Professor Dr. Radboud Winkels of the Leibniz Center for Law of the University of Amsterdam has published What’s in an Interchange Standard for Legislative XML?, Jusletter IT, 22, Feb. 2011. Here is the abstract:
To make efficient and effective use of all sources of law electronically available in Europe, with all their different (XML) formats, we need an open interchange standard. Such a standard will enable public administrations to better serve their citizens and organisations, to link legal information from various levels of authority and different countries and languages. Moreover, it will enable companies active in the field of legal knowledge systems to design methods and tools that support a much larger market and it will protect customers of such companies from vendor lock-in. Such an interchange standard should obviously be jurisdiction and language independent. Furthermore, it should refrain from describing elements that are not specific for legal documents and it should refrain from describing elements that require interpretation of the content of these documents. Finally, the standard should allow for easy (external) linking of separate knowledge models of the content to the original sources of law. We claim that MetaLex meets these requirements best, and has been specifically designed to meet these requirements.