The MetaLex Document Server - Legal Documents as Versioned Linked Data

author: Rinke Hoekstra, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)
published: Nov. 25, 2011,   recorded: October 2011,   views: 2873


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This paper introduces the MetaLex Document Server (MDS), an ongoing project to improve access to legal sources (regulations, court rulings) by means of a generic legal XML syntax (CEN MetaLex) and Linked Data. The MDS defi nes a generic conversion mechanism from legacy legal XML syntaxes to CEN MetaLex, RDF and Pajek network files, and discloses content by means of HTTP-based content negotiation, a SPARQL endpoint and a basic search interface. MDS combines a transparent (versioned) and opaque (content-based) naming scheme for URIs of parts of legal texts, allowing for tracking of version information at the URI-level, as well as reverse engineering of versioned metadata from sources that provide only partial information, such as many web-based legal content services. The MDS hosts all 28k national regulations of the Netherlands available since May 2011, comprising some 100M triples.

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