A Uniform Resource Name (URN) Namespace for Sources of Law (LEX)
draft-spinosa-urn-lex-11

Document Type Active Internet-Draft (individual)
Last updated 2017-09-20 (latest revision 2017-08-09)
Stream IETF
Intended RFC status Informational
Formats plain text pdf html bibtex
Reviews TSVART will not review this version
Stream WG state (None)
Document shepherd Andrew Newton
Shepherd write-up Show (last changed 2014-04-29)
IESG IESG state Waiting for Writeup::Revised I-D Needed
Consensus Boilerplate Unknown
Telechat date
Responsible AD Alexey Melnikov
Send notices to (None)
IANA IANA review state IANA - Not OK
IANA action state None
INTERNET-DRAFT                                                P. Spinosa
Intended Status: Informational                          (ICT consultant)
Expires: February 10, 2018                                E. Francesconi
                                                               ITTIG/CNR
                                                                 C. Lupo
                                                        (ICT consultant)
                                                          August 9, 2017

                A Uniform Resource Name (URN) Namespace
                        for Sources of Law (LEX)
                      draft-spinosa-urn-lex-11.txt

Status of this Memo

   This Internet-Draft is submitted to IETF in full conformance with the
   provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79.

   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
   Task Force (IETF), its areas, and its working groups.  Note that
   other groups may also distribute working documents as
   Internet-Drafts.

   Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six months
   and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents at any
   time.  It is inappropriate to use Internet-Drafts as reference
   material or to cite them other than as "work in progress."

   The list of current Internet-Drafts can be accessed at
   http://www.ietf.org/1id-abstracts.html

   The list of Internet-Draft Shadow Directories can be accessed at
   http://www.ietf.org/shadow.html

   This Internet-Draft will expire on February 10, 2018.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2017 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents
   (http://trustee.ietf.org/license-info) in effect on the date of
   publication of this document. Please review these documents
   carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect
   to this document.
 

P. Spinosa             Expires February 10, 2018                [Page 1]
INTERNET DRAFT    URN LEX Namespace for Sources of Law       August 2017

Abstract

   This document describes a Uniform Resource Name (URN) Namespace
   Identification (NID) convention as prescribed by the World Wide Web
   Consortium (W3C) for identifying, naming, assigning, and managing
   persistent resources in the legal domain.

 

P. Spinosa             Expires February 10, 2018                [Page 2]
INTERNET DRAFT    URN LEX Namespace for Sources of Law       August 2017

Table of Contents

   1  Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
      1.1  The Purpose of Namespace "lex"  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
      1.2  Entities Supporting this Standard . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
      1.3  The Context . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
      1.4  General Characteristics of the System . . . . . . . . . . . 8
      1.5  Linking a LEX Name to a Document  . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
      1.6  Use of LEX Names in References  . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
      1.7  Definitions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
      1.8  Terminology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
      1.9  Syntax Used in this Document  . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
   2  Registration Template  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
   3  Specifications of Registration Template  . . . . . . . . . . .  15
      3.1  Identifier structure  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  15
      3.2  Conformance with URN Syntax . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  16
      3.3  Validation mechanism  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  16
      3.4  Scope . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  16
   4  General Syntax and features of the LEX Identifier  . . . . . .  16
      4.1  Allowed and Not Allowed Characters  . . . . . . . . . . .  16
      4.2  Reserved Characters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  17
      4.3  Case sensitivity  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  17
      4.4  National Characters and Diacritic Signs . . . . . . . . .  17
      4.5  Abbreviations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  18
      4.6  Date Format . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  18
   5  Specific Syntax and features of the LEX Identifier . . . . . .  18
      5.1  Spaces, Connectives and Punctuation Marks . . . . . . . .  18
      5.2  Acronyms  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  19
      5.3  Ordinal Numbers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  19
   6  Creation of the Source of Law LEX Identifier . . . . . . . . .  19
      6.1  Basic Principles  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  19
      6.2  Model of Sources of Law Representation  . . . . . . . . .  19
      6.3  The Structure of the Local Name . . . . . . . . . . . . .  20
      6.4  Structure of the Document Identifier at Work Level  . . .  21
      6.5  Aliases . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  22
      6.6  Structure of the Document Identifier at Expression Level   23
      6.7  Structure of the Document Identifier at Manifestation
           Level . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  24
      6.8  Sources of Law References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  25
   7  The Procedure of Uniform Names Assignment  . . . . . . . . . .  26
      7.1  Specifying the <jurisdiction> element of the LEX 
           identifier  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  26
      7.2  Jurisdictional Registrar for Names Assignment . . . . . .  27
      7.3  Identifier Uniqueness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  27
      7.4  Identifier persistence considerations . . . . . . . . . .  28
   8  Principles of the Resolution Service . . . . . . . . . . . . .  28
      8.1  The General Architecture of the System  . . . . . . . . .  28
      8.2  Catalogues for Resolution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  30
 

P. Spinosa             Expires February 10, 2018                [Page 3]
INTERNET DRAFT    URN LEX Namespace for Sources of Law       August 2017

      8.3  Suggested resolver behaviour  . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  30
   9  Namespace Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  31
   10  Community Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  31
   11  IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  31
      11.1 NID Registration  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  32
      11.2 Jurisdiction-code Registratio . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  32
   12  References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  33
      12.1  Normative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  33
      12.2  Informative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  34
   13  Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  34
   14 Author's Addresses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  34
   Attachment A -- Summary of the syntax of the uniform names of
              the "lex" namespace  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  36
   Attachment B -- Specific Syntax of the Identifier at Work Level .  40
   B1 The <authority> element  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  40
      B1.1  Indication of the Authority  . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  40
      B1.2  Multiple Issuers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  40
      B1.3  Indication of the Issuer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  40
      B1.4  Indication of the Body . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  40
      B1.5  Indication of the Function . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  41
      B1.6  Conventions for the Authority  . . . . . . . . . . . . .  41
   B2 The <measure> element  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  41
      B2.1  Criteria for the Indication of the Type of Measure . . .  41
      B2.2  Further Specification to the Type of Measure . . . . . .  42
      B2.3  Aliases for Sources of Law with Different Normative 
            References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  42
      B2.4  Relations between Measure and Authority in the Aliases .  42
   B3 The <details> element  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  43
      B3.1  Indication of the Details  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  43
      B3.2  Multiple Dates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  43
      B3.3  Unnumbered Measures  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  44
      B3.4  Multiple Numbers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  44
   B4 The <annex> element  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  45
      B4.1  Formal Annexes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  45
      B4.2  Annexes of Annexes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  45
   Attachment C -- Specific Syntax of the <version> Element of the
              Expression   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  46
   C1 The <version> element  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  46
      C1.1  Different Versions of a Legislative Document . . . . . .  46
      C1.2  Identification of the Version  . . . . . . . . . . . . .  46
   Attachment D -- Http-based LEX identifier . . . . . . . . . . . .  49
   D1 Http-based URI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  49
   D2 The http-based LEX identifier structure  . . . . . . . . . . .  50
   D3 The http-based LEX identifier at Work Level  . . . . . . . . .  51
   D4 The http-based LEX identifier at Expression Level  . . . . . .  51
   D5 The http-based LEX identifier at Manifestation Level . . . . .  52

 

P. Spinosa             Expires February 10, 2018                [Page 4]
INTERNET DRAFT    URN LEX Namespace for Sources of Law       August 2017

1  Introduction

1.1  The Purpose of Namespace "lex"

   The purpose of the "lex" namespace is to assign an unequivocal
   identifier, in standard format, to documents that are sources of law.
   To the extent of this namespace, "sources of law" include any legal
   document within the domain of legislation, case law and
   administrative acts or regulations; moreover potential "sources of
   law" (acts under the process of law formation, as bills) are included
   as well. Therefore "legal doctrine" is explicitly not covered.

   The identifier is conceived so that its recommended construction
   depends only on the characteristics (details) of the document itself
   and is, therefore, independent from the document's on-line
   availability, its physical location, and access mode. The identifier
   itself is assigned by the jurisdiction that owns the identified
   document. Even a document that is not available online at all may
   still have a URN LEX that identifies it.

   This identifier will be used as a way to represent the references
   (and more generally, any type of relation) among the various sources
   of law. In an on-line environment with resources distributed among
   different Web publishers, uniform resource names allow simplified
   global interconnection of legal documents by means of automated
   hypertext linking. LEX URNs are therefore particularly useful when
   they can be mapped into or associated with locators such as HTTP URIs

1.2  Entities Supporting this Standard

   The following entities support this proposal at the time of
   publication:

   - ITTIG/CNR (Institute of Legal Information Theory and Techniques of
     the Italian National Research Council) - Italy;
   - National Centre for ICT in Public Administration - Italy;
   - PRODASEN - IT Department of the Federal Senate - Brazil;
   - LII (Legal Information Institute), Cornell Law School - USA 

1.3  The Context 

   In the last few years a number of initiatives have arisen in the
   field of legal document management. 

   Since 2001 the Italian Government, through the National Center for
   Information Technology in the Public Administration, the Ministry of
   Justice and ITTIG-CNR (the Institute of Legal Information Theory and
   Techniques of the Italian National Research Council) promoted the
 

P. Spinosa             Expires February 10, 2018                [Page 5]
INTERNET DRAFT    URN LEX Namespace for Sources of Law       August 2017

   NormeInRete project. It was aimed at introducing standards for
   sources of law description and identification using XML and URN
   techniques.

   Other national initiatives in Europe introduced standards for the
   description of legal sources [FRAN]: for example the Metalex project,
   promoted by the University of Amsterdam and adopted by the Dutch Tax
   and Customs Administration, the Belgian Public Centers for Welfare
   and others; LexDania project in Denmark supported by the Danish
   Ministry of Justice; CHLexML in Switzerland developed by COPIUR, the
   Coordination Office for the Electronic Publication of Legal Data
   Federal Office of Justice; eLaw in Austria mainly coordinated by the
   Austrian Parliament.

   Such initiatives, based in synergies between government, national
   research institutes, and universities, have defined national XML
   standards for legal document management, as well as schemes for legal
   document identification. 

   Outside Europe, similar initiatives have faced similar problems. For
   example, the Brazilian Senate carried out a feasibility study to
   provide unique and transparent identifiers to sources of law on the
   basis of the IFLA-FRBR model. 
   Similarly, the Akoma Ntoso (Architecture for Knowledge-Oriented
   Management of African Normative Texts using Open Standards and
   Ontologies) project provides a set of guidelines for e-Parliament
   services in a Pan-African context by proposing an XML document schema
   providing sophisticated description possibilities for several
   Parliamentary document types (including bills, acts and parliamentary
   records, etc.). 
   Finally, the Tasmanian Government provided advanced legislative
   information services through the EnAct project. It gave searchable
   consolidated Tasmanian legislation by automating much of the
   legislative drafting and consolidation process, as well as using SGML
   document representation. Numerous less-visible efforts in the United
   States and elsewhere have struggled with similar issues.

   Several of these identifiers are based on a URN schema. The first
   national standard was defined in Italy within the NormeInRete
   project; to this the Brazilian Lexml standard followed. Denmark,
   Hungary, Slovenia and Switzerland expressed their interest in URN
   identifier for legislation as well. All these standards have a common
   internal structure, regarding both the hierarchy and the elements
   content.

   In today's information society the processes of political, social and
   economic integration of European Union member states as well as the
   increasing integration of the world-wide legal and economic processes
 

P. Spinosa             Expires February 10, 2018                [Page 6]
INTERNET DRAFT    URN LEX Namespace for Sources of Law       August 2017

   are causing a growing interest in exchanging legal information
   knowledge at national and trans-national levels.
   The growing desire for improved quality and accessibility of legal
   information amplifies the need for interoperability among legal
   information systems across national boundaries. A common open
   standard used to identify sources of law at international level is an
   essential prerequisite for interoperability.

   Interest groups within several countries have already expressed their
   intention to adopt a shared solution based on a URN technique.
   The need for a unequivocal identifier of sources of law in different
   EU Member States, based on open standards and able to provide
   advanced modalities of document hyper-linking, has been expressed in
   several conferences by representatives of the Publications Office of
   the European Union (OP), with the aim of promoting interoperability
   among national and European institution information systems. Similar
   concerns have been raised by international groups concerned with free
   access to legal information, and the Permanent Bureau of the Hague
   Conference on Private International Law is considering a resolution
   that would encourage member states to "adopt neutral methods of
   citation of their legal materials, including methods that are medium-
   neutral, provider-neutral and internationally consistent". In a
   similar direction the CEN Metalex initiative is moving, at European
   level, towards the definition of a standard interchange format for
   sources of law, including recommendations for defining naming
   conventions to them.

   The need of unequivocal identifiers for sources of law is of
   particular interest also in the domain of case law. Such need is
   extremely felt within both common law systems, where cases are the
   main law sources, and civil law systems, for the importance of
   providing an integrated access to cases and legislation, as well as
   to track the relationships between them. This domain is characterized
   by a high degree of fragmentation in case law information systems,
   which usually lack interoperability.
   Recently in the European Union, the community institutions have
   stressed the need for citizens, businesses, lawyers, prosecutors and
   judges to become more aware not only of (directly applicable) EU law,
   but also of the various national legal systems. The growing
   importance of national judiciaries for the application of Community
   law was stressed in the resolution of the European Parliament of 9
   July 2008 on the role of the national judge in the European judicial
   system.
   Similarly the European e-Justice action plans 2009-2013 and 2014-2018
   of the Council of the European Union underlined the importance of
   cross-border access to national case law, as well as the need for its
   standardisation, in view of an integrated access in a decentralized
   architecture. In this view the Working Party on Legal Data Processing
 

P. Spinosa             Expires February 10, 2018                [Page 7]
INTERNET DRAFT    URN LEX Namespace for Sources of Law       August 2017

   (e-Law) of the Council of the European Union formed a task group to
   study the possibilities for improving cross-border access to national
   case law. Taking notice of the report of the Working Party's task
   group the Council of the EU decided in 2009 to elaborate on a
   uniform, European system for the identification of case law (ECLI:
   European Case-Law Identifier) and uniform Dublin Core-based set of
   metadata.
   More recently the Council of the European Union invited the Member
   States to introduce in the legal information systems the European
   Legislation Identifier (ELI), an http-based Semantic Web oriented
   identification system for European Union and Member States
   legislation.

   LEX identifier is conceived to be general enough, so to provide
   guidance at the core of the standard and sufficient flexibility to
   cover a wide variety of needs for identifying all the legal documents
   of different nature, namely legislative, case-law and administrative
   acts. Moreover, it can be effectively used within a federative
   environment where different publishers (public and private) can
   provide their own items of an act (that is there is more than one
   manifestation of the same act).
   However specifications and syntax rules of LEX identifier can be used
   also for http-based naming convention (Appendix D) to cope with
   different requirements in legal information management, for example
   the need of having an identifier compliant with the Linked Open Data
   principles.

   This document supplements the required name syntax with a suggested
   naming convention that interprets all these recommendations into an
   original solution for sources of law identification.

1.4  General Characteristics of the System

   Registrants wish now to promote interoperability among legal
   information systems by the definition of a namespace convention and
   structure that will create and manage identifiers for legal
   documents. The identifiers will be:
   - globally unique 
   - transparent 
   - bidirectional
   - persistent
   - location-independent, and
   - language-neutral.
   These qualities will facilitate legal document management as well as 
   provide a mechanism of stable cross-collections and cross-country
   references.

   Transparency means that given an act and its relevant metadata
 

P. Spinosa             Expires February 10, 2018                [Page 8]
INTERNET DRAFT    URN LEX Namespace for Sources of Law       August 2017

   (issuing authority, type of measure, etc.) it is possible to create
   the related urn identifier. Moreover this identifier is able to
   unequivocally identify the related act. These two properties makes
   the identification system bidirectional (from an act to its URN and
   from a URN to the related act).

   Language-neutrality is an especially important feature that will
   promote adoption of the standard by organizations that must adhere to
   official-language requirements. The proposed standard will provide
   useful guidance to both public and private groups that create,
   promulgate, and publish legal documents. Registrants wish to minimize
   the potential for creating conflicting proprietary schemes, while
   preserving sufficient flexibility to allow for diverse document types
   and to respect the need for local control of collections by an
   equally diverse assortment of administrative entities.

   As usual, the problem is to provide the right amount guidance at the
   core of the standard while providing sufficient flexibility to cover
   a wide variety of needs. The proposed LEX standard does this by
   splitting the identifier into parts. The first part uses a
   predetermined standard ("country/jurisdiction name standard") to
   specify the country (or more generally the jurisdiction) of origin
   for the legal document being identified; the remainder ("local name")
   is intended for local use in identifying documents issued in that
   country or jurisdiction. This second part depends only on sources of
   law identification system operating in that nation and it is mainly
   composed by a formalized information related to the enacting
   authority, the type of measure, the details and possibly the annex.  

   The identification system based on uniform names MUST include:
   - a schema for assigning names capable of representing unambiguously
     any addressed source of law, namely legislation, case law and
     administrative acts, issued by any authority (intergovernmental,
     supranational, national, regional and local) at any time (past,
     present and future);
   - a resolution mechanism - in a distributed environment - that ties a
     uniform name to the on-line location of the corresponding
     resources.
   This document only considers the first of these requirements. It also
   contains a few references to the architecture of the resolution
   service and to the corresponding software.

1.5  Linking a LEX Name to a Document

   The LEX name is linked to the document through meta-information which
   may be specified:
   - internally to the document itself through a specific element within
     an XML schema or by an HTML META tag;
 

P. Spinosa             Expires February 10, 2018                [Page 9]
INTERNET DRAFT    URN LEX Namespace for Sources of Law       August 2017

   - externally by means of an RDF triple, a specific attribute in a
     database, etc.
   One of these modalities is necessary for enabling automated
   construction and updating of catalogues (distributed and centralized)
   and the implementation of resolvers that associate the uniform name
   of a document with its physical location(s). The standard assumes no
   particular relationship between the originator of the document, its
   publisher, and the implementer of catalogues or resolution services.
   They may be the same entity, or not.

1.6  Use of LEX Names in References 

   LEX names will be used on a large scale in references as a HREF
   attribute value of the hypertext link to the referred document.
   This link can be created in two ways:
   - by manually inserting, in the referring document, the link with the
     uniform name: this is a burdensome procedure especially for
     documents that are already on-line;
   - by automatically constructing (either permanently or temporarily)
     the link with the uniform name, through reference parsers of a
     text: this is a more time-saving procedure even if subject to a
     certain percentage of errors, since references are not always
     accurate or complete. This solution could nevertheless be
     acceptable for already published documents. 
   In any case, whatever the method adopted is, new documents produced
   in XML format compliant with the relative DTD/XMLSchema, SHOULD
   express references through the uniform name of the document referred
   to.

1.7  Definitions

   According to this document, the following terms are used in the
   following meaning:
   - Source of Law:
     is a general concept, and is used to refer to legislation, case
     law, regulations and administrative acts. In its broadest sense,
     the source of law is anything that can be conceived of as the
     originator of 'erga omnes' legal rules. In this document "source of
     law" refers also to acts during their formation cycle as bills that
     might or might not become sources of law;
   - Jurisdictional Registrar:
     is an organization which shares and defines in any country or
     jurisdiction the assignment of the main components of the resource
     identifier through which its uniqueness is guaranteed. This task
     includes the definition of possible jurisdiction unit and the
     primary elements (issuing authority and type of legal measure) of
     uniform name, according to the characteristics of its own state or
     institution organization.
 

P. Spinosa             Expires February 10, 2018               [Page 10]
INTERNET DRAFT    URN LEX Namespace for Sources of Law       August 2017

1.8  Terminology

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this
   document are to be interpreted as described in [RFC2119].

1.9  Syntax Used in this Document

   This document uses the syntax common to many Internet RFCs, which is
   based on the ABNF (Augmented Backus-Naur Form) [RFC5234] meta-
   language.

2  Registration Template

      Namespace Identifier:  

         "lex" requested according to [RFC8141].

      Version:

         1.0

      Date:

         2017-05-25

      Registrant:  

         Institute of Legal Information Theory and Techniques (ITTIG)
         Italian National Research Council (CNR) 
         Via de' Barucci, 20 
         50127 Florence 
         Italy 
         e-mail: lex@ittig.cnr.it
         phone: +39 055 43995

         contact: Enrico Francesconi
         e-mail: enrico.francesconi@ittig.cnr.it

      Purpose:

         The purpose of the "lex" namespace is to assign an unequivocal
         identifier, in standard format, to documents that are sources
         of law.

         In the last few years a number of institutional initiatives
         have arisen in the field of legal document management. They
         were aimed at introducing standards for sources of law
 

P. Spinosa             Expires February 10, 2018               [Page 11]
INTERNET DRAFT    URN LEX Namespace for Sources of Law       August 2017

         description and identification using XML and URI techniques,
         respectively (for more details see Section 1.3) LEX identifier
         is conceived to be general enough, so to provide guidance at
         the core of the standard and sufficient flexibility to cover a
         wide variety of needs for identifying all the legal documents
         of different nature, namely legislative, case-law and
         administrative acts. Moreover, it can be effectively used
         within a federative environment where different publishers
         (public and private) can provide their own items of an act
         (that is there is more than one manifestation of the same act).

         The LEX identifier is conceived to be: globally unique,
         transparent, bidirectional, persistent, location-independent,
         and language-neutral. It is organized into parts. The first
         part uses a predetermined standard to specify the country (or
         more generally the jurisdiction) of origin for the legal
         document being identified; the remainder is intended for local
         use in identifying documents issued in that country or
         jurisdiction. This second part depends only on sources of law
         identification system operating in that nation. For more
         details on the nature of the LEX characteristics and the
         general internal organization, see Section 1.4.

         The LEX name is linked to the document through specific meta-
         information, internally (with a tag) or externally (with a
         attribute) (for details on this see Section 1.5)

         LEX names will be used on a large scale in references either in
         (X)HTML document or, more generally, in XML documents format
         compliant with the relative DTD/XMLSchema (see Section 1.6 for
         more information).

      Syntax:

         The identifier has a hierarchical structure as follows: 

                             "urn:lex:" NSS

         where <NSS> is the Namespace Specific String composed as
         follows:

                   NSS = jurisdiction ":" local-name

         where:

         <jurisdiction> is the part providing the identification of the
         jurisdiction, generally corresponding to the country, where the
         source of law is issued. It is also possible to represent
 

P. Spinosa             Expires February 10, 2018               [Page 12]
INTERNET DRAFT    URN LEX Namespace for Sources of Law       August 2017

         international organizations (either states or public
         administrations or private entities);

         <local-name> is the uniform name of the source of law in the
         country or jurisdiction where it is issued; its internal
         structure is common to the already adopted schemas. It is able
         to represent all the aspects of an intellectual production, as
         it is a legal document, from its initial idea, through its
         evolution during the time, to its realisation by different
         means (paper, digital, etc.).

         LEX specifications gives information on the internal structure
         of both <jurisdiction> and <local-name>, including
         specifications about case sensitivity, the use of national
         characters and diacritics, as well as spaces, connectives,
         punctuation marks, abbreviations, acronyms, date formats and
         ordinal numbers. For more details on the internal structure and
         syntax of the LEX identifier, see Section 3, 4 and 5.

         Recently the r- and q- components have been introduced by
         [RFC8141]. They provide new and interesting perspectives when
         using URNs in a complex sector as sources of law, characterized
         by different versions, languages, publishers, and so on. In
         particular, by using the r-component at the resolver level, and
         therefore at the whole NSS level, you can select from the same
         work only expressions written in a given language, or
         manifestations published by a particular institutional site,
         etc. Using the q-component at the act metadata level, you can
         select versions that are valid at a particular date, or
         modified by a specific act, etc.

      Assignment:

         The Jurisdictional Registrar (or those it delegates) of each
         adhering country or organization is responsible of the
         definition or acceptance of the uniform name's primary elements
         (issuing authority and type of legal measure).

         Any country or jurisdiction, aiming to adopt this schema,
         identifies a Jurisdictional Registrar, an organization which
         shares and defines the structure of the optional part of the
         name, according to the organization of the state or
         institution. The process of assigning the <local-name> will be
         managed by each specific country or jurisdiction under the
         related <jurisdiction> element (details on this can be found in
         Section 7.2).

         Identifiers in the "lex" namespace are defined through a
 

P. Spinosa             Expires February 10, 2018               [Page 13]
INTERNET DRAFT    URN LEX Namespace for Sources of Law       August 2017

         <jurisdiction> element assigned to the sources of law of a
         specific country or organization, and a <local-name> assigned
         by the issuing authority. The goal of the LEX schema is to
         maintain uniqueness and persistence of all resources identified
         by the assigned URNs. The elements values for the LEX
         identifier within a jurisdiction are defined by the
         Jurisdictional Registrar, this ensures that the constructed
         URNs are unique (see Section 7.3 for details on uniqueness).

         The persistence of identifiers depends on the durability of the
         institutions that assign and administer them (see Section 7.3
         for details on persitence)

      Security and Privacy:

         This document introduces no additional security considerations
         beyond those associated with the use and resolution of URNs in
         general.

      Interoperability:

         As open standard naming convention to identify sources of law
         at international level, LEX is meant to guarantee
         interoperability among legal information systems across
         national boundaries.

         The characteristics of the LEX naming convention facilitate
         legal document management as well as provide a mechanism of
         stable cross-collections and cross-country references, thus
         allowing the distribution of the legal information towards a
         federated architecture.

      Resolution:

         The resolution service associates a LEX identifier with a
         specific document address on the net. The related system will
         have a distributed architecture based on two fundamental
         components: a chain of information in DNS (Domain Name System)
         and a series of resolution services from URNs to URLs, each
         competent within a specific domain of the namespace (see
         Section 8.1 for more details).

         To cope with possible incomplete or inaccurate uniform names,
         the implementation of a catalogue, based on a relational-
         database, able to associate a URN to related URLs, is
         suggested, as it will lead to a higher flexibility in the
         resolution process. A resolver can provide names normalization,
         completion of inaccurate or incomplete names, and finally their
 

P. Spinosa             Expires February 10, 2018               [Page 14]
INTERNET DRAFT    URN LEX Namespace for Sources of Law       August 2017

         resolution in network locations (see Section 8.2 and 8.3 for
         characteristics and behaviour of a catalogue for resolution).

      Documentation:

         None

      Additional Information:

         See [FRAN] and [SPIN].

      Revision Information:

         None

3  Specifications of Registration Template

3.1  Identifier structure

   The <jurisdiction> element is composed of two specific fields:

       jurisdiction = jurisdiction-code *(";" jurisdiction-unit)

   where:

   <jurisdiction-code> is usually the identification code of the country
   where the source of law is issued.

   To facilitate the transparency of the name, the <jurisdiction-code>
   follows usually the rules of identification of other Internet
   applications, based on Domain Name.
   Where applicable, the ccTLD, or the TLD, or the Domain Name of the
   country or multinational or international organisation is used.
   In all the examples in the document, it is assumed that the
   corresponding Domain Name is used for the <jurisdiction-code>.

   However, a special register for the <jurisdiction-code>, maintained
   by IANA, is required, the rules of which are defined in section 11.2.

   <jurisdiction-unit> are the possible administrative hierarchical sub-
   structures defined by each country or organisation according to its
   own legal system. This additional information can be used where two
   or more levels of legislative or judicial production exist (e.g.,
   federal, state and municipality level) and the same bodies may be
   present in each jurisdiction. Then acts of the same type issued by
   similar authorities in different areas differ for the jurisdiction-
   unit specification. An example can be the following:
   "br:governo:decreto" (decree of federal government),
 

P. Spinosa             Expires February 10, 2018               [Page 15]
INTERNET DRAFT    URN LEX Namespace for Sources of Law       August 2017

   "br;sao.paulo:governo:decreto" (decree of SU+00E3o Paulo state) and
   "br;sao.paulo;campinas:governo: decreto" (decree of Campinas
   municipality).

   Examples of law sources identifiers are:

   urn:lex:it:stato:legge:2003-09-21;456 (Italian act)
   urn:lex:fr:etat:loi:2004-12-06;321 (French act)
   urn:lex:es:estado:ley:2002-07-12;123 (Spanish act)
   urn:lex:ch;glarus:regiere:erlass:2007-10-15;963 (Glarus Swiss Canton
   decree)
   urn:lex:eu:commission:directive:2010-03-09;2010-19-EU (EU Commission
   Directive)
   urn:lex:us:federal.supreme.court:decision:1963-03-18;372.us.335 (US
   FSC decision)
   urn:lex:be:conseil.etat:decision:2008-07-09;185.273 (Decision of the
   Belgian Council of State)

3.2  Conformance with URN Syntax

   To keep backward compatibility with existing applications in some
   jurisdictions, the "lex" NID syntax complies with the [RFC2141]
   specifications.

3.3  Validation mechanism

   The Jurisdictional Registrar (or those it delegates) of each adhering
   country or organization is responsible of the definition or
   acceptance of the uniform name's primary elements (issuing authority
   and type of legal measure).

3.4  Scope

   Global interest. 

4  General Syntax and features of the LEX Identifier

   This section lists the general features applicable to all
   jurisdictions.

4.1  Allowed and Not Allowed Characters

   These characters are defined in accordance with the [RFC2141] "URN
   Syntax". For various reasons, later explained, in the "lex" <NSS>
   only a sub-set of characters is allowed. All other characters are
   either eliminated or converted. 

   For the full syntax of the uniform names in the "lex" space, please
 

P. Spinosa             Expires February 10, 2018               [Page 16]
INTERNET DRAFT    URN LEX Namespace for Sources of Law       August 2017

   see Attachment A. 

4.2  Reserved Characters

   These characters MUST always and uniquely be used for the assigned
   purpose.
   The first category includes those characters bearing a specific
   meaning in the general creation of the URI (Uniform Resource
   Identifier)[RFC3986]:

                         "%"   "/"   "?"   "#"

   The following characters instead are reserved in the specific "lex"
   namespace:

   - "@" separator of the expression, that contains information on
     version and language;
   - "$" separator of the manifestation, that contains information on
     format, editor, etc.;
   - ":" separator of the main elements of the name at any entity;
   - ";" separator of level. It identifies the introduction of an
     element at a hierarchically lower level, or the introduction of a
     specification;
   - "+" separator of the repetitions of an entire main element (e.g.,
     multiple authorities);
   - "," separator of the repetitions of individual components in the
     main elements, each bearing the same level of specificity (e.g.,
     multiple numbers);
   - "~" separator of the partition identifier in references (e.g.,
     paragraph of an article);
   - "*" and "!" are reserved for future expansions.

4.3  Case sensitivity

   Names belonging to the "lex" namespace are case-insensitive. It is
   RECOMMENDED that they be created in lower case, but names that differ
   only in case MUST be considered to be equivalent.
   (e.g., "Ministry" will be recorded as "ministry").

4.4  National Characters and Diacritic Signs

   In order to exploit DNS as a routing tool towards the proper
   resolution system, to keep editing and communication more simple and
   to avoid character percent-encoding, it is strongly RECOMMENDED that
   national characters and diacritic signs are turned into base ASCII
   characters (e.g., the Italian term "sanitU+00E0" converted into
   "sanita", the French term "ministU+00E8re" converted into
   "ministere"), in case by transliteration (e.g. "MU+00FCnchen"
 

P. Spinosa             Expires February 10, 2018               [Page 17]
INTERNET DRAFT    URN LEX Namespace for Sources of Law       August 2017

   converted into "muenchen").
   If such conversion is not acceptable by a specific jurisdiction and
   therefore it is used the UTF-8 %-encoding [STD63], it is necessary:
   - to convert the non-ASCII characters to IDN encoding, using the
     [RFC5894] punycode translation (ex: mU+00FCnchen into xn--mnchen-
     3ya), or
   - to create a routing service relying to a software, out of DNS,
     addressing a proper resolution service.
   Summarizing, the preference order is the following:
   - Conversion into base ASCII (RECOMMENDED solution);
   - Conversion with punycode translation;
   - Creation of a routing service relying on a software, out of DNS,
     addressing a proper resolution service.
   The first two alternatives allow a DNS routing, the third option does
   not. However it is up to the specific jurisdiction to choose the
   preferred solution.

4.5  Abbreviations

   Abbreviations are often used in law for indicating institutions (e.g.
   Min.), structures (e.g. Dept.), or legal measures (e.g. Reg.) but not
   in a uniform way, therefore their expansion is highly RECOMMENDED.
   (e.g., "Min." is reported as "ministry")

4.6  Date Format

   Dates are expressed by numbers in the [ISO8601] format:

                               yyyy-mm-dd

   (e.g., "September 2, 99" will be written as "1999-09-02")

5  Specific Syntax and features of the LEX Identifier

   In this section there are other features related to a specific
   jurisdiction and the implementation of which is recommended.

5.1  Spaces, Connectives and Punctuation Marks

   All the language connectives (e.g., articles, prepositions, etc.),
   the punctuation marks and all the special characters (as apostrophes,
   dashes, etc.), when explicitly present, are eliminated (no
   transformation occurs in cases of languages with declensions or
   agglutinating languages). The words left are connected each other by
   a dot (".") which substitutes the "space". 
   (e.g., "Ministry of Finances, Budget and of Economic Planning"
   becomes "ministry.finances.budget.economic.planning";
   "Ministerstvo Finansov" becomes "ministerstvo.finansov")
 

P. Spinosa             Expires February 10, 2018               [Page 18]
INTERNET DRAFT    URN LEX Namespace for Sources of Law       August 2017

5.2  Acronyms

   The use of acronyms might be confusing and encourage ambiguity in
   uniform names (the same acronym may indicate two different
   institutions or structures), therefore their expansion is highly
   RECOMMENDED.
   (e.g., "FAO" is expanded as "food.agriculture.organization")

5.3  Ordinal Numbers

   To even the representation, it is highly RECOMMENDED that any ordinal
   number included in a component of a document name  (e.g., in the
   description of an institution body) is indicated in Arabic numerals,
   regardless to the original expression: whether in Roman numerals, or
   with an adjective, or in Arabic numeral with apex, etc. (IV, third,
   1U+00B0, 2^, etc.).
   (e.g., "Department IV" becomes "department.4")

6  Creation of the Source of Law LEX Identifier

6.1  Basic Principles

   The uniform name must identify one and only one document (more
   precisely a "bibliographic entity") and is created in such a way that
   it is:
   - self-explanatory ;
   - identifiable through simple and clear rules;
   - compatible with the practice commonly used for references;
   - able to be created by references in the text, automatically (by
     parser) or manually;
   - representative of both the formal and the substantive aspects of
     the document.

6.2  Model of Sources of Law Representation

   According to FRBR (Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records)
   model developed by IFLA (International Federation of Library
   Associations and Institutions), in a source of law, as in any
   intellectual production, 4 fundamental entities (or aspects) can be
   specified.

   The first 2 entities reflect its contents:
   - work: identifies a distinct intellectual creation; in our case, it
     identifies a source of law both in its being (as it has been issued
     or proposed) and in its becoming (as it is modified over time);
   - expression: identifies a specific intellectual realisation of a
     work; in our case it identifies every different (original or up-to-
     date) version of the source of law over time and/or language in
 

P. Spinosa             Expires February 10, 2018               [Page 19]
INTERNET DRAFT    URN LEX Namespace for Sources of Law       August 2017

     which the text is expressed; 
   while the other 2 entities relate to its form:
   - manifestation: identifies a concrete realisation of an expression;
     in our case it identifies realizations in different media
     (printing, digital, etc.), encoding formats (XML, PDF, etc.), or
     other publishing characteristics;
   - item: identifies a specific copy of a manifestation; in our case it
     identifies individual physical copies as they are found in
     particular physical locations.

   In this document the FRBR model has been interpreted for the specific
   characteristics of the legal domain. In particular, a part from the
   language which does produce a specific expression, the discriminative
   criterion between expression and manifestation is based on the
   difference of the juridical effects that a variation can provide with
   respect to the involved actors (citizens, parties, institutions). In
   this scenario the main characteristic of the expression of an act is
   represented by its validity over the time, during which it provides
   the same juridical effects. These effects change for amendments or
   annulments of other legislative or jurisprudential acts. Therefore
   notes, summarizations, comments, anonymizations and other editorial
   activities over the same text do not produce different expressions,
   but different manifestations.

6.3  The Structure of the Local Name

   The <local-name> within the "lex" namespace MUST contain all the
   necessary pieces of information enabling the unequivocal
   identification of a legal document. 
   In the legal domain, at the "work" level, they are essentially four:
   the enacting authority, the type of measure, the details and the
   annex, if any. 
   It is often necessary to differentiate various expressions, that is:
   - the original version and all the amended versions of the same
     document;
   - the versions of the text expressed in the different official
     languages of the state or organization. 
   Finally the uniform name allows a distinction among diverse
   manifestations, which may be produced in multiple locations using
   different means and formats.
   In every case, the basic identifier of the source of law (work)
   remains the same, but information is added regarding the specific
   version under consideration (expression); similarly a suffix is added
   to the expression for representing the characteristics of the
   publication (manifestation). 
   The information which forms a source of law uniform name at each
   level (work, expression, manifestation) is expressed in the official
   language of the related jurisdiction; in case of more official
 

P. Spinosa             Expires February 10, 2018               [Page 20]
INTERNET DRAFT    URN LEX Namespace for Sources of Law       August 2017

   languages (as in Switzerland) or more involved jurisdictions (as in
   international treaties), more language-dependent names (aliases) are
   created.

   Therefore, the more general structure of the local name appears as
   follows:

         local-name = work ["@" expression] ["$" manifestation]

   However, consistent with legislative practice, the uniform name of
   the main original provision (work) becomes the identifier of an
   entire class of documents which includes: the original main document,
   the annexes, and all their versions, languages and formats
   subsequently generated.

6.4  Structure of the Document Identifier at Work Level

   The structure of the document identifier is made of the four
   fundamental elements mentioned above, clearly distinguished one from
   the other in accordance with an order identifying increasingly narrow
   domains and competences:

         work = authority ":" measure ":" details *(":" annex)

   where:

   <authority> is the issuing or proposing authority of the measure
   (e.g., State, Ministry, Municipality, Court, etc.);

   <measure> is the type of the measure, both public nature (e.g.,
   constitution, act, treaty, regulation, decree, decision, etc.) as
   well as private one (e.g., license, agreement, etc);

   <details> are the terms associated to the measure, typically the date
   (usually the signature date) and the number included in the heading
   of the act;

   <annex> is the identifier of the annex, if any (e.g., Annex 1).

   In case of annexes, both the main document and its annexes have their
   own uniform name so that they can individually be referenced; the
   identifier of the annex adds a suffix to that of the main document.
   In similar way the identifier of an annex of an annex adds an ending
   to that of the annex which it is attached to.

   The main elements of the work name are generally divided into several
   elementary components, and, for each, specific rules of
   representation are established (criteria, modalities, syntax and
 

P. Spinosa             Expires February 10, 2018               [Page 21]
INTERNET DRAFT    URN LEX Namespace for Sources of Law       August 2017

   order).
   For the details regarding each element, please see the Attachment B.

   Examples of <work> identifiers are:

   urn:lex:it:stato:legge:2006-05-14;22
   urn:lex:uk:ministry.justice:decree:1999-10-07;45
   urn:lex:ch;glarus:regiere:erlass:2007-10-15;963
   urn:lex:es:tribunal.supremo:decision:2001-09-28;68
   urn:lex:fr:assemblee.nationale:proposition.loi:13.legislature;1762
   urn:lex:br:estado:constituicao:1988-10-05;lex-1
   urn:lex:fsf.org:free.software.foundation:general.public.license:2007-
   06-29;lex-1
   urn:lex:nl:hoge.raad:besluit:2008-04-01;bc8581

   It is worth to note that the type of measure is important to identify
   case law, as well as legislation, especially within the legal systems
   where cases, by tradition, are identified only through the year of
   release and a number. Since the aim of the "urn:lex" schema is to
   identify specific materials, the type of measure or the full date are
   able to provide discrimination between materials belonging to a
   specific case.

   Here below is an example where the type of measure or the full date
   are essential for identify specific materials of a case:
   - 4/59 Judgment of the EEC Court of Justice 04/04/1960, Mannesmann AG
     and others / ECSC High Authority
     urn:lex:eec.lex:court.justice:judgment:1960-04-04;4-59
   - 4/59 Order of the EEC Court of Justice 18/05/1960, Mannesmann AG
     and others / ECSC High Authority
     urn:lex:eec.lex:court.justice:order:1960-05-18;4-59

6.5  Aliases

   International treaties involve more jurisdictions (the signing ones)
   so they are represented through more identifiers, each of them
   related to an involved jurisdiction. For example, a bilateral France
   and Germany treaty is identified through two URNs (aliases) belonging
   to either "fr" or "de" jurisdiction 
   (e.g., "urn:lex:fr:etat:traite:..." and
   "urn:lex:de:staat:vertrag:...")
   since it pertains to both the French and the German jurisdiction.

   In the states or organisations that have more than one official
   language, a document has more identifiers, each of them expressed in
   a different official language, basically a set of equivalent aliases.
   This system permits manual or automated construction of the uniform
   name of the referred source of law in the same language used in the
 

P. Spinosa             Expires February 10, 2018               [Page 22]
INTERNET DRAFT    URN LEX Namespace for Sources of Law       August 2017

   document itself.
   (e.g., "urn:lex:eu:council:directive:2004-12-07;31",
   "urn:lex:eu:consiglio:direttiva:2004-12-07;31", etc.)

   Moreover, a document can be assigned more than one uniform name in
   order to facilitate its linking to other documents. This option can
   be used for documents that, although unique, are commonly referenced
   from different perspectives. For example, the form of a document's
   promulgation and its specific content (e.g., a Regulation promulgated
   through a Decree of the President of the Republic).

6.6  Structure of the Document Identifier at Expression Level

   There may be several expressions of a legal text, connected to
   specific versions or languages. 
   Each version is characterized by the period of time during which that
   text is to be considered as the valid text (in force or effective).
   The lifetime of a version ends with the issuing of the subsequent
   version.
   New versions of a text may be brought into existence by: 
   - changes in the text (amendments) due to the issuing of other legal
     acts and to the subsequent production of updated or consolidated
     texts;
   - correction of publication errors (rectification or errata corrige);
   - entry into or departure from a particular time span, depending on
     the specific date in which different partitions of a text come into
     force.
   Each of such versions may be expressed in more than one language,
   with each language-version having its own specific identifier.
   The identifier of a source of law expression adds such information to
   the work identifier, using the following main structure:

                  expression = version [":" language]

   where:

   <version> is the identifier of the version of the (original or
   amended) source of law. In general it is expressed by the
   promulgation date of the amending act; anyway other specific
   information can be used for particular documents. If necessary, the
   original version is specified by the string "original" (for the
   details regarding this element, please see the Attachment C);

   <language> is the identification code of the language in which the
   document is expressed, according to [BCP47] (it=Italian, fr=French,
   de=German, etc.). The granularity level of the language (for example
   the specification of the German language as used in Switzerland
   rather than the standard German) is left to each specific
 

P. Spinosa             Expires February 10, 2018               [Page 23]
INTERNET DRAFT    URN LEX Namespace for Sources of Law       August 2017

   jurisdiction. The information is not necessary when the text is
   expressed in the unique official language of the country or
   jurisdiction.

   Examples of document identifiers for expressions are:

   urn:lex:ch:etat:loi:2006-05-14;22@originel:fr (original version in
   French)
   urn:lex:ch:staat:gesetz:2006-05-14;22@original:de (original version
   in German)
   urn:lex:ch:etat:loi:2006-05-14;22@2008-03-12:fr (amended version in
   French)
   urn:lex:ch:staat:gesetz:2006-05-14;22@2008-03-12:de (amended version
   in German)
   urn:lex:be:conseil.etat:decision:2008-07-09;185.273@originel:fr
   (original version in French of a Belgian decision)

6.7  Structure of the Document Identifier at Manifestation Level

   To identify a specific manifestation, the uniform name of the
   expression is followed by a suitable suffix describing the:
   - digital format (e.g., XML, HTML, PDF, etc.) expressed according to
     the MIME Content-Type standard [RFC2045], where the "/" character
     is to be substituted by the "-" sign;
   - editorial staff who produced it, expressed according to its
     Internet domain name;
   - possible components of the expressions contained in the
     manifestation. Such components are expressed by language-dependent
     labels representing the whole document (in English "all") or the
     main part of the document (in English "body") or the caption label
     of the component itself (e.g. Table 1, Figure 2, etc.);
   - other features of the document (e.g., anonymized decision text).

   The <manifestation> suffix will thus read:

              manifestation = format *(";" specification)
                              ":" editor *(";" specification)
                              [":" component *(";" specification)]
                              [":" feature *(";" specification)]

   To indicate possible features or peculiarities, each main element of
   the manifestation MAY be followed by further specifications, for
   example as regards <format> the version, for <editor> the archive
   name and the electronic publisher, etc.

   (examples: 
   the original version the Italian act 3 April 2000, n. 56 might have
   the following manifestations with their relative uniform names:
 

P. Spinosa             Expires February 10, 2018               [Page 24]
INTERNET DRAFT    URN LEX Namespace for Sources of Law       August 2017

   - PDF format (vers. 1.7) of the whole act edited by the Italian
     Parliament:
     "urn:lex:it:stato:legge:2000-04-03;56$application-
     pdf;1.7:parlamento.it"
   - XML format (version 2.2 DTD NIR) of the text of the act and PDF
     format (version 1.7) of the "Figura 1" (figure 1) contained in the
     body, edited by the Italian Senate:
     "urn:lex:it:stato:legge:2000-04-03;56$text-xml;dtd-nir-
     2.2:senato.it:testo"
     "urn:lex:it:stato:legge:2000-04-03;56$application-
     pdf;1.7:senato.it:figura.1"

   the Spanish URN of the html format of the whole Judgement of the
   European Court of Justice n. 33/08 of 11/06/2009, in Spanish version,
   published in the Jurifast data base in anonymized form:
   "urn:lex:eu:tibunal.justicia:sentencia:2009-06-11;33-
   08@original:es$text-html:juradmin.eu;jurifast:todo:anonimo")

   Furthermore, it is useful to be able to assign a uniform name to a
   manifestation (or to a part of it) in case non-textual objects are
   involved. These may be multimedia objects that are non-textual in
   their own right (e.g. geographic maps, photographs, etc.), or texts
   recorded in non-textual formats, such as image scans of documents. 

   In these ways, a LEX name permits:
   - exploitation of all the advantages of an unequivocal identifier
     that is independent of physical location;
   - a means to provide choice among different existing manifestations
     (e.g. XML or PDF formats, resolution degree of an image etc.) of
     the same expression.

6.8  Sources of Law References

   References to sources of law often refer to specific partitions of
   the act (article, paragraph, etc.) and not to the entire document.
   An act partition is a logical subdivision of the text, that, in a
   structured format (as XML) fitting the document logical structure, is
   represented by an element with its own ID; this ID aims to identify
   the element and to locate it. In a mark-up that does not fit the
   logical structure of the text (as HTML), generally only the starting
   point of the partition, and not the element, is identified through a
   label (a <a name> tag).
   Therefore, for allowing browsers to point to a specific partition, it
   is necessary that such partition is endowed with an unequivocal label
   or ID within the including document and its value is the same 
   independently from the document format. 

   For enabling the construction of the partition identifier between
 

P. Spinosa             Expires February 10, 2018               [Page 25]
INTERNET DRAFT    URN LEX Namespace for Sources of Law       August 2017

   different collections of documents, specific construction rules for
   IDs or labels SHOULD be defined and shared, within each country or
   jurisdiction, for any document type (e.g., for legislation, the
   paragraph 2 of the article 3 might have as label or ID the value
   "art3;par2", similarly for case-law, paragraph 22 of the judgment in
   Case 46/76 Bauhuis v Netherlands, might have as label or ID the value
   "par22").
   Furthermore, it is useful to foresee the compatibility with
   applications able to manage this information (e.g., returning the
   proper element); these procedures are particularly useful in the case
   of rather long acts, such as codes, constitutions, regulations, etc.
   For this purpose it is necessary that the partition identifier is
   transmitted to the servers (resolution and application) and therefore
   it cannot be separated by the typical "#" character of URI fragment,
   which is not transmitted to the server.

   According to these requirements, the syntax of a reference is:

            URN-reference = URN-document ["~" partition-id]

   (e.g., to refer to the paragraph 3 of the article 15 of the French
   Act of 15 may 2004, n. 106, the reference is written
   "urn:lex:fr:etat:loi:2004-05-15;106~art15;par3").

   Using a different separator ("~") from the document name, the
   partition ID is not withheld by the browser but it is transmitted to
   the resolution process. This enables the resolver to retrieve (for
   example, out of a database), if it is possible, only the referred
   partition, otherwise to return the whole act.
   Anyway, to make it effective pointing to the indicated partition
   through a browser, the resolver SHOULD transform the partition ID of
   each returned URL in a URI fragment; this is obtained appending to
   URL the "#" character followed by the partition ID (in the example
   above, the returned URL will be <URL-document>#art15;par3).

   Anyway it is possible to use the general syntax (with "#"); in this
   case only the URN document component of the reference is transmitted
   to the resolver, therefore the whole document will be always
   retrieved.

7  The Procedure of Uniform Names Assignment

7.1  Specifying the <jurisdiction> element of the LEX identifier

   Under the "lex" namespace, each country or international organization
   is assigned with a jurisdiction code, which characterizes the URNs of
   the source of law of that country or jurisdiction. This code is
   assigned according to ccTLD (as well as TLDN or DN for the
 

P. Spinosa             Expires February 10, 2018               [Page 26]
INTERNET DRAFT    URN LEX Namespace for Sources of Law       August 2017

   organizations) representation and it is the value of the
   <jurisdiction-code> element, which preserves cross-country uniqueness
   of the identifiers.

7.2  Jurisdictional Registrar for Names Assignment 

   Any country or jurisdiction, who intends to adopt this schema,
   identifies a Jurisdictional Registrar, an organization which shares
   and defines the structure of the optional part (<jurisdiction-unit>)
   of the name, according to the organization of the state or
   institution. For example, in a federal state a <jurisdiction-unit>
   corresponding to the name of each member state (e.g. "br;sao.paolo",
   "br;minas.gerais", etc.) may be defined.

   The process of assigning the <local-name> will be managed by each
   specific country or jurisdiction under the related <jurisdiction>
   element.
   In any country the Jurisdictional Registrar shares and defines the
   assignment of the primary elements (issuing authority and type of
   legal measure) of the local names considering the characteristics of
   its own state or institution organization.
   Such a Registrar MUST establish, according to the guidelines
   indicated in the current document, a uniform procedure within the
   country or organization to define <local-name> elements, to take
   decisions upon normalizations and finally to solve and avoid possible
   name collisions as well as to maintain authoritative registries of
   various kinds (e.g., for authorities, types of measures, etc.). In
   particular, accurate point-in-time representations of the structure
   and naming of government entities are important to semantically-aware
   applications in this domain.
   Moreover, the Registrar shares and defines the rules to construct
   partition IDs for each document type.
   Finally, the Registrar will develop and publish the rules and the
   guidelines for the <local-name> construction as well as the
   predefined values and codes.

7.3  Identifier Uniqueness

   Identifiers in the "lex" namespace are defined through a
   <jurisdiction> element assigned to the sources of law of a specific
   country or organization, and a <local-name> assigned by the issuing
   authority. The main elements (authority and type of measure) of the
   <local-name> are defined by the Jurisdictional Registrar, so that it
   is ensured that the constructed URNs are unique. The Jurisdictional
   Registrar SHOULD provide clear documentation of rules by which names
   are to be constructed, and SHOULD update and make accessible its
   registries.

 

P. Spinosa             Expires February 10, 2018               [Page 27]
INTERNET DRAFT    URN LEX Namespace for Sources of Law       August 2017

   Any issuing authority is responsible to define formal parameters to
   guarantee local name uniqueness by attributing, if necessary, a
   conventional internal number, which, combined with the other <local-
   name> components (authority, measure and date), builds an unequivocal
   identifier. Uniqueness is achieved by checking against the catalogue
   of previously assigned names.

7.4  Identifier persistence considerations

   The persistence of identifiers depends on the durability of the
   institutions that assign and administer them. The goal of the LEX
   schema is to maintain uniqueness and persistence of all resources
   identified by the assigned URNs. 

   In particular, ITTIG-CNR, as proposer, is responsible of maintaining
   the uniqueness of the <jurisdiction> element; given that the
   <jurisdiction> is assigned on the basis of the long-held ccTLD
   representation of the country (or the TLDN or DN of the organization)
   and that the country or organization associated code is expected to
   continue indefinitely, the URN also persists indefinitely. 

   The rules for the construction of the name are conceived to delegate
   the responsibility of their uniqueness to a set of authorities which
   is identified within each country or organization.

   Therefore, each authority is responsible for assigning URNs which
   have a very long life expectancy and can be expected to remain unique
   for the foreseeable future. Practical and political considerations,
   as well as diverse local forms of government organization, will
   result in different methods of assigning responsibility for different
   levels of the name.
   Where this cannot be accomplished by the implementation of an
   authoritative hierarchy, it can and SHOULD be done by creating
   consensus around a series of published rules for the creation and
   administration of names by institutions and bodies that operate by
   means of collaboration rather than compulsion. 

   Issuing authorities that operate in more localized scopes, ranging
   from the national down to the very local, MUST equally take
   responsibility for the persistence of identifiers within their
   scope.

8  Principles of the Resolution Service

8.1  The General Architecture of the System

   The task of the resolution service is that of associating a LEX
   identifier with a specific document address on the network.  By
 

P. Spinosa             Expires February 10, 2018               [Page 28]
INTERNET DRAFT    URN LEX Namespace for Sources of Law       August 2017

   contrast with systems that can be constructed around rigorous and
   enforceable engineering premises, such as DNS, the "lex" namespace
   resolver will be expected to cope with a wide variety of "dirty"
   inputs, particularly those created by the automated extraction of
   references from incomplete or inaccurate texts.  In this document,
   the result is a particular emphasis on a flexible and robust resolver
   design.

   The system has a distributed architecture based on two fundamental
   components: a chain of information in DNS (Domain Name System) and a
   series of resolution services from URNs to URLs, each competent
   within a specific domain of the namespace. 
   Through the NAPTR records of the DNS (described in [RFC3403]), the
   client identifies the characteristics (protocol, port, site) of the
   service (e.g. according to [RFC2169]) capable of associating the
   relative URLs with the URN in question, thereby allowing access to
   the document.

   A resolution service can delegate the resolution and management of
   hierarchically-dependent portions of the name.
   Delegation of this responsibility will not be unreasonably withheld
   provided that the processes for their resolution and management are
   robust and are followed.

   For the "lex" namespace, ITTIG-CNR will maintain the root zone
   "lex.urn.arpa" and, in correspondence with the adhesion of a new
   country (e.g., "br") or organization, will update the DNS information
   with a new record to delegate the relative resolution. This may be
   obtained by a regular expression that matches the initial part of the
   URN (e.g., "urn:lex:br") and redirects towards the proper zone (e.g.,
   "lex.senado.gov.br").

   Likewise the institution responsible for the jurisdiction uniform
   names (e.g., "urn:lex:br") has the task of managing the relative root
   in the DNS system (e.g., "lex.senado.gov.br" zone) and routing the
   resolution towards its resolvers on the basis of parts of the uniform
   names. In similar way it can delegate the resolution of
   country/organization sub-levels (e.g., "urn:lex:br;sao.paolo")
   towards the relative zone (e.g., "lex.sao-paolo.gov.br").

   Such DNS routing chain does not work for all the URN components
   containing %-encoded characters. Therefore in these cases a proper
   software implementing routing service has to be developed.

   The resolution service is made up of two elements: a knowledge base
   (consisting in a catalogue or a set of transformation rules) and a
   software to query the knowledge base itself.

 

P. Spinosa             Expires February 10, 2018               [Page 29]
INTERNET DRAFT    URN LEX Namespace for Sources of Law       August 2017

8.2  Catalogues for Resolution

   Incompleteness and inaccuracy are rather frequent in legal citations,
   and incomplete or inaccurate uniform names of the referred document
   are thus likely to be built from textual references (this is even
   more frequent if they are created automatically through a specific
   parser). For this reason, the implementation of a catalogue, based on
   a relational-database, is suggested, as it will lead to a higher
   flexibility in the resolution process.
   In addition the catalogue must manage the aliases, the various
   versions and languages of the same source of law as well as the
   related manifestations.

   It is suggested that each enacting authority implements its own
   catalogue, assigning a corresponding unambiguous uniform name to each
   resource.

8.3  Suggested resolver behaviour

   First of all the resolver should separate the part corresponding to
   the partition ID, through the "~" separator, from the document name.

   So, the resolution process SHOULD implement a normalization of the
   uniform name to be resolved. This may involve transforming some
   components to the canonical form (e.g., filling out the acronyms,
   expanding the abbreviations, unifying the institution names,
   standardizing the type of measures, etc.). For this function
   authorities and types of measure registers are useful.

   The resolver SHOULD then query the catalogue searching for the URN
   which corresponds exactly to the given one (normalized if necessary).
   Since the names coming from the references may be inaccurate or
   incomplete, an iterative, heuristic approach (based on partial
   matches) is indicated. It is worth remarking that incomplete
   references (not including all the elements to create the canonical
   uniform name) are normal and natural; for a human reader, the
   reference would be "completed" by contextual understanding of the
   reference in the document in which it occurs.

   In this phase, the resolver should use the partition ID information
   to retrieve, if it is possible, only the referred partition,
   otherwise to return of the entire document.

   Lacking more specific indications, the resolver SHOULD select the
   best (most recent) version of the requested source of law, and
   provide all the manifestations with their related items.
   A more specific indication in the uniform name to be resolved will,
   of course, result in a more selective retrieval, based on any
 

P. Spinosa             Expires February 10, 2018               [Page 30]
INTERNET DRAFT    URN LEX Namespace for Sources of Law       August 2017

   suggested expression and/or manifestations components (e.g. date,
   language, format, etc.).

   Finally, the resolver SHOULD append to URLs the "#" character
   followed by partition ID, transforming it in a URI fragment for
   browser pointing.

9  Namespace Considerations 

   In collaboration with the legislative XML community, registrants
   carried out a preliminary study of the URI alternatives to satisfy
   the key requirements.
   The options analysed were: a private URI scheme, URL, PURL and URN.
   URN was considered the most appropriate URI given the requirements
   analysis.
   Advantages we would emphasize are: 
   - greater flexibility in building the identifier; 
   - the capacity to represent name components that are not strictly
     hierarchical;
   - the potential for clear division of the identifier into macro
     parts, main elements and components, using different separators;
   - ease of managing optional parts of a name.

10  Community Considerations 

   The use of the "lex" namespace facilitates the interoperability of
   information systems used in the Public Administration at the national
   and international level. Moreover it allows the distribution of the
   legal information towards a federated architecture. In such an
   architecture, documents are directly managed by the issuing
   authorities, with resulting benefits in information authenticity,
   quality and currency. A shared identification mechanism resources
   guarantees that a distributed system will be as efficient and
   effective as a comparable centralized system.

   Creators of Internet content that references legal materials -
   including publishers operating well outside the traditional arenas of
   legal publishing - benefit by the registration of the namespace
   because facilitates the linking of legal documents, whether by manual
   or automated means, and reduces the cost of maintaining documents
   that contain such references.

   Any citizen or organisation with Internet web browser capability will
   be entitled to access the namespace and its associated application,
   registers, and resolution services, to facilitate document access.

11  IANA Considerations 

 

P. Spinosa             Expires February 10, 2018               [Page 31]
INTERNET DRAFT    URN LEX Namespace for Sources of Law       August 2017

11.1 NID Registration

   This document includes a URN NID registration for "lex" for entry in
   the IANA registry of URN NIDs (see [RFC8141]), as well as the
   registration of the following NAPTRs record:

   in the URN.ARPA domain:
   lex IN NAPTR 100 10  ""  "" "" lex.ittig.cnr.it.

   in the URN.URI.ARPA domain:
   lex IN NAPTR 100 10  ""  "" "" lex.ittig.cnr.it.

11.2 Jurisdiction-code Registratio

   IANA is requested to create a new registry for <jurisdiction-code>.
   The registration policy is "Expert Review" as specified in [RFC8126].
   Designated Expert(s) will assign jurisdiction codes based on the
   following principles:
   - if a request comes from a jurisdiction that corresponds to a
     country and the jurisdiction code is the same as a top level ccTLD,
     which is not yet registered, then the top level ccTLD should be
     used as the jurisdiction code;
   - if a request comes from a jurisdiction that corresponds to a multi-
     national (e.g., European Union) or international (e.g., United
     Nations, Free Software Foundation) organizations the Top Level
     Domain Name (e.g., "eu") or the Domain Name (e.g., "un.org",
     "wto.int") of the organization should be used as the jurisdiction
     code;
   - in case when such multi-national or international organization does
     not have a registered domain, Designated Expert should assign
     something like <name>.lex, where <name> is the English acronym of
     the organization name. For example, the jurisdiction code of the
     European Economic Community is "eec.lex".

   Jurisdiction codes can't be renamed, because allowing for renames
   would violate rules that URN assignments are persistent.

   Jurisdiction codes can never be deleted. They can only be marked as
   "obsolete", i.e. closed for new assignments within the jurisdiction.
   Requests to obsolete a jurisdiction code are also processed by
   Designated Expert.

   Designated Expert can unilaterally initiate allocation or obsoletion
   of a jurisdiction code.

   Request for new jurisdiction code assignment must include
   Organization or Country requesting it and Contact information (email)
   of who requested the assignment. 
 

P. Spinosa             Expires February 10, 2018               [Page 32]
INTERNET DRAFT    URN LEX Namespace for Sources of Law       August 2017

12  References

12.1  Normative References

   [BCP47]     A. Phillips, M. Davis, "Tags for Identifying Languages",
               BCP 47, RFC 5646, September 2009

   [STD63]     F. Yergeau, "UTF-8, a transformation format of ISO
               10646", STD 63, RFC 3629, November 2003.

   [RFC2045]   N. Freed, N. Borenstein, "Multipurpose Internet Mail
               Extensions (MIME) Part One: Format of Internet Message
               Bodies", RFC 2045, November 1996.

   [RFC2119]   S. Bradner, "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
               Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997.

   [RFC2141]   R. Moats, K. R. Sollins, "URN Syntax", RFC 2141, May
               1997.

   [RFC2169]   R. Daniel, "A Trivial Convention for using HTTP in URN",
               RFC 2169, June 1997

   [RFC3403]   M. Mealling, Dynamic Delegation Discovery System (DDDS),
               Part Three: The Domain Name System (DNS) Database, RFC
               3403, October 2002.

   [RFC3986]   Berners-Lee, T., Fielding, R., and L. Masinter, "Uniform
               Resource Identifiers (URI): Generic Syntax", STD 66, RFC
               3986, January 2005. 

   [RFC5234]   D. Crocker Ed., P. Overell, "Augmented BNF for Syntax
               Specifications: ABNF", STD 68, RFC 5234, January 2008 

   [RFC5894]   J. Klensin, "Internationalized Domain Names for
               Applications (IDNA): Background, Explanation, and
               Rationale", RFC 5894, August 2010

   [RFC5988]   M. Nottingham, "Web Linking", RFC 5988, October 2010

   [RFC8126]   M. Cotton, B. Leiba, T. Narten, "Guidelines for Writing
               an IANA Considerations Section in RFCs", RFC 8126, June
               2017

   [RFC8141]   P. Saint-Andre, J.C. Klensin, "Uniform Resource Names
               (URNs)", RFC 8141, April 2017

   [ISO8601]   ISO 8601, "Data elements and interchange formats", ISO
 

P. Spinosa             Expires February 10, 2018               [Page 33]
INTERNET DRAFT    URN LEX Namespace for Sources of Law       August 2017

               8601:2004

12.2  Informative References

   [FRAN]      E. Francesconi, "Technologies for European Integration.
               Standards-based Interoperability of Legal Information
               Systems", ISBN 978-88-8398-050-3, European Press Academic
               Publishing, 2007.

   [SPIN]      P.L. Spinosa, "The Assignment of Uniform Names to Italian
               Legal Documents", URN-NIR 1.4, June, 2010, ITTIG
               Technical Report n. 8/2010.

13  Acknowledgments

   The authors of this document wish to thank all the supporters for
   giving suggestions and comments.
   They are also grateful to the Legislative XML community for the
   interesting discussions on this topic and to the Working Group
   "Identification of the legal resources through URNs" of Italian
   NormeInRete project for the provided guidance [SPIN].
   The authors owe a debt of gratitude to Tom Bruce, director of the
   Legal Information Institute of the Cornell University Law School, for
   his contribution in revising this document and sharing fruitful
   discussions which greatly improved the final draft. The authors wish
   to specially thank Marc van Opijnen (Dutch Ministry of Security and
   Justice) for his valuable comments on LEX specifications which
   contributed to improve the final result, as well as for the common
   work aimed to harmonize ECLI and LEX standards. Thanks also to Joao
   Alberto de Oliveira Lima, legislative system analyst of the Brazilian
   Federal Senate, and to Attila Torcsvari, information management
   consultant, for their detailed comments on the first drafts of this
   document, which provided significant hints to the final version of
   the standard, and to Robert Richards of the Legal Information
   Institute (Cornell University Law School), promoter and maintainer of
   the Legal Informatics Research social network, as well as to the
   members of this network, for their valuable comments on this
   proposal.
   Finally, many thanks go to Loriana Serrotti who significantly
   contributed to the first drafting of this document. 

14 Author's Addresses

   PierLuigi Spinosa
   (ICT consultant)
   Via Zanardelli, 15
   50136 Firenze
   Italy
 

P. Spinosa             Expires February 10, 2018               [Page 34]
INTERNET DRAFT    URN LEX Namespace for Sources of Law       August 2017

   Telephone: +39 339 5614056
   e-mail:    pierluigi.spinosa@gmail.com

   Enrico Francesconi
   Istituto di Teoria e Tecniche dell'Informazione Giuridica (ITTIG)
   Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR)
   Via de' Barucci, 20
   50127 Firenze
   Italy
   Telephone: +39 055 43995
   e-mail:    enrico.francesconi@ittig.cnr.it

   Caterina Lupo
   (ICT consultant)
   Via San Fabiano, 25 
   00165 Roma
   Italy
   Telephone: +39 3382632348
   e-mail:    caterina.lupo@gmail.com

 

P. Spinosa             Expires February 10, 2018               [Page 35]
INTERNET DRAFT    URN LEX Namespace for Sources of Law       August 2017

Attachment A -- Summary of the syntax of the uniform names of the "lex"
namespace

*-------------------------------------------------------------------
* General Structure of a Uniform Resource Name (URN)
* NID = namespace
* NSS = specific name
*-------------------------------------------------------------------
URN = "urn:" NID ":" NSS

*-------------------------------------------------------------------
* Structure of a Uniform Resource Name (URN) of the "lex" namespace
*-------------------------------------------------------------------
NID = "lex"

URN = "urn:lex:" NSS-lex

*-------------------------------------------------------------------
* Structure of a "lex" specific name
*-------------------------------------------------------------------
NSS-lex = jurisdiction ":" local-name

*-------------------------------------------------------------------
* Structure of the <jurisdiction> element
*-------------------------------------------------------------------
jurisdiction = jurisdiction-code *(";" jurisdiction-unit)

   jurisdiction-code = 2*4lowercase / (alfanum *normal)

   jurisdiction-unit = alfanum *normal

*-------------------------------------------------------------------
* Structure of the <local-name> element
*-------------------------------------------------------------------
local-name = work ["@" expression] ["$" manifestation]

*-------------------------------------------------------------------
* Structure of the <work> element
*-------------------------------------------------------------------
work = authority ":" measure ":" details *(":" annex)

*-------------------------------------------------------------------
* Structure of the <authority> element
*-------------------------------------------------------------------
authority = issuer *("+" issuer)

   issuer = (institution *(";" body) *(";" function)) / office
 

P. Spinosa             Expires February 10, 2018               [Page 36]
INTERNET DRAFT    URN LEX Namespace for Sources of Law       August 2017

      institution = alfanum *normal

      body = alfanum *normal

      function = alfanum *normal

      office = alfanum *normal

*-------------------------------------------------------------------
* Structure of the <measure> element
*-------------------------------------------------------------------
measure = measure-type *(";" specification)

   measure-type = alfanum *normal

   specification = alfanum *normal

*-------------------------------------------------------------------
* Structure of the <details> element
*-------------------------------------------------------------------
details = (dates / period) ";" numbers

   dates = date *("," date)

   period = alfanum *normal

   numbers = (document-id *("," document-id)) / number-lex

      document-id = alfanum *(normal / other)

      number-lex = "lex-" 1*DIGIT

*-------------------------------------------------------------------
* Structure of the <annex> element
*-------------------------------------------------------------------
annex = annex-id *(";" specification)

   annex-id = alfanum *normal

*-------------------------------------------------------------------
* Structure of the <expression> element
*-------------------------------------------------------------------
expression = version [":" language]

*-------------------------------------------------------------------
* Structure of the <version> element
*-------------------------------------------------------------------
version = (amendment-date / specification)
 

P. Spinosa             Expires February 10, 2018               [Page 37]
INTERNET DRAFT    URN LEX Namespace for Sources of Law       August 2017

              *(";" (event-date / event))

   amendment-date = date

   event-date = date

   event = alfanum *normal

*-------------------------------------------------------------------
* Structure of the <language> element
*-------------------------------------------------------------------
language = 2*3lowercase

*-------------------------------------------------------------------
* Structure of the <manifestation> element
*-------------------------------------------------------------------
manifestation = format *(";" specification)
                ":" editor *(";" specification)
                [":" component *(";" specification)]
                [":" feature *(";" specification)]

   format = alfanum *(normal / "-")

   editor = alfanum *(normal / "-")

   component = alfanum *(normal / "-")

   feature = alfanum *(normal / "-")

*-------------------------------------------------------------------
* Structure of the date
*-------------------------------------------------------------------
date = year "-" month "-" day

   year  = 4DIGIT
   month = 2DIGIT
   day   = 2DIGIT

*-------------------------------------------------------------------
* Allowed characters
*-------------------------------------------------------------------
allowed-lex = normal / other / reserved / future

   normal = alfanum / "."

      alfanum = lowercase / uppercase / DIGIT / encoded

         lowercase = %x61-7A        ; lower-case ASCII letters (a-z)
 

P. Spinosa             Expires February 10, 2018               [Page 38]
INTERNET DRAFT    URN LEX Namespace for Sources of Law       August 2017

         uppercase = %x41-5A        ; upper-case ASCII letters (A-Z)

         DIGIT     = %x30-39        ; decimal digits (0-9)

         encoded   = 1*4 ("%" 2HEXDIG ) 

         HEXDIG = DIGIT / %x41-46 / %x61-66 ; hex digits (0-9,A-F,a-f)

   other    = "-" / "_" / "'" / "=" / "(" / ")"
        
   reserved = ":" / "@" / "$" / "+" / ";" / "," / "~" 

   future   = "*" /  "!"

 

P. Spinosa             Expires February 10, 2018               [Page 39]
INTERNET DRAFT    URN LEX Namespace for Sources of Law       August 2017

Attachment B -- Specific Syntax of the Identifier at Work Level 

B1 The <authority> element

B1.1  Indication of the Authority

   The <authority> element of a uniform name may indicate, in the
   various cases: 
   - the actual authority issuing the legal provision. More
     specifically, the authority adopting the provision or enacting it;
   - the institution where the provision is registered, known and
     referenced to, even if produced by others (e.g., the bills
     identified through the reference to the Chamber where they are
     presented);
   - the institution regulated (and referred to in citations) by the
     legal provision even when this is issued by another authority
     (e.g., the statute of a Body);
   - the entity that proposed the legal material not yet included in the
     institutional process (e.g. a proposed bill written by a a
     political party).

B1.2  Multiple Issuers

   Some sources of law are enacted by a number of issuing parties (e.g.,
   inter-ministerial decrees, agreements, etc.). In this case, the
   <authority> element contains all the issuing parties (properly
   separated), as follows:

                    authority = issuer *("+" issuer)

   (e.g., "ministry.justice+ministry.finances")

B1.3  Indication of the Issuer

   Each issuing authority is essentially represented by either an
   institutional office (e.g., Prime Minister) or an institution (e.g.,
   Ministry); in the last case, the authority is indicated in accordance
   with the institution's hierarchical structure, from the more general
   to more specific (Council, Department, etc.), ending with the
   relative office (President, Director, etc.).
   Therefore, the structure of the issuer is as follows:

      issuer = (institution *(";" body) *(";" function)) / office

   (e.g., "ministry.finances;department.revenues;manager")

B1.4  Indication of the Body
 

P. Spinosa             Expires February 10, 2018               [Page 40]
INTERNET DRAFT    URN LEX Namespace for Sources of Law       August 2017

   Depending on the kind of measure, the body within the issuing
   authority is unambiguously determined (e.g., the Council for Regional
   Acts) and normally it is not indicated in the references. 
   Just like in practice, the indication of the enacting authority is
   limited to the minimum in relation to the type of measure.
   (e.g., "region.tuscany:act" and not "region.tuscany;council:act")

B1.5  Indication of the Function

   Generally, the component <function> is indicated, sometimes instead
   of the body itself:
   - in case of political, representative or elective offices 
     (e.g., "university.oxford;rector:decree" instead of 
     "university.oxford;rectorship:decree");
   - when it refers to a top officer in the institution (e.g., general
     manager, general secretary, etc.) which is not always possible to
     associate a specific internal institutional structure to
     (e.g., "national.council.research;general.manager").

   It is not indicated when it clearly corresponds to the person in
   charge of an institution (typically, a general director); in this
   case, only the structure and not the person in charge is indicated
   (e.g., "ministry.justice;department.penitentiary.administration").

   The function MUST be indicated when:
   - it is not the same of the director or the person in charge of the
     structure (for example, in case of an undersecretary, a deputy
     director, etc.);
   - the type of measure may be both monocratic or collegial: the
     indication of the office eliminates the ambiguity.

B1.6  Conventions for the Authority

   Acts and measures bearing the same relevance as an act, issued or
   enacted since the foundation of the State, have conventionally
   indicated "state" (expressed in each country official language) as
   authority; the same convention is used for constitutions, codes
   (civil, criminal, civil procedure, criminal procedure, etc) and
   international treaties.

B2 The <measure> element

B2.1  Criteria for the Indication of the Type of Measure 

   In uniform names the issuing authority of a document is mandatory.
   This makes unnecessary to indicate any further qualification of the
   measure (e.g., ministerial decree, directorial ordinance, etc.), even
   if it is widely used. 
 

P. Spinosa             Expires February 10, 2018               [Page 41]
INTERNET DRAFT    URN LEX Namespace for Sources of Law       August 2017

   When the authority-measure combination clearly identifies a specific
   document, the type of measure is not defined through attributes
   referring to the enacting authority. 
   (e.g., "region.tuscany:act" and not "region.tuscany:regional.act")

B2.2  Further Specification to the Type of Measure 

   In the <measure> element, it is usually sufficient to indicate the
   type of a measure. As usual, references to sources of law, rather
   than through the formal details (date and number), may be made
   through some of their characteristics such as the subject-matter
   covered (e.g., accounting regulations), nicknames referring to the
   promoter (e.g., Bassanini Act) or to the topic of the act (e.g.,
   Bankruptcy Law), etc..
   In these cases, the type of measure MAY be followed by further
   specifications useful in referencing even if the details are lacking:

              measure = measure-type *(";" specification)

   (e.g., "regulations;accounting" or "act;bankruptcy")

B2.3  Aliases for Sources of Law with Different Normative References 

   There are legislative measures that, although unique, are usually
   cited in different ways, for example through the legislative act
   introducing them into the legal order (President's decree,
   legislative decree, etc.) or through their legislative category
   (regulations, consolidation, etc.).
   In order to ensure, in all the cases, the validity of the references,
   an alias that takes into account the measure category is associated
   to the uniform name, representing the legislative form. 
   (e.g., "state:decree.legislative:1992-07-24;358" and
   "state:consolidation;public.contracts:1992-07-24;358").

B2.4  Relations between Measure and Authority in the Aliases 

   The sources of law including different normative references are
   usually introduced in legislation through the adoption or the issuing
   of an act, which they are either included or attached to. It is,
   therefore, necessary to create an alias linking the two aspects of
   the same document. Specifically, the different measures can be:
   - adopted/issued by an authority different from the one regulated by
     the provision (e.g., the statute of a Body); in this case, the
     correlation is established between two uniform names each featuring
     a completely different <authority> element
     (e.g., "italian.society.authors.publishers:statute" and 
     "ministry.cultural.activities+ministry.finances.budget.economic.
     planning:decree");
 

P. Spinosa             Expires February 10, 2018               [Page 42]
INTERNET DRAFT    URN LEX Namespace for Sources of Law       August 2017

   - issued by the institution itself either because it has issuing
     authority or by virtue of a proxy (e.g., a provision that refers to
     the functioning of the Body itself); in this case, the two aliases
     share the first part of the authority;
     (e.g., "municipality.firenze:statute" and 
     "municipality.firenze;council:deliberation");
   - issued by the same Body to regulate a particular sector of its own
     competence; in this case the <authority> element is the same
     (e.g., "ministry.justice:regulation;use.information.tools.
     telematic.process" and "ministry.justice:decree").

B3 The <details> element

B3.1  Indication of the Details

   The details of a source of law usually include the date of the
   enactment and the identification number (inclusion in the body of
   laws, register, protocol, etc.).
   Some measures can have multiple dates; there are also cases in which
   the number of the measure does not exist (unnumbered measures) or a
   measure has multiple numbers (e.g., unified cases). For these
   reasons, the set up of both elements (date and number) includes
   multiple values.

   Some institutions (e.g., the Parliaments) usually identify documents
   through their period of reference (e.g., the legislature number)
   rather than through a date, which would be much less meaningful and
   never used in references (e.g., Senate bill S.2544 of the XIV
   legislature). In these cases, the component <period> is used in
   substitution of the component <dates>.

   Usually details of a measure are not reported according to a specific
   sequence; in accordance with the global structure of the uniform
   name, which goes from the general to the specific, the sequence date-
   number has the following form:

                 details = (dates / period) ";" numbers

   (e.g., "2000-12-06;126", "14.legislature;s.2544")

B3.2  Multiple Dates

   Some sources of law, even if unique, are identified by more than one
   date; in this case, in the field <dates> all the given dates are to
   be reported and indicated as follows:

                        dates = date *("," date)

 

P. Spinosa             Expires February 10, 2018               [Page 43]
INTERNET DRAFT    URN LEX Namespace for Sources of Law       August 2017

   (e.g., the measure of the Data Protection Authority of December 30,
   1999- January 13, 2000, No. 1/P/2000 has the following uniform name:
   "personal.data.protection.authority:measure:1999-12-30,2000-01-13;
   1-p-2000").

B3.3  Unnumbered Measures

   Measures not officially numbered in the publications may have a non-
   unequivolcal identifier, because several measures of the same type
   can exist, issued on the same day by the same authority.
   To ensure that the uniform name is unambiguous, the <numbers> field
   MUST, in any case, contain a discriminating element, which can be any
   identifier used internally, and not published, by the authority
   (e.g., protocol).
   If the authority does not have its own identifier, one identifier
   MUST be created for the name system. In order to easily differentiate
   it, such number is preceded by the string "lex-":

                      number-lex = "lex-" 1*DIGIT

   (e.g., "ministry.finances:decree:1999-12-20;lex-3")

   It is responsibility of the authority issuing a document to assign a
   discriminating specification to it; in case of multiple authorities,
   only one of them is responsible for the assignment of the number to
   the document (e.g., the proponent).
   The unnumbered measures published on an official publication (e.g.,
   the Official Gazette), instead of by a progressive number are
   recognized by the univocal identifying label printed on the paper.
   Such an identifier, even if unofficial but assigned to a document in
   an official publication, is to be preferred because it has the clear
   advantage to be public and therefore easier to be found.

B3.4  Multiple Numbers

   Some legal documents (e.g., bills), even if unique, are identified by
   a set of numbers (e.g., the unification of cases or bills).
   In this case, in the <numbers> field, all the identifiers are
   reported, according to the following structure:

                numbers = document-id *("," document-id)

   (e.g., "2000-06-12;c-10-97,c-11-97,c-12-97")
   The characters which are not allowed (e.g., "/") or reserved (e.g.,
   ":"), including the comma, cannot exist inside the <document-id>, and
   therefore MUST be turned into "-". 
   This conversion may imply that the uniform name of the document is no
   more unique (e.g., removal 123-BIS and return 123/BIS of the bill 123
 

P. Spinosa             Expires February 10, 2018               [Page 44]
INTERNET DRAFT    URN LEX Namespace for Sources of Law       August 2017

   both are identified as "123-bis"); in this case, it is necessary to
   add a specific distinctive ending (e.g., "123-bis-removal" and "123-
   bis-return").

B4 The <annex> element

B4.1  Formal Annexes

   Although annexes are an integral part of the legal document, they may
   be referred to and undergo amendments separately from the act to
   which they are annexed. It is, therefore, necessary that both the
   main document as well as each formal individual annex is univocally
   identified.

   Formal annexes may be registered as separate parts or together with a
   legal provision; they may also be autonomous in nature or not. In any
   case, they MUST be given a uniform name, which includes the uniform
   name of the source of law to which they are attached, and a suffix
   which identifies the annex itself. 

   The suffix of formal annexes includes the official heading of the
   annex and, possibly, further specifications (e.g., the title) which
   will facilitate the retrieval of the annex in case the identifier is
   missing:

                 annex = annex-id *(";" specification)

   (e.g., "region.sicily;council:deliberation:1998-02-12;14:annex.a;
   borders.park")

   The characters which are not allowed (e.g. "/") or which are reserved
   (e.g. ":") must not be featured in the <annex-id> and therefore MUST
   be turned into ".". 

B4.2  Annexes of Annexes

   When there are annexes to an annex, their corresponding identifiers
   are created by adding to the identifier of the original annex those
   of the annexes that are connected with it (that is, attached to it).

   (e.g., Table 1 attached to Attachment A of the preceding legal act
   has the following uniform name:
   "region.sicily;council:deliberation:1998-02-12;14:annex.a;
   borders.park:table.1;municipality.territories").

 

P. Spinosa             Expires February 10, 2018               [Page 45]
INTERNET DRAFT    URN LEX Namespace for Sources of Law       August 2017

Attachment C -- Specific Syntax of the <version> Element of the
   Expression

C1 The <version> element

C1.1  Different Versions of a Legislative Document

   The creation of an updated text of a document may have one of the
   following forms:
   - "multi-version": when specific mark-ups which identify the modified
     parts of a document (added, substituted or deleted parts) and their
     related periods of effectiveness are indicated inside one single
     object (e.g., an xml file). Such a document will be able, in a
     dynamic way, to appear in different forms according to the
     requested date of effectiveness.
     In this document type, usually a set of metadata contains the
     lifecycle of the document (from the original to the last
     modification), including the validity time interval of each version
     and of each related text portion;
   - "single-version": when, on the contrary, a new and distinct object
     is created for each amendment to the text at a given time. Each
     object is, therefore, characterized by its own period of validity.
     In any case all the versions SHOULD be linked one another and
     immediately navigable.

   In a "multi-version" document each time interval should have a link
   to the related in-force document version obtained by displaying in a
   different way the very same document. 
   In a "single-version" document, the metadata should contain links to
   the all the previous modifications and a link only to the following
   version, if any.

   [RFC5988] can be used as reference to establish links between
   different document versions, either in the "multi-version" or in the
   "single-version" document. According to [RFC5988] the following
   relations are useful:
   - current (or last or last-version): in-force version
   - self: this version
   - next: next version
   - previous: previous version
   - first: original version
   It is RECOMMENDED that these relations are inserted in the header of
   each version (if "single-version") or associated to each entry
   containing a single URN (if "multi-version").

C1.2  Identification of the Version

 

P. Spinosa             Expires February 10, 2018               [Page 46]
INTERNET DRAFT    URN LEX Namespace for Sources of Law       August 2017

   In order to identify the different time versions of the same act, to
   the uniform name of the original document has to be added a specific
   suffix.
   Such a suffix identifies each version of a legal provision and
   includes, first and foremost, one of the following elements:
   - the issuing date of the last amending measure taken into account;
   - the date in which the communication of the rectification or of the
     errata corrige, is published;
   - a specification which must identify the reason concerning the
     amendment (e.g., the specific phase of the legislative process),
     for the cases in which the date is not usually used (e.g., bills).

   Anyway it is possible to add further specifications that will
   distinguish each of the different versions of the text to guarantee
   identifier unequivocalness. For example with regard to changes of the
   in-force or effectiveness of any partition or portion of the text
   itself (e.g., when the amendments introduced by an act are applied at
   different times) or different events occurring in the same date. 

               version = (amendment-date / specification)
                         *(";" (event-date / event))

   where:
   - <amendment-date> contains the issuing date of the last considered
     amendment or of the last communication of amendment. In case the
     original text introduces differentiated periods in which an act is
     effective and the information system produces one version for each
     of them, such element contains the string "original";
   - <specification> any information useful to identify unambiguously
     and univocally the version;
   - <event-date> contains the date in which a version is put into
     force, is effective or is published;
   - <event> is a name assigned to the event producing a further version
     (e.g., amendment, decision, etc.).

   The issuing date of an amending act was chosen as identifier of a
   version because it can be obtained from the heading (formal data).

   (e.g., the name "state:royal.decree:1941-01-30;12@1998-02-19"
   identifies the updated text of the "Royal Decree of 30/1/1941, No.
   12" with the amendments introduced by the "Law Decree of 19/2/1998,
   No. 51", without any indication of its actual entry into force. The
   same uniform name with the additional ending ";1999-01-01" indicates
   the in-force or effective version starting in a different date (from
   1/1/99).

   For a full compatibility, every updating of a text or of the
   effectiveness of a "multi-version" document implies the creation of a
 

P. Spinosa             Expires February 10, 2018               [Page 47]
INTERNET DRAFT    URN LEX Namespace for Sources of Law       August 2017

   new uniform name, even if the object remains only one, containing the
   identifier of the virtually generated version, exactly as in the case
   of a "single-version" document. A specific meta-data will associate
   every uniform name with the period of time during which such a name
   together with its corresponding text is to be considered valid.

   (e.g., the multi-version document containing the "R.D. of 01/30/1941,
   no. 12", updated by the amendments introduced by the "D.Lgs. of
   02/19/1998, no. 51", contains the name of the original
   "state:royal.decree:1941-01-30;12" as well as the name of the updated
   version "state:royal.decree:1941-01-30;12@1998-02-19").

   Please note that in case of attachments or annexes, the creation of a
   new version (even in the case of only one component) would imply the
   creation of a new uniform name for all the connected objects in order
   to guarantee their alignment (i.e., the main document, the
   attachments and annexes).

 

P. Spinosa             Expires February 10, 2018               [Page 48]
INTERNET DRAFT    URN LEX Namespace for Sources of Law       August 2017

Attachment D -- Http-based LEX identifier

D1 Http-based URI

   Http-based URIs have been recently promoted as stable and location-
   independent identifiers [RFC3986].  According to this syntax, at all
   levels, resource IDs belong to the http scheme and are normally
   resolved using mechanisms widely available in browsers and web
   servers.

   Such kind of identifiers have been recently suggested also within the
   set of principles and technologies, known as "Linked Data" as a basic
   infrastructure of the semantic web to enable data sharing and reuse
   on a massive scale. 

   Such principles, introduced by Tim Berners-Lee in his Web
   architecture note "Linked Data"
   (http://www.w3.org/DesignIssues/LinkedData.html), are synthetically: 

   - Use URIs as names for things; 
   - Use HTTP URIs, so that people can look up those names; 
   - When someone looks up a URI, provide useful information, using the
     standards (RDF, SPARQL); 
   - Include links to other URIs, so that they can discover more
     things.

   The second principle is the one more affecting a discussion about the
   scheme to be used for legal resources identification; in particular
   to the aim of guaranteeing the access to the resources, http-based
   identifiers are suggested. This property is addressed as
   "dereferenceability", meaning a resource retrieval mechanism using
   any of the Internet protocols, e.g. HTTP, so that HTTP clients, for
   instance, can look up the URI using the HTTP protocol and retrieve a
   description of the resource that is identified by the URI.
   Such property is available for http-based identifiers either with or
   without a resolver allowing a 1-to-1 association with the "best copy"
   of the resource; in the legal domain it is related to the unique act
   manifestation of a specific publisher and format.

   The same property holds for URN identifiers, as long as a resolver is
   properly set-up, allowing 1-to-N association with more manifestations
   of a resource (act).

   Therefore an http-based identifier, stable and independent from the
   resource location, can be effectively used when a single publisher
   provides a specific item of this resource (1-to-1 mapping between an
   identifier and manifestation of an act). The independence from the
   resource location is managed by a "303 Redirect" status code (see
 

P. Spinosa             Expires February 10, 2018               [Page 49]
INTERNET DRAFT    URN LEX Namespace for Sources of Law       August 2017

   http://linkeddatabook.com/editions/1.0/#htoc11) which may require a
   resolver able to access the physical location of the resource (e.g.,
   through submitting a query to a database). A URN identifier, stable
   and independent form the resource location, can be effectively used
   within a federative environment where different publishers can
   provide different items of the same act (1-to-N mapping between an
   identifier and different manifestations of an act).

   In order to comply with the Linked Data principles and to build http-
   based identifiers using the LEX namespace specifications, the LEX
   schema and metadata set can be serialized according to an http URI
   syntax. It is worthwhile to mention that URN focuses on identifying
   an act, while Linked Data principles focus on identifying a resource
   on the Web.

   In the following sections the http-based serialization of the urn LEX
   schema is reported. 

D2 The http-based LEX identifier structure 

   The http-based hierarchical structure of the LEX identifier is the
   following:

        "http://" host-name "/lex/" jurisdiction "/" local-name

   where:
   - <host-name> represents the name of the organization server
     publishing the resource;
   - "lex" is the equivalent of the URN namespace ID and provides the
     reference to the naming convention adopted;
   - <jurisdiction> and <local-name> share meaning and syntax of the
     corresponding components in the LEX specifications.

   The <jurisdiction> element follows the syntax rules of the
   corresponding element in the URN specification, therefore it has the
   following structure:

       jurisdiction = jurisdiction-code *(";" jurisdiction-unit)

   The character ";" still separates the identification code of the
   country or jurisdiction where the source of law is issued
   (<jurisdiction-code>) from any possible administrative hierarchical
   sub-structures defined by each country or organisation according to
   its own legal system.

   The <local-name> follows the FRBR model as implemented by the LEX
   specifications, therefore its http-based structure is the following:

 

P. Spinosa             Expires February 10, 2018               [Page 50]
INTERNET DRAFT    URN LEX Namespace for Sources of Law       August 2017

         local-name = work "/@/" expression "/$/" manifestation

D3 The http-based LEX identifier at Work Level

   According to the corresponding level of the URN version, the http-
   based LEX identifier structure at work level is the following:

         work = authority "/" measure "/" details *("/" annex)

   The elements <authority>, <measure> and <annex> follow the same
   syntax rules of the corresponding elements in the URN specification.

   Examples of http-based identifiers at <work> level, corresponding to
   the urn-based examples in Section 6.4, are the following:

   http://<host-name>/lex/it/stato/legge/2006-05-14;22
   http://<host-name>/lex/uk/ministry.justice/decree/1999-10-07;45
   http://<host-name>/lex/ch;glarus/regiere/erlass/2007-10-15;963
   http://<host-name>/lex/es/tribunal.supremo/decision/2001-09-28;68
   http://<host-name>/lex/fr/assemblee.nationale/proposition.loi/
      13.legislature;1762
   http://<host-name>/lex/br/estado/constituicao/1988-10-05;lex-1
   http://<host-name>/lex/fsf.org/free.software.foundation/
      general.public.license/2007-06-29;lex-1
   http://<host-name>/lex/nl/hoge.raad/besluit/2008-04-01;bc8581

D4 The http-based LEX identifier at Expression Level 

   According to the corresponding level of the URN version, the http-
   based LEX structure at expression level is the following:

                  expression = version ["/" language]

   The elements <version> and <annex> follow the same syntax rules of
   the corresponding elements in the URN specification.

   Examples of http-based identifiers at expression level, corresponding
   to the urn-based examples in Section 6.6, are the following:

   http://<host-name>/lex/ch/etat/loi/2006-05-14;22/@/originel/fr
      (original version in French)
   http://<host-name>/lex/ch/staat/gesetz/2006-05-14;22/@/original/de
      (original version in German)
   http://<host-name>/lex/ch/etat/loi/2006-05-14;22/@/2008-03-12/fr
      (amended version in French)
   http://<host-name>/lex/ch/staat/gesetz/2006-05-14;22/@/2008-03-12/de
      (amended version in German)
   http://<host-name>/lex/be/conseil.etat/decision/2008-07-09;185.273
 

P. Spinosa             Expires February 10, 2018               [Page 51]
INTERNET DRAFT    URN LEX Namespace for Sources of Law       August 2017

      /@/originel/fr
      (original version in French of a Belgian decision)

D5 The http-based LEX identifier at Manifestation Level 

   Information provided in the URN version at manifestation level is
   differently accommodated in the corresponding level of the http-based
   LEX identifier.

   The <editor> element, reported at manifestation level in the urn-
   based LEX version, is an information already contained in the <host-
   name> of the http-based LEX identifier, therefore it is omitted in
   the <manifestation> elements.
   Similarly the <feature> element is omitted since it loses its meaning
   which would derived from the comparison between different
   manifestations.

   The <format> element is reported as unique extension of the data
   format in which the manifestation is drafted. The value is compliant
   with the registered file extensions, thus it can be "pdf" for PDF,
   "doc" for MS Word, "xml" for XML documents, "tif" for tiff image
   format, etc.

   Therefore the http-based LEX structure at manifestation level is the
   following:

      manifestation = [ component *(";" specification)] "." format

   The element <component> follows the same syntax rules of the
   corresponding element in the URN specification.

   Examples of http-based identifiers at manifestation level,
   corresponding to the urn-based examples in Section 6.7 are the
   following:

   http://www.senato.it/lex/it/stato/legge/2000-04-03;56/$/testo.xml
      (body of the Italian law 3 April 2000, n. 56, published by the
      Italian Senate in xml format)
   http://www.senato.it/lex/it/stato/legge/2000-04-03;56/$/figura.1.pdf
      (Figure 1 in PDF format of the Italian law 3 April 2000, n. 56,
      published by the Italian Senate)
   http://www.juradmin.eu/jurifast/lex/eu/tibunal.justicia/sentencia/
      2009-06-11;33-08/@/original/es/$/todo.html
      (the Spanish http-based LEX identifier of the html format of the
      whole Judgement of the European Court of Justice n. 33/08 of
      11/06/2009, in Spanish version, published by the Juriadmin site in
      the Jurifast data base) 
   http://eur-lex.europa.eu/lex/eu/commission/directive/
 

P. Spinosa             Expires February 10, 2018               [Page 52]
INTERNET DRAFT    URN LEX Namespace for Sources of Law       August 2017

      2010-03-09;2010-19-EU/$/body.xml
      (body of the EU Directive n. 2010-19-EU, dated 2010-03-09, in its
      XML format published by Eur-Lex)

P. Spinosa             Expires February 10, 2018               [Page 53]