Controlling Legislative Language

The field of Artificial Intelligence and Law investigates how methods of artificial intelligence can be employed in the legal domain. One main obstacle to progress in the field is the fact that legal texts are written in natural language, while AI methods are based on formal logic. A complete and precise automatic translation of one form of representation into the other is as yet not feasible due to natural language ambiguity.

In this project, we investigated whether the syntax and semantics of Swiss legislative language can be controlled so that it can be automatically translated into formal logical representations and still remains natural and expressive enough for practical use in legislative drafting.

Researchers:

  • Stefan Höfler
  • Alexandra Bünzli

The project lasted from May 2010 to April 2011 and was funded by the Cogito Foundation.

Publications

Bünzli, A; Höfler, S (to appear). Controlling Ambiguities in Legislative Language. In: Rosner, M.; Fuchs, N. Proceedings of the 2nd Workshop on Controlled Natural Language (CNL 2010), LNCS, Springer.

Hoefler, S; Bünzli, A (2010). Designing a Controlled Natural Language for the Representation of Legal Norms. In: Pre-Proceedings of the 2nd Workshop on Controlled Natural Language (CNL 2010), CEUR Workshop Proceedings, Vol. 622.

Hoefler, S; Bünzli, A (2010). Controlling the Language of Statutes and Regulations for Semantic Processing. In: Proceedings of the LREC 2010 Workshop on Semantic Processing of Legal Texts (SPLeT 2010). Valletta, Malta, 8-15.

Hoefler, S; Bünzli, A (2010). Controlled Legal German 1.0: Einführung und Spezifikation. Technical Report ifi-2010.11, Department of Informatics, University of Zurich.

Hoefler, S; Bünzli, A (2010). Controlled Natural Language for Knowledge-Based Legal Information Systems. Technical Report ifi-2010.05, Department of Informatics, University of Zurich.

Presentations

Hoefler, S; Bünzli, A (2010). Designing a Controlled Natural Language for the Representation of Legal Norms. Paper presented at CNL 2010, Second Workshop on Controlled Natural Language, Marettimo.

Hoefler, S; Bünzli, A. (2010). Kontrollierte Sprache für juristische Informationssysteme. Invited talk, TaCoS 2010, Zurich.

Hoefler, S; Bünzli, A. (2010). Controlling the Language of Statutes and Regulations for Semantic Processing. Paper presented at the LREC 2010 Workshop on Semantic Processing of Legal Texts (SPLeT 2010), Malta.

Bünzli, A; Hoefler, S. (2010). Projektbericht Collegis. Presentation given at the Computational Linguistics Colloquium, University of Zurich.