UvA LogoWelcome to the pages of the Leibniz Center for Law of the University of Amsterdam. As an interdisciplinary research group, we develop intelligent technology to support legal practice both in the private and public sector. We apply Artificial Intelligence techniques to problems in legal theory, legal knowledge management, and the field of law in general. In this capacity, we participate in many (inter)national research initiatives and maintain strong ties to the international research community and government agencies.

We have longstanding experience in the development of legal ontologies, automatic legal reasoning and legal knowledge-based systems, (standard) languages for representing legal knowledge and information, user-friendly disclosure of legal data, application of data science and machine learning techniques in the field of law, and the application of information technology in education and legal practice. As an academic partner, the Leibniz Center provides advice on change management in legal-knowledge-intensive processes and on improvement of legal knowledge productivity in organisations.

The Leibniz Center for Law has its roots in the former department of Computer Science & Law (est. 1989) of the Faculty of Law of the University of Amsterdam.

For more background on the Leibniz Center, see our general information pages, and have a look at current projects. Students interested in our work may look for our proposals for Bachelor/Master theses.

Legal Atlas

Legal Atlas is a tool for viewing both spatial regulations and the associated geospatial information in the form of maps. It is a showcase of how MetaLex integration with existing standards, such as GML and OWL, can result in robust and feature-rich knowledge management solutions. Please read the included license.

Legal Atlas is being developed within the project Digitale Uitwisseling Ruimtelijke Plannen (DURP; digital exchange of spatial plans), initiated by the Dutch government. Legal Atlas enables dynamic references between spatial regulations (encoded in MetaLex v1.3.1 format) and the associated geospatial information. This information is encoded using IMRO2006, the Dutch government standard for XML exchange of spatial plans. It is compatible with GML 3.1.
References between texts and plans are resolved via SPARQL queries on OWL models of both the regulation and the relevant geospatial information.

For more information, please visit the MetaLex website: http://legacy.metalex.eu/general/legal-atlas-v011a.

Add comment August 11th, 2006

Leibniz Center on Google Earth

Since a few days, Google has updated some of the sattelite imagery of the Netherlands (and finally changed the capital from The Hague to Amsterdam) in Google Earth.

This breakthrough allows us to offer (exclusively) a Google Earth Placemark for the offices of the Leibniz Center for Law, in the center of Amsterdam. You can download it here: http://www.leibnizcenter.org/docs/Leibniz-Center-for-Law.kmz.

Add comment April 26th, 2006

Jurix 2005: looking back

The annual Jurix conference took place at the Free University Brussels (VUB) on 8-10 december. It was both an intellectually as well as socially rewarding and inspiring event. Many thanks to the organisation!

We had the pleasure of presenting two papers on our work. The first by Alexander Boer – co-authored by Tom van Engers and Radboud Winkels – about a preference-based representation of norms, entitled “Mixing Legal and Non-Legal Norms”. This paper, which is part of his PhD research, argues that legal norms are in may contexts best understood as expressions of a ceteris paribus preference, and that this viewpoint adequately accounts for normative conflict and contrary-to-duty norms. This paper sparked some very interesting discussions, not in the least because of a possible link with the work of Guido Governatori and Antonino Rotolo: “Norm Modifications in Defeasible Logic”

The second paper, by Tom van Engers – a joint research abstract with Ron van Gog and Arian Jacobs – is titled “How Technology can help reducing the Legal Burden” and explains how relatively simple technology can help governments to reduce the burden imposed by legal regulations.

The work by Katie Atkinson and Trevor Bench-Capon, titled “Theory and Practice in AI and Law: A Response to Branting” gives a clear overview of recent, and not-so-recent work in our field, and describes a useful framework for positioning various `branches’ of research. A very insightful paper, and perhaps less controversial than our own Functional Ontology of Law (Andre Valente, 1995).

Many other authors reported on their work, and by the looks of it the field is reaching consensus on the currently most prominent issues: harmonization and modification, linguistic approaches to legal information extraction and retrieval, formal representation of legislation, legal argumentation, and forensics support.

Hopefully the pdf-versions of all papers will soon be available online through the Jurix website.

Jurix Website
Jurix 2005 Conference website

Add comment January 16th, 2006

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