Advertisement

Controlled Natural Language in a Game for Legal Assistance

  • John J. Camilleri
  • Gordon J. Pace
  • Michael Rosner
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7175)

Abstract

This paper addresses the design of an automated legal assistant capable of performing a logical analysis of legal documents and using natural language as a medium of communication with a human client. We focus on the interplay between natural language in which the legal document is expressed and the formal logic used for reasoning about it — ideally approached using a controlled natural language (CNL) together with an appropriately chosen logic for analysis and reasoning. In translating from CNL to logic, information about the CNL structure is lost. For example, the CNL might contain legal clause numbers, whilst the logic might not. This can lead to problems when for example the reasoning system discovers an inconsistency in the contract and needs to explain its whereabouts to the client. Below we discuss the issues affecting the choice of logic, arguing in favour of keeping certain structural information during formal analysis of legal documents to be able to refer to that structure when interacting with the user.

We present a framework in which to experiment and seek solutions to these issues. Having identified a sufficiently restricted domain of application we also report on the development of a CNL to interact with a variant of the game Nomic — a game based on the notion of contract specification and amendment — and argue how this game provides an ideal platform to explore the use of structure information in the domain of legal analysis.

Keywords

Natural Language Contract Performance Deontic Logic Legal Document Legal Text 
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.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. [BKKR01]
    Bateman, J., Kleinz, J., Kamps, T., Reichenberger, K.: Towards Constructive Text, Diagram, and Layout Generation for Information Presentation. Computational Linguistics 27, 409–449 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. [BSBS09]
    Bao, J., Smart, P.R., Braines, D., Shadbolt, N.R.: A Controlled Natural Language Interface for Semantic Media Wiki Using the Rabbit Language. In: CNL (2009)Google Scholar
  3. [CD69]
    Crystal, D., Davy, D.: Investigating English style. Studies in the History and Theory of Linguistics. Indiana University Press (1969)Google Scholar
  4. [CSS03]
    Claessen, K., Sheeran, M., Singh, S.: Functional Hardware Description in Lava. In: The Fun of Programming, Cornerstones of Computing, pp. 151–176. Palgrave (2003)Google Scholar
  5. [Dav67]
    Davidson, D.: The Logical Form of Action Sentences. In: Rescher, N. (ed.) The Logic of Decision and Action. University of Pittsburgh Press (1967)Google Scholar
  6. [DS97]
    Daskalopulu, A., Sergot, M.: The Representation of Legal Contracts. AI and Society 11, 6–17 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. [Hay71]
    Hayes, P.J.: A Logic of Actions. In: Meltzer, B., Michie, D. (eds.) Machine Intelligence 6, pp. 495–520. Edinburgh University Press (1971)Google Scholar
  8. [HR01]
    Havelund, K., Rosu, G.: Monitoring Programs Using Rewriting. In: Proceedings of the 16th IEEE International Conference on Automated Software Engineering, ASE 2001, pp. 135–143. IEEE Computer Society, Washington, DC (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. [Hud96]
    Hudak, P.: Building domain-specific embedded languages. ACM Computing Surveys 28, 196 (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. [Mal26]
    Mally, E.: Grundgesetze des Sollens. Elemente fer Logik des Willens. Leuschner & Lubensky, Graz (1926)Google Scholar
  11. [Man88]
    Mann, W.C., Thompson, S.A.: Rhetorical Structure Theory: Toward a functional theory of text organization. Text 8(3), 243–281 (1988)Google Scholar
  12. [McN06]
    McNamara, P.: Deontic Logic. In: Gabbay, D.M., Woods, J. (eds.) Handbook of the History of Logic, vol. 7, pp. 197–289. North-Holland Publishing (2006)Google Scholar
  13. [Nun90]
    Nunberg, G.: The Linguistics of Punctuation (Center for the Study of Language and Information - Lecture Notes) (August 1990)Google Scholar
  14. [PB05]
    Phair, M.E., Bliss, A.: PerlNomic: Rule Making and Enforcement in Digital Shared Spaces. In: Online Deliberation 2005 / DIAC 2005, Stanford, CA, USA (2005)Google Scholar
  15. [PR09]
    Pace, G.J., Rosner, M.: A Controlled Language for the Specification of Contracts. In: Fuchs, N.E. (ed.) CNL 2009. LNCS, vol. 5972, pp. 226–245. Springer, Heidelberg (2010) ISBN: 978-3-642-14417-2CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. [PSBA03]
    Power, R., Scott, D., Bouayad-Agha, N.: Document Structure. Computational Linguistics 29, 211–260 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. [Ran04]
    Ranta, A.: Grammatical Framework: A Type-Theoretical Grammar Formalism. Journal of Functional Programming 14(02), 145–189 (2004)MathSciNetzbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. [Sch08]
    Schwitter, R.: A Controlled Natural Language for the Semantic Web. Journal of Intelligent Systems 17(1-3), 125–141 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. [Sub90]
    Suber, P.: Nomic: A Game of Self-Amendment. In: The Paradox of Self-Amendment. Peter Lang Publishing (1990)Google Scholar
  20. [Vel10]
    Vella, G.: Automatic Summarisation of Legal Documents. Master’s thesis, Univerisity of Malta, Dept Intelligent Computer Systems, University of Malta, Msida MSD2080, Malta (2010)Google Scholar
  21. [Wri51]
    Von Wright, G.H.: Deontic Logic. Mind 60, 1–15 (1951)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • John J. Camilleri
    • 1
  • Gordon J. Pace
    • 1
  • Michael Rosner
    • 1
  1. 1.University of MaltaMalta

Personalised recommendations