LREC 2012 Workshop: 1st CfP Semantic Processing of Legal Texts (SPLeT-2012)

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Mon Dec 19 11:03:42 EST 2011

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LREC 2012 Workshop on Semantic Processing of Legal Texts (SPLeT-2012)
27 May 2012, Istanbul

*Workshop description*
The legal domain represents a primary candidate for web-based 
information distribution, exchange and management, as testified by the 
numerous e-government, e-justice and e-democracy initiatives worldwide. 
The last few years have seen a growing body of research and practice in 
the field of Artificial Intelligence and Law which addresses a range of 
topics: automated legal reasoning and argumentation, semantic and 
cross-language legal information retrieval, document classification, 
legal drafting, legal knowledge discovery and extraction, as well as the 
construction of legal ontologies and their application to the law 
domain. In this context, it is of paramount importance to use Natural 
Language Processing techniques and tools that automate and facilitate 
the process of knowledge extraction from legal texts.
Since 2008, the SPLeT workshops have been a venue where researchers from 
the Computational Linguistics and Artificial Intelligence and Law 
communities meet, exchange information, compare perspectives, and share 
experiences and concerns on the topic of legal knowledge extraction and 
management, with particular emphasis on the semantic processing of legal 
texts. Within the Artificial Intelligence and Law community, there have 
also been a number of dedicated workshops and tutorials specifically 
focussing on different aspects of semantic processing of legal texts at 
conferences such as JURIX-2008, ICAIL-2009, ICAIL-2011, as well as in 
the International Summer School "Managing Legal Resources in the 
Semantic Web" (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011). To continue this momentum 
and to advance research, a 4th Workshop on "Semantic Processing of Legal 
Texts" is being organized at the LREC-2012 conference to bring to the 
attention of the broader LR/HLT (Language Resources/Human Language 
Technology) community the specific technical challenges posed by the 
semantic processing of legal texts and also share with the
community the motivations and objectives which make it of interest to 
researchers in legal informatics. The outcome of these interactions are 
expected to advance research and applications
and foster interdisciplinary collaboration within the legal domain. New 
to this edition of the workshop are two sub-events to provide common and 
consistent task definitions, datasets, and evaluation for legal-IE 
systems along with a forum for the presentation of varying but focused 
efforts on their development. The first sub-event will be a shared task 
specifically focusing on dependency parsing of legal texts: although 
this is not a domain-specific task, it is a task which creates the 
prerequisites for advanced IE applications operating on legal texts, 
which can benefit from reliable preprocessing tools. For this year our 
aim is to create the prerequisites for more advanced domain-specific 
tasks (e.g. event extraction) to be organized in future SPLeT editions. 
We strongly believe that this could be a way to attract the attention of 
the LR/HLT community to the specific challenges posed by the analysis of 
this type of texts and to have a clearer idea of the current state of 
the art. The languages dealt with will be Italian and English. A 
specific Call for Participation for the shared task is available in a 
dedicated page.
The second sub-event will be an online, manual, collaborative, semantic 
annotation exercise, the results of which will be presented and 
discussed at the workshop. The goals of the exercise are:  (1) to gain 
insight on and work towards the creation of a gold standard corpus of 
legal documents in a cohesive domain; and (2) to test the feasibility of 
the exercise and to get feedback on its annotation structure and 
workflow. The corpus to be annotated will be a selection of documents 
drawn from EU and US legislation, regulation, and case law in a 
particular domain (e.g. consumer or environmental protection). For this 
exercise, the language will be English. A specific Call for 
Participation for this annotation exercise is available in a dedicated page.
The main goals of the workshop and associated events are to provide an 
overview of the state-ofthe-art in legal knowledge extraction and 
management, to explore new research and development directions and 
emerging trends, and to exchange information regarding legal language 
resources and human language technologies and their applications.

*Areas of Interest*
The workshop will focus on the topics of the automatic extraction of 
information from legal texts and the structural organisation of the 
extracted knowledge. Particular emphasis will be given to the crucial 
role of language resources and human language technologies.
Papers are invited on, but not limited to, the following topics:
- Construction, extension, merging, customization of legal language 
resources: terminologies, ontologies
- Information retrieval and extraction from legal texts
- Semantic annotation of legal textual corpora
- Legal text processing
- Multilingual aspects of legal text semantic processing
- Legal thesauri mapping
- Automatic Classification of legal documents
- Logical analysis of legal language
- Automated parsing and translation of natural language arguments into a 
logical formalism
- Linguistically-oriented XML mark up of legal arguments
- Dialogue protocols for argumentation
- Legal argument ontology
- Computational theories of argumentation that are suitable to natural 
- Controlled language systems for law.

Submissions are solicited from researchers working on all aspects of 
semantic processing of legal texts. Authors are invited to submit papers 
describing original completed work, work in progress, interesting 
problems, case studies or research trends related to one or more of the 
topics of interest listed above. The final version of the accepted 
papers will be published in the Workshop Proceedings. Short or full 
papers can be submitted. Short papers are expected to present new ideas 
or new visions that may influence the direction of future research, yet 
they may be less mature than full papers. While an exhaustive evaluation 
of the proposed ideas is not necessary, insight and in-depth 
understanding of the issues is expected. Full papers should be more well 
developed and evaluated. Short papers will be reviewed the same way as 
full papers by the Program Committee and will be published in the 
Workshop Proceedings.
Full paper submissions should not exceed 10 pages, short papers 6 pages; 
both should be typeset using a font size of 11 points. Style files will 
be made available by LREC for the camera-ready
versions of accepted papers. Papers should be submitted electronically, 
no later than February 10, 2012. The only accepted format for submitted 
papers is Adobe PDF. Submission will be electronic using START paper 
submission software available at
Note that when submitting a paper through the START page, authors will 
be asked to provide essential information about resources (in a broad 
sense, i.e. also technologies, standards, evaluation kits, etc.) that 
have been used for the work described in the paper or are a new result 
of your research. For further information on this new initiative, please 
refer to

Selected contributions to a Special Issue of AI&Law Journal
After the Workshop a number of selected, revised, peer-reviewed articles 
will be published in a Special Issue on Semantic Processing of Legal 
Texts of the AI and Law Journal (Springer).

*Important Dates*
Paper submission deadline: 10 February 2012
Acceptance notification sent: 5 March 2012
Final version deadline: 23 March 2012
Workshop date: 27 May 2012

*Workshop Chairs*
- Enrico Francesconi (Istituto di Teoria e Tecniche dell'Informazione 
Giuridica of CNR, Florence, Italy)
- Simonetta Montemagni (Istituto di Linguistica Computazionale of CNR, 
Pisa, Italy)
- Wim Peters (Natural Language Processing Research Group, University of 
Sheffield, UK)
- Adam Wyner (Department of Computer Science, University of Liverpool, UK)
Address any queries regarding the workshop to: lrec_legalWS at

*Program Committee (tbc)*
Kevin Ashley (Univ of Pittsburgh)
Johan Bos (University of Rome, Italy)
Danièle Bourcier (Humboldt Universität, Berlin, Germany)
Thomas R. Bruce (Cornell Law School, Ithaca, NY, USA)
Pompeu Casanovas (Institut de Dret i Tecnologia, UAB, Barcelona, Spain)
Jack Conrad (Thomson-Reuters)
Matthias Grabmair (University of Pittsburgh, USA)
Carole Hafner (Northeaster Univ.)
Antonio Lazari (Scuola Superiore S.Anna, Pisa, Italy)
Leonardo Lesmo (Dipartimento di Informatica, Università di Torino, 
Torino, Italy)
Carl Malamud (Public.Resource.Org)
Marie-Francine Moens (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium)
Thorne McCarty (Reutgers Univ.)
Raquel Mochales Palau (Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium)
Paulo Quaresma (Universidade de Évora, Portugal)
Robert Richards (Legal Informatics blog)
Tony Russell-Rose (Endeca)
Erich Schweighofer (Universität Wien, Rechtswissenschaftliche Fakultät, 
Wien, Austria)
Rolf Schwitter (Macquarie Univ)
Manfred Stede (University of Potsdam, Germany)
Daniela Tiscornia (Istituto di Teoria e Tecniche dell'Informazione 
Giuridica of CNR, Florence, Italy)
Tom van Engers (Leibniz Center for Law, University of Amsterdam, 
Giulia Venturi (Scuola Superiore S.Anna, Pisa, Italy)
Vern R. Walker (Hofstra University School of Law, Hofstra University, USA)
Radboud Winkels (Leibniz Center for Law, University of Amsterdam, 
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