The Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) recently formed a new technical committee, the OASIS LegalDocumentML (LegalDocML) Technical Committee, to begin moving forward specifications for a common legal document standard for parliamentary, legislative and judicial documents. The specification will be based upon the Akoma Ntoso-UN project’s XML schema, which Andrew Weber mentioned previously in his Tools for My Trade post. Akoma Ntoso is already in practice in several parts of the world including Brazil, Africa, and the European Union. In the United States, Grant Vergottini has applied Akoma Ntoso to the US Code.
A common standard for legislative information will provide information creators and curators with a reusable, shared method for classifying, structuring, publishing, and referencing legislative materials. Using a framework like Akoma Ntoso enables organizations to increase transparency and interoperability by exposing and enabling better access to legislative information and allowing easier exchange of information between institutions, governments, and countries.
The Technical Committee has posted their charter, which outlines the goals of the group and the scope of its work. The four basic objectives of the committee are:
- to promote a common legal document standard (based on Akoma Ntoso-UN) that promotes world-wide best practices for the use of XML within a Parliaments’, Assembly’s or Congress’s document management processes, within courts’ and tribunals’ judgment management systems, and generally in legal documents including contracts;
- to collect requirements from the community of the stakeholders who create, manage and use legislative and legal documents (editors, libraries, public institutions, tribunals, publishers, etc.) in order to extend and refine the standard;
- to promote growth of a community that supports the stakeholders in order to adopt LegalDocML locally;
- to provide technical specifications and documentation in order to support the developers of tools and software applications relying on LegalDocML.
The group is planning to deliver standard specifications for parliamentary/congressional, judicial, and contractual documents as well as semantic model specifications for long-term preservation of legal documents and a set of use cases.
Andrew and I have signed on as observers of the group and are excited to see this work progress. If you are interested in joining the LegalDocML Technical Committee, please read the OASIS call for participation for more information.