A Methodology for a Criminal Law and Procedure Ontology for Legal Question Answering

Biralatei Fawei, Jeff Z. Pan, Martin Kollingbaum, Adam Z. Wyner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The Internet and the development of the semantic web have created the opportunity to provide structured legal data on the web. However, most legal information is in text. It is difficult to automatically determine the right natural language answer about the law to a given natural language question. One approach is to develop systems of legal ontologies and rules. Our example ontology represents semantic information about USA criminal law and procedure as well as the applicable legal rules. The purpose of the ontology is to provide reasoning support to an legal question answering tool that determines entailment between a pair of texts, one known as the Background information (Bg) and the other Question statement (Q), whether Bg entails Q based on the application of the law. The key contribution of this paper is a clear and well-structured methodology that serves to develop such criminal law ontologies and rules (CLOR).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSemantic Technology
Subtitle of host publication8th Joint International Conference, JIST 2018, Awaji, Japan, November 26–28, 2018, Proceedings
EditorsRyutaro Ichise, Freddy Lecue, Takahiro Kawamura, Dongyan Zhao, Stephen Muggleton, Kouji Kozaki
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-04284-4
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-04283-7
Publication statusPublished - 14 Nov 2018
EventThe 8th Joint International Semantic Technology Conference - Awaji City, Japan
Duration: 26 Nov 201828 Nov 2018

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science
PublisherSpringer, Cham
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


ConferenceThe 8th Joint International Semantic Technology Conference
Abbreviated titleJIST 2018
CityAwaji City
Internet address


  • Ontology
  • Legal rules
  • Bar examination


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