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  • Title: Akoma Ntoso — Site
    Descriptive info: .. Personal tools.. Log in.. Skip to content.. |.. Skip to navigation.. Search Site.. only in current section.. Site Map.. Accessibility.. Contact.. You are here:.. Home.. Akoma Ntoso in detail.. What is it.. Purpose.. Users.. Method.. Document Architecture.. Schema.. Metadata Conventions.. Release Notes.. Akoma Ntoso 3.. 0 Schema.. Documentation.. Schema notes diff.. Technical Documentation.. Examples of AN documents.. Akoma Ntoso User Documentation.. Customizing Akoma Ntoso: modularization, restrictions, extensions.. Resources.. Legislative Drafting Guidelines for Africa.. Related sites.. Bungeni.. Africa i-Parliaments.. Africa Parliamentary Knowledge Network.. Global Centre for ICT in Parliament.. Info.. Document Actions.. Send this.. Print this.. Akoma Ntoso.. Akoma Ntoso ( linked hearts in Akan language of West Africa) defines a machine readable set of simple technology-neutral electronic representations (in XML format) of.. parliamentary.. ,.. legislative.. and.. judiciary.. documents.. Akoma Ntoso XML schemas make visible the  ...   info.. ) a programme of.. UN/DESA.. Akoma Ntoso UPDATES.. News.. AT4AM for ALL, the web editor for amending legislation of the European Parliament is released in Open Source.. Apr 02, 2013 12:49 AM.. Akoma Ntoso adopted by the Italian Senate.. Mar 18, 2013 10:20 AM.. Akoma Ntoso Version 3.. 0 released - approved by OASIS LegalDocML Technical Committee Conference.. Project Evaluation: Stakeholder Validation Workshop.. Nov 30, 2012 10:31 AM.. Bungeni and Akoma Ntoso at the World e-Parliament Conference 2012.. Sep 27, 2012 04:39 AM.. More news.. AKOMA NTOSO group.. Join.. Akoma Ntoso group.. to discuss about issue related to the implementation of Akoma Ntoso.. OASIS LegalDocumentML Technical Committee.. OASIS LegalDocumentML Technical Committee.. to follow the OASIS standardisation process of Akoma Ntoso.. News.. 2000-2014 AKOMA NTOSO.. an initiative of.. United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA)..

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  • Title: Akoma Ntoso — Site
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  • Title: Site
    Descriptive info: Error.. Cookies are not enabled.. You must enable cookies before you can log in.. Please log in.. Forgot your password?.. If you have forgotten your password,.. click here to retrieve it.. Login Name.. Password..

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  • Title: Site
    Descriptive info: Text size:.. (Requires Javascript).. Large.. Normal.. Small.. This site uses the.. Open Source Content Management System Plone.. and has been designed to be completely accessible and usable, working in accordance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (.. WCAG.. v1.. 0).. If there is anything on this site accessibility or validation related that is not according to the standard, please contact the.. Site Administration.. , and not the Plone Team.. Access keys.. Access keys are a navigation device enabling you to get around this web site using your keyboard.. Available access keys.. This site uses a setup that closely matches most international recommendations on access keys.. These are:.. 1.. Home  ...   people access the Internet, to develop a web site that is clear and simple for everybody to use.. Validation.. We have used.. XHTML.. 0 and.. CSS.. that conforms to specification, as laid out by the.. W3C.. because we believe that usability and accessibility must have a solid foundation.. If anything on this web site does not validate correctly, please contact the.. We have also endeavoured to achieve AA accessibility as measured against version 1.. 0 of the.. We are aware however, that a number of the checkpoints of the.. are subjective and although we are sure that we have met them squarely, there may be instances where interpretation may vary..

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  • Title: Site
    Descriptive info: Contact form.. Contact Details.. Prof.. Monica Palmirani - email:.. monica.. palmirani@unibo.. it.. CIRSFID - University of Bologna.. Via Galliera 3.. 40121 Bologna BO.. Italy.. Fabio Vitali - email:.. fabio.. vitali@unibo.. DISI - University of Bologna.. Mura Anteo Zamboni, 7.. 40126 Bologna BO.. Dr.. John-Mary Kauzya - email:.. kauzya@un.. org.. Chief, Public Administration Capacity Branch.. Gerald Kandulu - email:.. kandulu@un.. Division for Public  ...   Affairs (UNDESA).. Two UN Plaza-Room DC2-1712.. New York, NY 10017.. Tel: 1-212-963-2764.. Fax: 1-917-367-0522.. Email your comments.. Fill in this form to contact the site owners.. Feedback details.. Name.. Please enter your full name.. E-Mail.. (Required).. Please enter your e-mail address.. Subject.. Please enter the subject of the message you want to send.. Message.. Please enter the message you want to send..

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  • Title: What is it — Site
    Descriptive info: Akoma Ntoso in detail.. Next:.. All content on one page (useful for printing, presentation mode etc.. ).. Akoma Ntoso ( linked hearts in Akan language of West Africa) defines a set of simple, technology-neutral electronic representations of parliamentary, legislative and judiciary documents for e-services in a worldwide context and provides an enabling framework for the effective exchange of machine readable parliamentary, legislative and judiciary documents such as legislation, debate record, minutes, judgements, etc.. Providing access to primary legal materials, parliamentary works and judiciaries documents is not just a matter of giving physical or on-line access to them.. Open access requires the information to be described and classified in a uniform and organized way so that content is structured into meaningful elements that can be read and understood by software applications, so that the content is made machine readable and more sophisticated applications than on-screen display are made possible.. The opportunity to make visible the structures and semantic components of parliamentary, legislative and judiciary documents to software applications means to be able to use the huge capacity of ICTs to manipulate documents not as just plain undifferentiated text but in their structure and semantic components so that high value information services can be developed to assist institutions and citizens to better play their respective roles.. Akoma Ntoso fulfils the citizens' right to access parliamentary and judiciary proceedings and legislation by providing open access and advanced functionalities like point-in-time legislation through standardised representations of data and metadata in the parliamentary and judiciary domain and mechanism for citation and cross referencing of legal documents to also improve data exchange and document life cycle automation.. The Akoma Ntoso logo is symbol used by the Akan people of West Africa to represent understanding and agreement, linked hearts or Akoma Ntoso.. Rationale.. leverage ICTs to radically improve the quality of their services and to improve access to all Parliamentary information.. In the Information Age, Parliaments, Courts, etc.. are striving to leverage modern information and communications technologies to radically improve the quality of their services and to improve access to all Parliamentary information as a strategic resource for the young and active democracies.. Parliaments and courts have been engaged and have been committed to introducing information and communications technologies (ICT) into their organisations for some years now.. Up to now, however, the focus has been primarily directed towards the electronic dissemination of parliamentary documents, laws and judgements online with little or no attention to more sophisticated services (such as hypertextual access, semantic search, cross-jurisdictional linking, time-constrained access to in-force legislation, etc.. ) that are based on the need to introduce standards and guidelines as a requirement for both effective management of information and long term preservation of formal documentation.. In the new context created by ICTs in terms of information management and global accessibility of information, the need for standardised document formats is not just a desirable practice but a necessity in order to develop information systems that can exploit the unprecedented opportunities of ICTs and support the exchange of information and collaboration.. The present situation sees lack of uniformity in the preparation and structuring of parliamentary, legislative and judicial documents and more specifically with regard to the electronic environment, the lack of standards in the metadata sets, the lack of shared referencing mechanisms, etc.. Furthermore, the focus so far has been mainly on publication , meant as an activity which simply involves making available online the electronic counterparts of the traditional paper documents, without proper consideration of the opportunities provided by new ICTs and mark-up languages.. Parliaments and courts are continually confronted with demands for ever-greater transparency in the interactions between the electors and the elected, between the courts and the civil society.. Also, they have to understand how to manage information and documents in a way that improves transparency and access, at the same time permitting greater understanding of the democratic and judiciary process..  ...   Courts should use the guidance provided to supplement their national e-Government Interoperability Frameworks with a world-wide dimension and thus enable world-wide interoperability of Parliaments.. AKOMA NTOSO is meant to supplement, rather than replace, national interoperability guidelines that may exist in loco by adding to them a world-wide dimension.. This initiative enables open access to information by focussing on both semantic and technical interoperability at the document level.. Semantic interoperability.. is concerned with ensuring that the precise meaning of exchanged information is understandable by any person or application receiving the data.. The majority of Akoma Ntoso's efforts are dedicated to this area.. Technical interoperability.. is aimed at ensuring that all Akoma Ntoso-related applications, systems and interfaces are based on a shared core of technologies, languages and technical assumptions easing data interchange, data access and reuse of acquired competencies and tools.. Akoma NtosoO ensures technical interoperability by enforcing the use of open standards and open document formats, all of whom are based on the XML (eXtensible Markup Language) language, whose specifications are a world-wide standard and for which numerous tools and applications have been developed and are widely available.. By adopting Akoma Ntoso specifications, parliamentary and court system designers can ensure.. interoperability.. between systems while at the same time enjoy the flexibility to select different hardware, and systems and application software to implement solutions.. Presentation,Structure and Semantics.. There are four aspects to any document that are relevant to mention, and this is also true for parliamentary, legislative and judiciary documents:.. Content.. the actual set of words and punctuation that form the sentences of the text;.. Presentation.. - how the information looks, e.. g.. the colour of the text used in the document, the font used in the headings and other such formatting issues;.. Structure.. - how the information is organized, e.. , the identification of some parts of text as headings, some parts as clauses, etc.. ;.. Semantics.. - what the information represents or means;.. Online publishing of documents has long been confined to presentation issues.. Documents have been put on line trying to replicate as much as possible the layout and formatting of paper.. The way a document looks is very important to the human reader but does not really provide much useful information to the computer to actually use a document the way a knowledgeable human being could do.. The development of descriptive markup meta-languages such as XML allows to add information to any document that would make both the structure and the semantics of a document usable by a computer.. Computers do not have the kind of experience and knowledge that allow professional human being to be able to deduct structure and semantics from a document unless this document has been previously marked up to make it machine readable.. More specifically:.. Structural markup.. refers to the categorizing of different parts of a text based on their role in organizing the document (e.. , sections and clauses, preambles and attachments, headings and bodies, etc.. ).. Semantic markup.. refers to the categorizing of different parts of a text based on their meaning with regard to the topic of the document (e.. , provisions, definitions, reference, names, dates, places, etc.. ) Sometimes structural and semantic markup overlap, e.. in a parliamentary document a Question or a Motion is both a specfic structure within the document, as well as a semantic indication of the content that will be found therein.. Akoma Ntoso provides a way to move digital documents from the presentation to the semantic era.. Digital parliamentary, legislative and judiciary documents are not just displayed online, they are now understood by software applications and used for a myriad purposes.. Both the meaning and structure of every element in a parliamentary, legislative or judiciary document are available for all applications to access, thus providing the unprecedented opportunity to exploit the speed and accuracy of ICTs to manage, access and distribute such documents..

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  • Title: Purpose — Site
    Descriptive info: Previous:.. The main purpose of the Akoma Ntoso initiative is to develop a number of connected standards and languages and guidelines for parliamentary, legislative and judiciary documents, and specifically to:.. Define a common.. document format.. model for document interchange.. data schema.. metadata schema and ontology.. schema for citation and cross referencing.. Document FORMAT.. Parliaments and Courts function through the medium of documents.. Debate in Parliamentary chambers and courts proceedings are recorded as documents.. Legislation is passed through the voting process via a combination of documents, the proposed legislation itself, proposed amendments, committee working papers and so on.. Given that most of the processes are document-centric, the key enabler of streamlined Information Technology in Parliaments and Courts is the use of open document formats for the principal types of documents.. Such open document formats will allow easy exchange and aggregation of information in addition to reducing the time required to make the information accessible via different electronic publishing media.. The Information Technology industry has coalesced around a standard technology for Open Document Formats known as.. XML.. (e.. X.. tensible.. M.. arkup.. L.. anguage).. Akoma Ntoso makes use of XML industry standard XML (eXtensible Markup Language) to define the structure and syntax of its open document standards.. It includes a set of XML-based parliamentary, legislative and judiciary Open Document Formats to cover:.. Parliamentary Debates.. Committee briefs.. Journals.. Primary Legislation - covering the life-cycle of a piece of legislation.. Judgements.. Others to be added.. MODEL for data interchange and open access.. Define a common MODEL for data interchange and open access to parliamentary, legislative and judiciary documents.. Regardless of the processes that generate and use parliamentary, legislative and judiciary documents, regardless of the cultural and historical factors that give shape and substance to these documents, and regardless of the human languages in which these documents are written, there are undeniable similarities that are shared by documents of the same type, of different types, for different purposes, of different countries.. One of the main objectives of Akoma Ntoso is to be able to capture and describe these similarities so as to unify and streamline, wherever possible and as far as possible, the formats and software tools related to parliamentary, legislative and judiciary documentation, and describe processes in a similar way.. This lends itself to reducing the need for local investments in tools and systems, to helping open access, and to enhancing cooperation and integration of governmental bodies both within the individual countries and between them.. Akoma Ntoso defines a model for open access focused on the following issues:.. generation of documents.. : it should be possible to use the same tools for creating the documents, regardless of their type, country, language, and generation process.. presentation of documents.. : it should be possible to use the same tools to show on screen and print on paper all documents, regardless of their type, country, language and generation process.. accessibility of documents.. : it should be possible to reference and access documents across types, languages, countries, etc.. , converting the network of explicit references among texts into a web of hypertext links that allow the reader to navigate easily and immediately across them.. description of documents.. : it should be possible to describe all documents, regardless of their types, languages, countries, etc.. , so as to make it possible to create repositories, search engines, analysis tools, comparison tools, etc..  ...   not actually part of its content, but is necessary to examine in order to deal with the document itself (for instance, information about its publication, lifecycle, etc.. Metadata also enable a document to be found by indicating what the document is about and how it can be accessed.. Furthermore, metadata facilitates the discovery and use of online resources by providing information that aids and increases the ease with which information can be located by search engines that index metadata.. Metadata values are labelled and collected according to a common ontology, i.. e.. an organized description of the metadata categories that describe the resources.. A shared ontology is fundamental to provide a way for managing, organizing and comparing metadata.. The parliamentary, legislative and judiciary ontology is concerned particularly with records management and document management, and covers the core set of data elements needed for the effective management and retrieval of official parliamentary, legislative and judiciary information.. The aim of the parliamentary, legislative and judiciary ontology is to provide a universal schema for all the information about a document that is available to its owner, does not belong to the document itself, and might be needed for management or searching.. The Akoma Ntoso ontology provides direct translation of some of its values into the corresponding properties of the Dublin Core metadata schema (an international standard for the description of electronic documents available online), and uses values and terms drawn from the legal thesauri to improve searchability by legal professionals.. Nonetheless, Akoma Ntoso, the ontology is designed to be extensible so that Parliaments and Courts with different, or more specific, metadata needs may add extra elements and qualifiers to meet their own requirements.. MECHANISM for citation and cross referencing of documents.. Define a mechanism MECHANISM for citation and cross referencing of data between documents.. The Akoma Ntoso Naming Convention and the corresponding Akoma Ntoso reference mechanism are intended to enable a persistent, location-independent, mechanism for resource identification and active referencing.. The adoption of a scheme based on the Naming Convention allows the full automation of access to documents in a fully distributed hypertext.. The naming convention can cater for:.. the direct access to the document being referred to, regardless of type, jurisdiction, country, or emanating body.. the specification of the existence, at a certain time, of more than one copy of the same document being referred to;.. the possibility that references to resources not yet published on the web are present.. Official documents, bills, laws, acts and judgements contain numerous references to other official documents, judgements, bills, laws and acts.. The whole parliamentary, legislative and judiciary corpus of documents can be seen as a network, in which each document is a node linking, and linked by, several other nodes through natural language expressions.. The adoption of a common naming convention and a reference mechanism to connect a distributed document corpus, like the one embodied by the Parliaments and Courts, will greatly enhance the accessibility and richness of cross references.. It will enable comprehensive cross referencing and hyper-linking, so vital to any parliamentary, legislative and judiciary corpus, from:.. debate record into legislation.. section of legislation to section of legislation in the same act.. section of legislation to section of legislation in another act of the same Parliament or of an institution like the Pan African Parliament or European Parliament;.. from judgements to other judgements and acts..

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  • Title: Users — Site
    Descriptive info: Akoma Ntoso aims at providing support for a large number of tasks and users spread throughout time, space and competencies.. The types of potential users that might end up using or benefiting from Akoma Ntoso can be grouped in the following categories:.. The “author”.. The author can be a member of a Parliament, a Judge, a legal practitioner or a clerk/personal assistant of them.. He/she is currently drafting a new piece of legislation, due to be discussed which maybe, approved in a future session of the Parliament, or preparing a judgement.. The author might not be aware of the existence of Akoma Ntoso, XML, or any such technicality.. He/she might, or might not, be aware of the existence of guidelines in the formal drafting of law and judgements.. Yet he/she does not know what XML is, and does not care.. But he/she wants be able retrieve bills, acts, judgements, etc.. effectively, and to be able to access explicit references to other laws made in them, etc.. The author also wants to be able to access point-in-time consolidations of laws that provide a version of the original act updated to a specific point in time through the application of all the subsequent amendments , and wants easy and effective tools to find and retrieve bills, acts, judgements, etc.. to carry out his/her duties more effectively.. The “drafter”.. The drafter is a member of the office supporting the process of drafting of legal documents, be it of legislation, parliamentary proceedings or judgements.. During the work-flow phase, the drafter receives all proposed text modifications to a document being drafted abd generates any of a number of documents used by the authors (e.. , members of the Parliaments, judges, etc.. ), such as summaries, synaptic views of amendments, etc.. When the proposed document is finally approved, he/she creates the final version of it, either directly in an XML editor using the Akoma Ntoso format or in a word processing application creating a file that is then translated into Akoma Ntoso XML by some downstream process phase.. The drafter is a domain expert in a specific matter, e.. g legislation, judgements, etc.. , and has some, even minor, computing experience, but he/she is definitely no computer programmer or scientist.. He/she is aware of Akoma Ntoso and knows about its structural and semantic requirements but he/she may know very little about XML and he/she will never be exposed or required to know anything about XML.. Yet he/she is usually required to be very knowledgeable about the structures, semantics and explicit and implicit information the the document he/she is drafting carries.. The  ...   Act 2-1999 ) or via a search interface (either textual or exploiting vocabularies and ontologies specified through the Akoma Ntoso metadata).. The citizen doesn t know what Akoma Ntoso is meant to deliver, that the project is meant to provide the text of legal documents through some kind of esoteric machinery behind the scenes, he/she does not know what XML is, and does not care.. He/she wants his/her web browser to display the text of the acts, proceedings and judgments he/she searched, and wants all explicit references to other documents to be hypertext links that can be navigated with ease and immediacy, and wants a reasonable interface that lets him/her read the text on the screen and, when necessary, print it on paper.. The “future toolmaker”.. The future toolmaker is 10 years old now.. He/she is playing with his school friends and does not know anything about Akoma Ntoso and does not care.. Yet.. He/she is in this list because in fifteen years, when he/she ll be 25, he/she will be a professional computer programmer and will have to create new tools for Akoma Ntoso.. The key difference between the toolmaker and the future toolmaker is that the future toolmaker may not have access to the complete documentation of the Akoma Ntoso project, because things may have been changed globally or locally with little or no formal records, and people responsible for these changes may have moved, retired or forgotten about the changes altogether.. He/she may only have sparse documentation of the actual features of the system.. Furthermore, he/she will have to deal with a fairly stratified situation where the basic ideas (on which today's toolmaker has worked) have evolved, modified, expanded and changed emphasis.. Furthermore, more often than not these changes have happened slowly and without documentation.. The only sure thing that the future toolmaker has to work on is more than 15 years of legislation available in XML format, whose documentation is introductory for certain, but far from complete and sufficient.. Fortunately the early Akoma Ntoso decisions have been to have the XML format be as self-explanatory as possible, so that he/she can, in principle, deduce all undocumented facts about Akoma Ntoso by simply examining a few relevant XML instances of the legislation and discovering there how it should work.. In a sense, the future toolmaker is more a key user for our system than the toolmaker , and the possibility for the future toolmaker to deduce fundamental properties of Akoma Ntoso from the visual examination of XML documents will make us sure of long-term existence and usefulness of the Akoma Ntoso system itself..

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  • Title: Method — Site
    Descriptive info: Strategic Goals.. "lingua franca", long term storage, common metadata, self-explanatory, extensible.. The Akoma Ntoso model has been informed by the following strategic goals:.. To create a lingua franca for the interchange of parliamentary, legislative and judiciary documents between institutions.. For example, Parliament/Court X should be able to easily access a piece of legislation made available in Akoma Ntoso format by Parliament/Court Y.. The goal here is to speed up the process of drafting new legislation, writing sentences, etc.. by reducing the amount of accessing, re-keying, re-formatting etc.. required.. To provide a long term storage and access format to parliamentary, legislative and judiciary documents that allow search, interpretation and visualization of such documents several years from now, even in the absence of the specific applications and technologies that were originally used to generate them.. To provide an implementable baseline for parliamentary, legislative and judiciary systems in institutions.. It is envisaged that this will lead to one or more systems that provide the base layer of software out of the box that can then be customized to local needs.. The goals here are twofold.. Firstly, to facilitate the process of introducing IT into institutions.. Secondly, to reduce the amount of re-invention of the wheel that would result if all institutions pursued separate IT initiatives in the area of parliamentary, legislative and judiciary document production and management.. To create a common data and metadata models so that information retrieval tools techniques used in Parliament/Court X can be also be used in Parliament/Court Y.. To take a simple example, it should be possible to search across the document repositories of multiple Parliaments/Courts in a consistent and effective way.. To create common mechanisms for resource naming and linking so that documents produced by Parliaments/Courts can be easily cited and cross-referenced either by other Parliaments/Courts or by other users.. To be self-explanatory , that is to be able to provide all information for their use and meaning through a simple examination, even without the aid of specialized software.. To be extensible , that is it must be possible to allow modifications to the models within the Akoma Ntoso framework so that local customisation can be achieved without sacrificing interoperability with other systems.. Simple data model.. identify a number of basic, fundamental classes of structures.. The Akoma Ntoso document model is designed, first and foremost, to be actually used.. As a consequence, a high premium has been placed on simplicity throughout its design.. Data models created to handle complex document types (such as legislation or sentences) need to deal with two apparently opposed requirements: on the one hand, they need to be sufficiently sophisticated to handle all possible semantic and structural occurrences and situations that may occur in the actual documents.. On the other, they need to be speedily understood and used by the people who would need to apply these models.. These opposed requirements can be jointly satisfied not by simplifying the vocabularies of available structures and elements, which would reduce the available descriptive sophistication of the language, but rather by simplifying the structure variability and types (in XML parlance, the.. content models.. ), thereby reducing the learning time and the software complexity without compromising a full and detailed descriptive power of the language.. The idea therefore is to identify a number of basic, fundamental classes of structures (containers, hierarchies, blocks, etc.. ) that can be immediately understood and used appropriately, regardless of their actual names.. Ability to evolve.. built to stand evolutions and changes over time.. A critical attribute of a successful XML model is its ability to evolve over time.. This evolvability has been a key concern in the creation of the Akoma Ntoso model.. Thus, although the language is built to stand evolutions and changes over time, the language can be customized at will for local needs and purposes, and still be made compatible with the overall Akoma Ntoso infrastructure and the general language.. Furthermore, the language is built to stand evolutions and changes even regarding the number of actual functionalities provided: features such as the number and type of metadata values, or the automatic generation of amended text, or the activation of special analysis tools on the text may require the language to evolve in time.. In these cases, it can be guaranteed that existing documents already marked up according to initial versions of Akoma Ntoso will be either immediately compatible with the new schemas, or easily convertible to it via a single XSLT stylesheet to be provided.. Correctness assurance.. verifying the correctness of an XML document against specific schema.. Validation is the word used in XML parliance to refer to the act of checking the correctness of an XML document according to some pre-defined structural rules expressed in the formal definition of the language as expressed in one or more DTDs and XML Schemas.. The validation step verifies whether the XML document contains, in number and position, all the expected elements of the type this document is an instance of.. The Akoma Ntoso XML language is formally defined using an XML Schema, and the corresponding validation schema Akoma Ntoso imposes a number of constraints and restrictions on the final form of the XML document, requiring for instance a specific order in the containment of parts or that any part is preceded by a heading, etc.. The problem with being very restrictive in the constraints specified in the validation schema is that, documents may be drafted (e.. approved by a Parliament) that do not conform to these rules: many countries have guidelines for the correct drafting of legislation or judgements, but have no prescriptive value: they are just what they are called, guidelines, that can be ignored and customized at will by a higher authority such as a Parliament or Court.. This fact has a very important effect on the generation of electronic versions of such documents: everything that gets approved by Parliaments or written by Courts.. has to.. be accepted by the system, and everything that has already been approved even more so.. Therefore, failing XML validation (i.. , violating one or more of the constraints and restrictions expressed in the schemas) cannot have the effect of rejecting documents, but, at most, of pointing out issues and differences from the guidelines that the authority itself, if it wants and has time to spend on this, can consider for editing and modifications.. If we consider the validation schema a contract on the form a document has to assume, then this contract clearly binds only the author of the XML markup, leaving the author of  ...   and markup, starting off an empty document: although this is the easiest case to understand, itis probably the rarest concrete scenario of use, as the drafting offices will most usually work off existing documents in some other format.. as an application to manually mark-up a document whose textual content was provided in a different format.. Depending on the sophistication of the conversion engine, this scenario will most probably blend naturally with the following one, with automatic tools suggesting markup that is then verified and approved by the human user.. The editor basically provides functionalities to edit and add any kind of Akoma Ntoso-conformant markup, and is able to check the validity of any intermediate result.. as an interface to activate, control and verify the automatic conversion obtained by the tool described in the next section.. Through the editor the user can verify the correctness of the conversion, and change and add whatever markup or content the conversion engine has forgot or misidentified using the standard editing interface.. The converter.. The converter is, with the editor, the most fundamental tool for the Akoma Ntoso system.. The need for a converter is based on the assumption that in many cases the drafting process is already in place with a number of generic and specialized tools, and the offices and the drafter may start conformance by adopting a tool for the final task of generating the XML version of the document, and not replace their existing workflow with new tools and new tasks.. Such final tool is the converter.. The converter has the double purpose of.. converting into Akoma Ntoso XML documents the files that the drafter is producing traditionally, and,.. converting into Akoma Ntoso files the legacy documents, such as the existing acts and judgements that form the current situation of each country, and whose conversion into XML is needed for any hypertext web of references to work at all.. Since legacy documents are, by definition, in any old format, and since it makes no sense to type them in XML using an XML editor, the task of conversion happens through a semi-automatic operation using the converter.. The conversion is based on the idea of semi-automatic operation, i.. , it i based on an automatic process that determines as correctly as possible the actual structures, and a subsequent manual process that confirm (or, if there is an error, modifies) the inferences made by the automatic process.. In fact, this application is often meant to be one of the modules of the editor, and uses the editor itself for corrections to the automatic inferences of the converter.. Of course, the amount of human editing is inversely proportional to the regularity of the documents and the sophistication of the converter, so that large quantities of regular documents can usually be processed automatically with little or no manual intervention.. The converter works by examining the typographical and textual regularities of the document, and by inferring from them a structural or semantic role for each text fragment.. When no deducible structural or semantic role can be inferred automatically, the presentational characteristics will be recorded instead and if the human user will be asked to provide the structural or semantic role that the tool failed to identify.. Experiences with European laws show that the basic structure of the bill (sections, subsections, clauses, preambles, conclusions, attachments, etc.. ) can be inferred automatically with great precision and few errors.. The most important semantic elements, references and dates, can also be deduced automatically with great precision as long as the human-readable text used for them uses one of a limited number of acceptable forms.. More complex structural elements (explicit modifications, specialized terms, people, etc.. ) might be difficult to catch in a fully automatic way, but this is not impossible.. Name resolvers.. The Akoma Ntoso Naming Convention is a standard mechanism for creating identifiers of documents that can be used for accessing content and metadata regardless of storage options and architecture.. Akoma Ntoso documents are stored on networked computers and are accessible by specifying their network addresses.. Yet these addresses are extremely dependent on the specificities of the architecture that were adopted by the custodian of those documents, and are dependent on the technologies and tools that are in vogue or appropriate for the economic and technical context of the custodians.. It is extremely inappropriate, therefore, that any content or structure that is planned to last for more than a short period of time is named according to the physical address of the document in the form that is currently used to access it.. For this reason, the Akoma Ntoso Naming Convention specifies an architecture-independent network address (using a permanent family of Web-derived URI addresses) for all relevant structures of the Akoma Ntoso standard, which on the other hand is not meant to be used directly for accessing these structures.. A name resolver is a software tool that can, given an architecture-independent URI, identify the resource being sought and provide the current architecture-dependent address that needs to be used at any given time in order to perform the actual access.. Name resolvers are either indirect, in that they return the client application the current address of the requested document, and leave the client application the task of re-requesting the document at the correct address or direct, in that they immediately return the requested document by generating the actual physical address and requesting the document as a proxy for the initial client application.. Post-editing tools.. The post-editing tools are a number of validation, enrichment, and storage tools that are used after the legal drafter has finished his/her editing job.. All these tools require no user-interface to speak of, are managed either automatically or by the system administrator of the storage centre for all Akoma Ntoso documents.. These tools include at least (but the list might be longer and more sophisticated):.. A content and structure validator that checks the correctness of the document instance with regard to the Akoma Ntoso schema document, and to any additional rules that were added locally.. A reference validator that checks whether all references contained in the document already belong to the document collection and are correctly referenced.. A metadata validator that checks whether the metadata stored with the document are correct and complete.. A sophisticated and complex document management system, with search engines, hypertext functionalities, XSLT support and versioning facilities.. An XSLT stylesheet (or a series thereof) to create visualizations of individual documents for a number of browsers and applications that will increase and get more sophisticated in time..

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  • Title: Document Architecture — Site
    Descriptive info: Baseline Conformance.. The Akoma Ntoso framework is composed of a number of schemas, files, and auxiliary data that compose the overall picture of an interoperable standard for accessing and exchanging parliamentary, legislative and judiciary documents.. Conformance to Akoma Ntoso, on the other hand, does not mean rigid adoption of all and only these documents and data files.. Akoma Ntoso provides ample possibilities for local customization of systems, while maintaining overall open access functionality.. In particular, Akoma Ntoso provides the following conformance requirements:.. Akoma Ntoso General Schema.. :.. MANDATORY.. All Akoma Ntoso-conforming applications and systems need to handle correctly and completely the general schema and the associated.. usage guideline.. Akoma Ntoso customized Schema.. OPTIONAL.. Parliaments and emanating bodies that wish to enforce stricter constraints on published documents may decide to adopt or even create their own customized schema, as long as overall compatibility with the general schema is maintained.. The basic compatibility rule here is that all documents validated with the custom schema are also valid with the overall general schema.. Akoma Ntoso Metadata Common Set.. :.. Akoma Ntoso provides a list of fundamental metadata items that.. need.. to be filled in for every Akoma Ntoso-compliant document.. All systems and tools must handle correctly and completely the common Set.. Akoma Ntoso Metadata custom set.. The document-specific set contains a number of metadata elements that are descriptive of a specific document type.. Thus they are required metadata whenever associated to the corresponding document type.. All documents of a given type.. must.. contain all metadata of that particular document type.. Conversely all tools and systems handling all document types need to be able to manage the whole set of options metadata items, and tools and systems handling specific document types must  ...   full descriptions of the element while unifying and limiting in scopes the structures.. The theory of markup languages clearly distinguishes between the name (the label that can be associated to a fragment of text) and the content model or type (the structural constraints associated to a name).. Thus, for instance, if we decide to call a paragraph an explanation and another paragraph a definition , they will have different names (i.. , explanation and definition ), but will have the same model (i.. , they will both be paragraphs , i.. , they will both contain text as well as inline styles such as bold or italic).. Complexity in XML software and XML document management arises in two different situations:.. For tool implementers, when a large number of types increases the amount of code necessary for handling them in presentation, editing, etc.. For document encoders (e.. , in our case, the legal drafter) cannot find the most appropriate name or label to describe a document fragment and needs to choose between a varying number of imprecise and unsatisfying alternatives.. By clearly differentiating between names and types, Akoma Ntoso simplifies the tasks and reduces the costs of toolmakers by considerably constraining the variety of types, yet maintains a full and expandable list of names for precise description of the actual meaning and role of each document fragment.. In fact, although there is no precise and definite number of names in the elements foreseen for Akoma Ntoso documents, the types (or content models) that are associated to these names run along a small number of categories; indeed, these categories are exactly five, as explained in section 6.. 2, and can be determined by a very simple exam of their definition..

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  • Title: Schema — Site
    Descriptive info: This section introduces and explains the schema for Akoma Ntoso 1.. 0,, provide details about the Akoma Ntoso 1.. 0 document structure, elements and attributes.. Design guides and conceptual assumptions that were made in the development of the schemas are discussed, as well as some hints for document markup using this schema.. Global Overview of the schema.. Akoma Ntoso uses two kinds of schema:.. the.. Akoma Ntoso general schema.. is the vocabulary of elements and attributes, as well as the minimal set of constraints that.. all.. Akoma Ntoso documents.. comply to.. Akoma Ntoso custom schemas.. are an open set of stricter schemas providing more constraints over the same vocabulary of elements and attributes depending on the wishes of their designers.. They are meant to enforce the rules of specific document types in specific Parliaments, and as such may enforce a larger number of requirements and constraints than the general schema.. It is a requirement of Akoma Ntoso that all custom schemas are restrictions of the general schema, i.. , that all documents satisfying a custom schema must also satisfy the general schema.. In this document the general schema is described in full, and all rules, except when explicitly specified, are meant to refer to the general schema (and thus are applicable to all Akoma Ntoso documents).. Akoma Ntoso documents are completely qualified, i.. , namespaces are used throughout the grammar.. Even though some elements use the same name as HTML elements, and in fact are directly drawn out of the HTML vocabulary, they are not qualified within the HTML namespace, but out of simplicity it was decided to use one namespace only, so that all elements are similarly qualified.. The net result is that it is possible to specify the Akoma Ntoso namespace as the default namespace and have no prefixes in the instance document, while maintaining full qualification of the documents.. The namespace for version 1.. 0 of Akoma Ntoso is '.. http://www.. akomantoso.. org/1.. 0.. '.. This namespace, and the qualification Akoma Ntoso 1.. 0 have been used throughout a number of dated releases of Akoma Ntoso.. Starting from July 2011, a new version of Akoma Ntoso, version 2.. 0, has been released, which introduces important and backward incompatible modifications to the schema under a new namespace, '.. org/2.. Akoma Ntoso 2.. 0 also is undergoing a sequence of releases each carefully dated.. Thus to clearly identify the specific version of the schema used for a document one must refer both to the version number and the release date of the schema.. It is to be noted, though, all documents written using any release of Akoma Ntoso 1.. 0 or any release of Akoma Ntoso 2.. 0 should be correct and valid (although possibly not as specific) according to the schemas describing subsequent releases, including the most recent ones.. Furthermore, it may often be the case that documents valid for an Akoma Ntoso 1.. 0 schema are also perfectly valid for Akoma Ntoso 2.. 0 (or that they can be modified with limited effort to this end) with just the specification of the new namespace.. General Schema: Patterns and Content Models.. patterns are the abstraction and distillation of past experiences.. Patterns are the abstraction and distillation of past experiences in designing and resolving design problems.. They are general and widely applicable guidelines for approaching and justifying design issues that often occur in XML-based projects.. We distinguish between element categories (or patterns in content models, which are a restriction of content models to the ones that are actually useful in real life text documents) and best practices (or patterns in schema design, which are guidelines on how to make a schema more modular, flexible and understandable by users).. Both types of patterns are well known and well established in the literature about markup language.. The Akoma Ntoso general schema is systematically based on six element categories.. This means that all content models and complex types used in the schema follow precisely the form of the relevant category, and all elements can be simply described and treated according to their category rather than individually.. These categories are:.. The.. marker.. : markers are content-less elements that are meaningful for a combination of their position within the text, their names and their attributes.. There are two main families of markers in the Akoma Ntoso schema:.. placeholders.. in the text content (e.. , note references) that can appear in any position where text can be found, and metadata elements that only appear in some subsection of the metadata section.. noteRef n= 1 href= #note1 /.. inline.. : an inline element is a container of text placed within a block to indicate some special semantic or structural characteristics associated to it.. For instance, a reference within an act's section, the name of a speaker within an hansard and the official date in the heading of a bill are all examples of inline elements, and simlarly would be examples of bold or italic text within a paragraph.. In the following example, both.. term.. ref.. are inline elements contained within a block and mixed with plain text.. block:.. a block element is a container of text that stands autonomously and can contain inline elements.. In Western countries blocks are presented as stacked vertically over each other.. Examples of blocks are paragraphs, scenes, headings, etc.. In the following example, p is a block containing both text and inline elements.. p.. def.. Commission.. /.. means the commission established by.. ref href= #sect20 section 20 /ref ; /p.. container:.. a container is a grouping element that collects elements of other types and gives them a cumulative name.. It has no presentation requirements, but provides justification to other presentational elements.. Containers are all different from each other (since the actual list of contained elements varies), and so there is no single container content model, but rather a number of content models that belong to the container category.. In the following example,.. act.. is a container element containing.. meta.. preamble.. sections.. attachments.. Although not shown in the example, meta, preamble and attachments are containers themselves, while section is a hierarchical container, as explained in the next bullet point.. act.. meta.. /meta.. preamble.. /preamble.. body.. /body.. attachments.. /attachments.. /act.. The.. hierarchical container.. , or.. hcontainer.. : these are special containers that form a hierarchy of containment.. A hierarchy is a set of arbitrarily deep nested sections with title and numbering.. Each level of the nesting can contain either more nested sections or blocks.. No text is allowed directly inside the hierarchy, but only within the appropriate block element (or, of course, headings and numberings).. Akoma Ntoso uses only one hierarchy, with predefined names and no constraints on their order or systematic layering.. body.. chapter.. paragraph.. clause.. are sections, while.. is the lowest level container.. chapter id= cha1.. num Chapter 1 /num.. heading Traditional communities and.. /heading.. paragraph id= cha1-par2.. num 2 /num.. heading Recognition of traditional.. clause id= cha1-par2-cla1.. num 1 /num.. content.. p A community may be recognised as /p.. /clause.. /paragraph.. /chapter.. The.. popups.. , i.. , those elements that, within an inline flow of text, create full and fully independent structures that do not meddle nor interact with the text and inline elements that surround them.. quotedStructure.. element is an example of the popup category:.. section id= sec1.. heading Amendment of section 4 of Decree 43 of 1990 (Ciskei) /heading.. clause id= sec1-cla1.. num 1.. /num.. p Section 4 of the Supreme Court Decree, 1990 (Ciskei), is hereby amended by the substitution for subsection (2) of the following subsection:.. mod id= sec1-cla1-mod1.. quotedStructure id= sec1-cla1-mod1-qst1.. subsection id= sec1-cla1-mod1-qst1-sec4-ssc2.. num (2) /num.. p Notwithstanding the provision of section [1].. /p.. /content.. /subsection.. /quotedStructure.. /mod.. /section.. There are two exceptions to the systematic use of patterns:.. li.. element allows both inlines and other nested lists (.. ul.. ol.. ).. The pattern would require.. elements to contain only text, and nested lists to be direct children of the main list element (s within.. Since this goes against universal HTML practice, it was decided against full adherence to the category and in favour of the HTML tradition.. There are some inline elements that only make sense in the preface and preamble parts of the document: such as.. docTitle.. docNumber.. etc.. They are in fact part of the unique existing inline content model and thus are technically available everywhere in the document, rather than simply within the preamble.. There is no simple way to define blocks within.. preface.. to allow these elements and blocks elsewhere to not allow them, so it is better to allow them everywhere rather than unnecessarily complicating the schema.. Regarding guidelines, or patterns in schema design, whenever there has been a design choice to be made that was not immediately obvious and naturally acceptable, a relevant pattern has been sought and properly used.. You can find the relevant mentions within the schema itself, in comments and in the following documentation.. The general Schema.. components of the general schema.. All Akoma Ntoso documents share the same root element..  ...   by IFLA-FRBR (International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions-Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records http://www.. ifla.. org/VII/s13/frbr/frbr.. pdf).. WORK.. : the abstract concept of the legal resource (e.. , act 3 of 2005).. EXPRESSION.. : any version of the WORK (whose content is specified and different from others for any reason: language, versions, etc.. MANIFESTATION.. : any electronic or physical format of the EXPRESSION: word, xml, Tiff, pdf, etc.. ITEM.. : physical copy of any manifestation in the form of a file stored somewhere in some computer on the net or disconnected.. These levels impact both on the metadata elements (each metadata element refers to one and only one level of the four) and the identifiers (each level is associated to a different identifier).. Meta elements are divided in eight subsections:.. Identification.. : i.. , a set of information providing identification information about each of the four FRBR levels, such as authorship, delivery date and URI.. Publication.. : all metadata elements specifying publication information about the document, such as issue and date of the official gazette.. Classification.. : a set of keywords belonging to a specified vocabulary (typically, a thesaurus such as Eurovoc or similar) that describe the content of the document and each individual fragment thereof.. Lifecycle.. : information about the events that the document has undergone, and references to the documents that have caused these events.. Lifecycle is explained in section 10.. Analysis.. : a set of analytical statements about the document.. Currently, these only include information about active modifications (for amending documents) and passive modifications (for amended documents), but can in future expand to include detailed formal analysis of the contained provisions.. TemporalInfo.. : a set of temporal arguments for defining the intervals of time linked to the life-cycle of the document or with the legislative process workflow.. References.. : a set of references to external entities explicitly or implicitly mentioned in the document and in the metadata.. These include both other documents (amending, amended, referenced, referencing acts) and instances of the Akoma Ntoso ontology.. Notes.. : this subsection contains the text of the editorial notes that might be produced to comment and expand the actual text of the document.. Note references inside the text point to notes contained here.. Proprietary.. : this subsection allows any additional metadata to be specified in any order and vocabulary (provided it uses a different namespace than Akoma Ntoso).. Proprietary metadata can be used within a specific document management system to specify additional information useful for internal search and document management that is not worth standardizing and imposing across all Akoma Ntoso implementations.. Identifiers.. Identifiers are systematically used in Akoma Ntoso.. All Akoma Ntoso elements allow an identifier.. Many relevant elements and sections.. require it.. Identifiers are the main way to refer to fragments and parts of the document in an unambiguous form.. They can be used in document references (e.. links and amendment commands) as a precise pointer to the actual part of the document mentioned (as opposed to simply referring to a document as a whole).. Also internal links need to use identifiers.. The schema does not explicitly provide a syntax for identifiers, which is described here in human readable format.. Two kinds of identifiers are relevant to the schema:.. Document URIs:.. A resource is identified by a unique name according to the naming convention of Akoma Ntoso (continually updated in the Release Notes of each release).. Section identifiers:.. Identifiers are composed by juxtaposing subidentifiers of the path needed to access the corresponding elements.. Legal documents provide explicit global numbering for sections and articles, and local numbering for hierarchical subparts of them.. For instance, all parts in different sections are numbered starting each time from 1, so part 1 is not sufficient to clearly identify the actual part, while section 12 clearly points to a single and well-specified element.. Other concepts.. dealt with the Akoma Ntoso ontology also derive from the IFLA FRBR ontology, and include but are not limited to individuals (Person), organizations (Corporate Body), actions and occurrences (Event), locations (Place), ideas (Concept) and physical objects (Object).. Amendments, versions and document life cycle.. 0 includes a sophisticated mechanism to keep track of the life cycle and evolution of a legislative document.. This is particularly useful for acts that are amended and modified in time, while maintaining a continuity in time of their fundamental nature.. Managing the evolution of a document requires two very important assumptions: that amendments and events in the life cycle of a document (including original approval, final repeal and any other event affecting its presence in the law system or its content).. happen in precise moments in time that can be determined objectively (albeit possibly with difficulty) and attributed to a specific date.. are due to the enactment of a specific, individual document that can be objectively traced and identified with an URI.. If two different documents affect the same act on the same date, then these must be counted as two different and separate events on the amended act.. Handling events in Akoma Ntoso centres around the.. lifecycle.. references.. elements in the.. section.. element is used to list the dates of all the events affecting a document, while.. contains the URIs of all the documents generating these events.. Each reference is provided with a required identifier, which is used by the event list to specify which document is responsible for which events.. These elements must appear in all documents that have undergone two or more events (i.. , all acts except the ones that still have no amendments).. Documents in Akoma Ntoso are organized in three main categories, as specified in the.. contains.. attribute of the document type element:.. OriginalVersion.. : this value reflects the fact that the content on the document is exactly the content that has been formally and explicitly approved by the relevant authority, with no amendments applied.. SingleVersion.. : this value reflects the fact that the content of the document is an editorially modified version of the original document, according to one or more subsequent amendments.. These amendments and the enactment dates of the amendments.. be all present in the.. lifecycle.. Individual additions and deletions are not necessarily marked in the content.. MultipleVersions.. : this value reflects the fact that the content of the document is the juxtaposition of fragments belonging to two or more different versions of the same document, each fragment marked as belonging to one or many of these versions.. Thus in a MultipleVersions document there could be two or more copies of article 2, each associated to the date it started enactment and ended enactment.. element is a required element for all SingleVersion and MultipleVersion documents, and must be complete up to the enactment date of the latest document referenced in the.. element (i.. , there can potentially be subsequent amendments non included in a SingleVersion or MultiVersion document, but all intermediate amendments must be correctly listed and referenced, even if they play no part to the displayed content).. OriginalVersion documents need not have the.. element, but surely can have it if the editors decide so.. In case a MultipleVersions document is being generated, each element and text fragment may be associated an enactment specification through the means of the three enactment attributes:.. start.. end.. and status.. Each fragment (a whole element if appropriate, otherwise a newly inserted.. or.. element if no exact containing element exists) uses these attribute to specify their nature.. The start and end attributes contain an IDREF to the ID of the event that marked the beginning or the end of the enactment of the fragment.. A start attribute with no end attribute marks a fragment that has appeared in an amendment and still exists in the latest recorded version of the document.. An end attribute with no start attribute mark a fragment that was part of the original document but has been repealed before or at the latest recorded version of the document.. The status attribute records the type of amendment of the fragment.. The value.. omissis.. can only be used by private editors that want to display only part of the whole document.. In this case, the structure must be complete anyway, but the actual content can be removed is the.. status= omissis.. attribute is present.. Akoma Ntoso Custom Schemas.. specialized schemas for all document types of individual countries.. The Akoma Ntoso Custom Schemas are a number of specialized schemas (in XML Schema, but a non-authoritative DTD version is available as well) that contain special additional rules specific to document types that are peculiar to individual countries.. As deemed necessary, a custom schema can be created for each country and each of the allowed document types.. Although customized to deal with the fundamental structures of the corresponding document types in each national parliamentary system, each Akoma Ntoso Custom Schema contains a number of additional constraints on the same structures of the general schema and therefore is completely upward compatible with it: all documents valid according to a specific custom schema are also valid according to the general schema..

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