Rules and Norms: Requirements for Rule Interchange Languages in the Legal Domain

  • Thomas F. Gordon
  • Guido Governatori
  • Antonino Rotolo
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5858)


In this survey paper we summarize the requirements for rule interchange languages for applications in the legal domain and use these requirements to evaluate RuleML, SBVR, SWRL and RIF. We also present the Legal Knowledge Interchange Format (LKIF), a new rule interchange format developed specifically for applications in the legal domain.


Resource Description Framework Logic Programming Legal Rule Deontic Logic Derivation Rule 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Abate, F., Jewell, E.J. (eds.): New Oxford American Dictionary. Oxford University Press, Oxford (2001)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Architecture for Knowledge-Oriented Management of African Normative Texts using Open Standards and Ontologies (2009),
  3. 3.
    Arnold-Moore, T.: Automatic generation of amendment legislation. In: Proc. ICAIL 1997. ACM, New York (1997)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bench-Capon, T.: The missing link revisted: The role of teleology in representing legal argument. Artificial Intelligence and Law 10(1-3), 79–94 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bench-Capon, T., Coenen, F.: Isomorphism and legal knowledge based systems. Artificial Intelligence and Law 1(1), 65–86 (1992)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Benjamins, V.R., Casanovas, P., Breuker, J., Gangemi, A. (eds.): Law and the Semantic Web: Legal Ontologies, Methodologies, Legal Information Retrieval and Applications. Springer, Heidelberg (2005)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Boer, A., Hoekstra, R., Winkels, R.: Metalex: Legislation in XML. In: Proc. JURIX 2002. IOS Press, Amsterdam (2002)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Boley, H., Tabet, S., Wagner, G.: Design rationale for RuleML: A markup language for Semantic Web rules. In: Cruz, I.F., Decker, S., Euzenat, J., McGuinness, D.L. (eds.) Proc. SWWS 2001, The first Semantic Web Working Symposium, pp. 381–401 (2001)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Carmo, J., Jones, A.J.: Deontic logic and contrary to duties. In: Gabbay, D., Guenther, F. (eds.) Handbook of Philosophical Logic, 2nd edn., vol. 8, pp. 265–343. Kluwer, Dordrecht (2002)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    ChLexML (2009),
  11. 11.
    ESTRELLA Project. Estrella user report. Deliverable 4.5, European Commission (2008)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    ESTRELLA Project. The legal knowledge interchange format (LKIF). Deliverable 4.3, European Commission (2008)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    ESTRELLA Project. The reference LKIF inference engine. Deliverable 4.3, European Commission (2008)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Goedertier, S., Vanthienen, J.: A declarative approach for flexible business. In: Eder, J., Dustdar, S. (eds.) BPM Workshops 2006. LNCS, vol. 4103, pp. 5–14. Springer, Heidelberg (2006)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Gordon, T.F.: The Pleadings Game, An Artificial Intelligence Model of Procedural Justice. Springer, New York (1995), Book version of 1993 Ph.D. Thesis; University of Darmstadt (1995)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Governatori, G.: Representing business contracts in RuleML. International Journal of Cooperative Information Systems 14(2-3), 181–216 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Governatori, G., Milosevic, Z., Sadiq, S.: Compliance checking between business processes and business contracts. In: Proc. EDOC 2006, pp. 221–232. IEEE, Los Alamitos (2006)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Governatori, G., Pham, D.H.: Dr-contract: An architecture for e-contracts in defeasible logic. International Journal of Business Process Integration and Management 5(4) (2009)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Governatori, G., Rotolo, A.: Changing legal systems: Legal abrogations and annulments in defeasible logic. The Logic Journal of IGPL (forthcoming)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Governatori, G., Rotolo, A., Sartor, G.: Temporalised normative positions in defeasible logic. In: Proc. ICAIL 2005, pp. 25–34. ACM Press, New York (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Grosof, B.: Representing e-commerce rules via situated courteous logic programs in RuleML. Electronic Commerce Research and Applications 3(1), 2–20 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Hage, J.C.: Reasoning with Rules – An Essay on Legal Reasoning and its Underlying Logic. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht (1997)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Kelsen, H.: General theory of norms. Clarendon, Oxford (1991)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Legal and Advice Sectors Metadata Scheme (LAMS5),
  25. 25.
    Loui, R.P.: Process and policy: resource-bounded non-demonstrative reasoning. Computational Intelligence 14, 1–38 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Lupo, C., Batini, C.: A federative approach to laws access by citizens: The Normeinrete system. In: Traunmüller, R. (ed.) EGOV 2003. LNCS, vol. 2739, pp. 413–416. Springer, Heidelberg (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Lupo, C., Vitali, F., Francesconi, E., Palmirani, M., Winkels, R., de Maat, E., Boer, A., Mascellani, P.: General XML format(s) for legal sources. Technical report, IST-2004-027655 ESTRELLA European project for Standardised Transparent Representations in order to Extend Legal Accessibility: Deliverable 3.1 (2007)Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    McClure, J.: Legal-rdf vocabularies, requirements and design rationale. In: Proc. V Legislative XML Workshop, Florence. European Press (2006)Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    The OWL services coalition: OWL-S 1.2 pre-release (2006),
  30. 30.
    Paschke, A., Bichler, M., Dietrich, J.: Contractlog: An approach to rule based monitoring and execution of service level agreements. In: Adi, A., Stoutenburg, S., Tabet, S. (eds.) RuleML 2005. LNCS, vol. 3791, pp. 209–217. Springer, Heidelberg (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Pesic, M., van der Aalst, W.: A declarative approach for flexible business. In: Eder, J., Dustdar, S. (eds.) BPM Workshops 2006. LNCS, vol. 4103, pp. 169–180. Springer, Heidelberg (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Prakken, H., Sartor, G.: A dialectical model of assessing conflicting argument in legal reasoning. Artificial Intelligence and Law 4(3-4), 331–368 (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Roman, D., Keller, U., Lausen, H., de Bruijn, J., Lara, R., Stollberg, M., Polleres, A., Feier, C., Bussler, C., Fensel, D.: Web service modeling ontology. Applied Ontology 1(1), 77–106 (2005)Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Rotolo, A., Sartor, G., Smith, C.: Good faith in contract negotiation and performance. International Journal of Business Process Integration and Management 5(4) (2009)Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Rubino, R., Rotolo, A., Sartor, G.: An OWL ontology of fundamental legal concepts. In: Proc. JURIX 2006, pp. 101–110 (2006)Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    RuleML. The Rule Markup Initiative August 20 (2009),
  37. 37.
    Sadiq, S., Orlowska, M., Sadiq, W.: Specification and validation of process constraints for flexible workflows. Information Systems 30(5), 349–378 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Sartor, G.: Legal reasoning: A cognitive approach to the law. In: Pattaro, E., Rottleuthner, H., Shiner, R., Peczenik, A., Sartor, G. (eds.) A Treatise of Legal Philosophy and General Jurisprudence, vol. 5. Springer, Heidelberg (2005)Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    OMG: Semantics of business vocabulary and business rules (SBVR) (2008),
  40. 40.
    Sergot, M.: A computational theory of normative positions. ACM Transactions on Computational Logic 2(4), 581–622 (2001)CrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Sergot, M., Sadri, F., Kowalski, R., Kriwaczek, F., Hammond, P., Cory, H.: The British Nationality Act as a logic program. Communications of the ACM 29(5), 370–386 (1986)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Sirin, E., Parsia, B., Grau, B., Kalyanpur, A., Katz, Y.: Pellet: A practical OWL-DL reasoner. Web Semantics 5(2), 51–53 (2007)Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    van der Aalst, W., Weske, M., Grünbauer, D.: Case handling: a new paradigm for business process support. Data Knowledge Engineering 53(2), 129–162 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Verheij, B.: Rules, Reasons, Arguments. Formal Studies of Argumentation and Defeat. Ph.d., Universiteit Maastricht (1996)Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    von Wright, G.H.: Norm and Action. Routledge, London (1963)Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    Waagbø, G.: Quantified modal logic with neighborhood semantics. Zeitschrift für Mathematische Logik und Grundlagen der Mathematik 38, 491–499 (1992)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Wagner, G., Antoniou, G., Tabet, S., Boley, H.: The abstract syntax of RuleML – towards a general web rule language framework. In: Proc. Web Intelligence 2004, pp. 628–631. IEEE, Los Alamitos (2004)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas F. Gordon
    • 1
  • Guido Governatori
    • 2
  • Antonino Rotolo
    • 3
  1. 1.Fraunhofer FOKUSBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Queensland Research LaboratoryNICTABrisbaneAustralia
  3. 3.CIRSFIDUniversity of BolognaBolognaItaly

Personalised recommendations