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ANN: LKIF-Core ontology: a core ontology of basic legal concepts

From: Rinke Hoekstra <hoekstra@uva.nl>
Date: Fri, 02 Feb 2007 10:40:43 +0100
Message-ID: <45C3071B.2040803@uva.nl>
To: semantic-web@w3.org, seweb-list@lists.deri.org, kaw@science.uva.nl, owl@lists.mindswap.org, ontology@listserv.ieee.org, www-rdf-interest@w3.org, semanticweb@yahoogroups.com, protege-owl@lists.stanford.edu
Apologies for multiple copies

LKIF-Core Ontology
A core ontology of basic legal concepts
Developed within the ESTRELLA project (IST-2004-027655).

Website: http://www.estrellaproject.org/lkif-core

More information at http://www.estrellaproject.org

Rinke Hoekstra (hoekstra@uva.nl) and
Joost Breuker (breuker@science.uva.nl)


The LKIF core ontology consists of 15 modules, each of which describes a 
set of closely related concepts from both legal and commonsense domains. 
In that sense, the LKIF core ontology is rather a library of ontologies 
than a monolithic body of definitions. A glossary of the concepts and 
properties included in these modules can be found at 
http://www.estrellaproject.org/lkif-core/doc/all-Glossary.html. The 
online documentation provides a definition of each concept and property 
in the Manchester OWL syntax (See the co-ode 

The most abstract concepts are defined in five closely related modules: 
top, place, mereology, time and spacetime.

The LKIF top ontology is largely based on the top-level of LRI-Core but 
has less ontological commitment in the sense that it imposes less 
restrictions on subclasses of the top categories.

The place module partially implements the theory of relative places 
(Donnelly, 2005) in OWL DL.

The mereology module defines mereological concepts such as parts and 
wholes, and typical mereological relations such as part of, component 
of, containment, membership etc.

The time module provides an OWL DL implementation of the theory of time 
by Allen (1984).

The space-time module is a placeholder for the place and time modules.

Basic-level concepts are distributed across four modules: process, role, 
action and expression.

The process module extends the LKIF top ontology module with a 
definition of changes, processes (being causal changes) and physical 
objects. It introduces a limited set of properties for describing 
participant roles of processes.

The role module defines a typology of roles (epistemic roles, functions, 
person roles, organisation roles) and the plays-property for relating a 
role filler to a role.

The action module describes the vocabulary for representing actions in 
general. Actions are processes which are performed by some agent (the 
actor of the action). This module does not commit itself to a particular 
theory on thematic roles.

The expression module describes a vocabulary for describing, 
propositions and propositional attitudes (belief, intention), 
qualifications, statements and media. It furthermore extends the role 
module with a number or epistemic roles, and is the basis for the 
definition of norms.

These basic clusters are extended by three modules to cover legal 
concepts: legal action, legal role and norm.

*legal-action* The legal action module extends the action module with a 
number of legal concepts related to action and agent, such as public 
acts, public bodies, legal person, natural person etc.

The legal role module extends the role module with a small number of 
legal concepts related to roles, legal professions etc.

The norm module is an extension primarily on the expression module where 
norms are defined as qualifications. Please refer to Deliverable 1.1 for 
a more in-depth description of the underlying theory. It furthermore 
defines a number of legal sources, e.g. legal documents, customary law 
etc., and a typology of rights and powers, cf. Sartor (2006), Rubino et 
al. (2006)

In addition to these legal clusters, two modules are provided that cover 
the basic vocabulary of two frameworks: modification and rules.

The modification module is both an extension of the time module and the 
legal action module. The time module is extended with numerous intervals 
and moments describing the efficacy and being in force of legal 
documents. The action module is extended with a typology of 
modifications. These concepts are described in further detail in 
Deliverable 3.2 of the ESTRELLA project.

The rules & argumentation module defines roles central to argumentation, 
and describes the vocabulary for LKIF rules as defined in Deliverable 
1.1, chapter 5. The module leaves room for further extension to complex 
argumentation frameworks (AIF, Carneades).

Finally, these fourteen modules are integrated in the LKIF-Core ontology 
module. This module does not provide any additional definitions, but 
functions as an entry-point for users of the ontology library.


Feel free to browse the online documentation for LKIF-Core:

The Deliverable 1.4, describing the ontology can be downloaded from:


The LKIF-Core ontology is released under the GNU Lesser General Public 
License. For details about this license, please visit 


Please visit the LKIF Core download repository at 
http://draco.leibnizcenter.org/relay (login: public, pass:public), for 
the latest version of the LKIF Core ontology.

Drs. Rinke Hoekstra

Email: hoekstra@uva.nl   Skype:  rinkehoekstra
Phone: +31-20-5253499    Fax:   +31-20-5253495
Web:   http://www.leibnizcenter.nl/users/rinke

Leibniz Center for Law,         Faculty of Law
University of Amsterdam,           PO Box 1030
1000 BA  Amsterdam,            The Netherlands

Received on Friday, 2 February 2007 10:02:01 UTC

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