson, D., van der Torre, L.: Permission from an input/output perspective. J. Philos. Logic 32, 391–416 (2003)MathSciNetCrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    McCarthy, J.: Circumscription: A form of nonmonotonic reasoning. Artif. Intell. 13, 27–39 (1980)MathSciNetCrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    van der Meyden, R.: The dynamic logic of permission. J. Logic Comput. 6, 465–479 (1996)MathSciNetCrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Mihalcea, R., Corley, C., Strapparava, C.: Corpus-based and knowledge-based measures of text semantic similarity. In: Proceedings of the 21st National Conference on Artificial Intelligence. AAAI 2006, vol. 1, pp. 775–780. AAAI Press (2006).
  29. 29.
    Parent, X.: Moral particularism in the light of deontic logic. Artif. Intell. Law 19(2–3), 75–98 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Reding, V.: The upcoming data protection reform for the European Union. Int. Data Priv. Law 1(1), 3–5 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Robaldo, L.: Independent set readings and generalized quantifiers. J. Philos. Logic 39(1), 23–58 (2010)MathSciNetCrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Robaldo, L.: Interpretation and inference with maximal referential terms. J. Comput. Syst. Sci. 76(5), 373–388 (2010)MathSciNetCrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Robaldo, L.: Distributivity, collectivity, and cumulativity in terms of (in)dependence and maximality. J. Logic, Lang. Inf. 20(2), 233–271 (2011)MathSciNetCrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Robaldo, L., Humphreys, L., Sun, L., Cupi, L., Santos, C., Muthuri, R.: Combining input/output logic and reification for representing real-world obligations. In: Post-proceedings of the 9th International Workiung on Juris-informatics. Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence (2016)Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Robaldo, L., Miltsakaki, E.: Corpus-driven semantics of concession: where do expectations come from? Dialogue Discourse 5(1), 1–36 (2014)Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Robaldo, L., Sun, X.: Reified input/output logic: Combining input/output logic and reification to represent norms coming from existing legislation. J. Logic Comput. (to appear, 2017)Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Robaldo, L., Caselli, T., Russo, I., Grella, M.: From Italian text to TimeML document via dependency parsing. In: Gelbukh, A. (ed.) CICLing 2011. LNCS, vol. 6609, pp. 177–187. Springer, Heidelberg (2011). doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-19437-5_14 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Schuler, K.K.: Verbnet: a broad-coverage, comprehensive verb lexicon. Ph.D. thesis, Philadelphia, PA, USA, aAI3179808(2005)Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Sun, X., Robaldo, L.: On the complexity of input/output logic. J. Appl. Logic (to appear, 2017)Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Vibert, H., Jouvelot, P., Pin, B.: Legivoc - connectings laws in a changing world. J. Open Access Law 1(1), 165–174 (2013)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cesare Bartolini
    • 1
    Email author
  • Andra Giurgiu
    • 1
  • Gabriele Lenzini
    • 1
  • Livio Robaldo
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust (SnT)University of LuxembourgLuxembourgLuxembourg
  2. 2.Computer Science and Communications Research Unit (CSC)University of LuxembourgLuxembourgLuxembourg

Personalised recommendations