Workshop on Legal Understanding

Wednesday, September 8, 2021 - 09:00 to 12:30

Organized by: 
Marco Brattinga, Ordina

The semantics of legal text is one of the most interesting topics one might face. For centuries we, as a society, try to write down laws and regulations that conform to the way we like to live together. But this is hard. Legal texts are not easy to understand: not for ordinary people, and even less for computers. People have struggled to create systems that are able to automate processes that are required by legislation: filing for a loan, applying for a permit, etc. We are now trying to create smart algorithms and apply artificial intelligence in this field. One of the challenges we are facing is that even more complex systems and legislation are created. How can we, ordinary people, still understand such systems and rules? How can we explain why particular legislation is needed and what it means? These are questions for which semantic technology is part of the answer. And indeed, multiple initiatives are currently undertaken that might change the way we formulate legislation and use technology to make this legislation more understandable and accessible.

In the workshop on legal understanding we have invited speakers that will present the current state of the art of legal understanding with regard to Dutch legislation and legal texts. We will discuss the way legislation and legal text can be structured for better accessibility and we will examine a number of legal frameworks that can help to get a deep understanding of the legal constructs used in these text. We will close of with a panel discussion of the future of legal understanding and how semantic technology can be used to support these efforts.

About the organizers:

Marco Brattinga, MSC

is Ordina’s principal expert for intelligent data-driven organizations. Marco studied Information Technology at the University of Twente. He has more than 20 years of experience as an IT architect and consultant in the public sector. Since 2011 he has been working on semantic web technology for the exchange of information between organizations and data management issues, in particular the semantic description of datasets and the understanding of legal texts. Marco is actively involved in various communities that stimulate semantic web technology in the public sector.

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