Legal informatics aims at improving the understanding and dissemination of legal texts, and providing ways to comply with the provisions in such texts more effectively. A key tenet of legal informatics is leveraging information technologies for making explicit the structure and semantic properties of legal texts. These properties constitute the metadata that needs to be recorded alongside the natural-language content of legal texts, both to facilitate the interpretation of legal texts by humans and to enable advanced analyses such as smart search, automated compliance verification and monitoring. Given the sheer scale of legal corpora amassed over decades and centuries, a fully manual creation of legal metadata is extremely laborious and requires a tremendous amount of resources. Nowadays, this task is still done largely manually. Consequently, important compromises have had to be made when specifying the metadata, in order to reduce the associated costs. These compromises often impact the quality of the specified metadata and hinder machine analyzability of legal texts.

The University of Luxembourg is developing solutions to enable the extraction of several important pieces of semantic metadata from legal texts. These include modalities (rights, obligations, permissions, etc.), conditions and consequences.

Main contributor(s): Amin Sleimi, Marcello Ceci, Nicolas Sannier, Mehrdad Sabetzadeh, Lionel Briand