LexFind is an enterprise search tool designed for legal information. It is, basically, a versatile, robust search engine for legal documents. It is able to deal with large sets of documents with variable structures.

“LexFind is a project developed by the Institute for federalism of the University of Fribourg. The
focus of the project is to allow the user a simultaneous search in all the official legislation
databases of Switzerland. Thanks to the use of the cache memory in the search engine, it is
possible to display and to compare different versions of the same legal act.

LexFind offers to the user a single search engine with a homogenous search mask, but allows a
search in all the Swiss online legislation databases simultaneously. The user can perform a full text
search, a keyword index search or a search using the classification of the legal acts. In the last
case, the different cantonal and federal classifications are synchronized, i.e. a research done using
a single classification returns valid results for all the cantonal and federal databases.”(1) According to Tercier and Roten (2), Lexfind uses specially prepared concordance tables between the
different federal and cantonal classification systems. “The user merely has to choose the databases
in which the research should be performed and the results are displayed in a list. However, the list
cannot be ordered in any way.

For each legal act found, a link to the actual version is provided. It is equally possible to access
directly all the previous versions stored in the cache memory. The latter functionality is provided for
all modifications from 2006 on.

The user can choose any two versions from all the versions provided (i.e. the actual and the
previous ones) and compare them directly in a new window. The two different versions of the same
legal act are displayed simultaneously on the same page. Different colors are used to mark the
changes between the two displayed versions.”(3)

Another Swiss Project is CHLexML.


Notes and References

  2. Tercier, Pierre; Roten, Christian: La recherche et la redaction juridiques, 5th edition, Schulthess, Genève (2007), pg. 54
  3. Idem 2

See Also

  • Semantic Web and Law
  • Semantic Indexing and Law
  • XML Standards for Legislation
  • MetaLex
  • LegalXML
  • Linked Data Principles to Legal Information
  • LexDania
  • NormeinRete
  • EnAct
  • Legal RDF
  • eLaw
  • LAMS
  • JSMS
  • UKMF
  • Estrella Project
  • Legal Ontologies
  • Artificial Intelligence and Law
  • Free Access to Law Movement
  • Legal Information Institute resources

Further Reading

  • Marchetti A., Megale F., Seta E., Vitali F., “Using XML as a means to access legislative documents: Italian and foreign experiences” , ACM SIGAPP Applied Computing Review, 10, n. 1, pp. 54-62 (2002)
  • Vitali F., Di Iorio A., Gubellini D., Design patterns for document substructures, Extreme Markup 2005 Conference, Montreal, 1-5 August 2005, mulberrytech.com/Extreme/Proceedings/xslfo-pdf/2005/ Vitali01/EML2005Vitali01.pdf
  • Vitali F., Zeni F., Working Towards Interoperability in African Parliamentary Information Systems, IST-Africa 2006 Conference Proceedings, Paul Cunningham and Miriam Cunningham (Eds). IIMC International Information Management Corporation, 2006,
  • XML Patterns: xmlpatterns.com
  • Gordon, T.F.: Constructing Legal Arguments with Rules in the Legal Knowledge Interchange Format (LKIF). Computable Models of the Law: Languages, Dialogues, Games, Ontologies pp. 162 184 (2008)
  • IFLA Study Group on the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records: Functional requirements for bibliographic records: nal report. K . G. Saur (1998)
  • Kay, M.: XSL Transformations (XSLT) Version 2.0. Recommendation, W3C (Jan 2007), https://www.w3.org/TR/2007/REC-xslt20-20070123/. Latest version available at w3.org/TR/xslt20
  • de Oliveira Lima, A., Palmirani, M., Vitali, F.: Moving in the Time: An Ontology for Identifying Legal Resources. Computable Models of the Law, Languages, Dialogues, Games, Ontologies pp. 71 85 (2008)
  • Palmirani, M., Benigni, F.: Norma-System: A Legal Information System for Managing Time. In: V Legislative XML Workshop. pp. 205 224 (2007)
  • Palmirani, M., Contissa, G., Rubino, R.: Fill the gap in the legal knowledge modelling. In: proceeding of RuleML 2009. pp. 305 314 (2009)
  • Presutti, V., Gangemi, A.: Content ontology design patterns as practical building blocks for web ontologies. In: ER2008. Barcelona, Spain. (2008)
  • Valentina Presutti et al.: A Library of Ontology Design Patterns. NeOn project deliverable D2.5.1. (2008)
  • Biagioli, C. and Francesconi, E. (2005). A semantics-based visual framework for planning a new bill. In Proceedings of the Jurix Conference: Legal Knowledge and Information Systems.
  • Jérôme Fuselier et Boris Chidlovskii, Traitements Automatiques pour la Migration de Documents Numériques vers XML, in Document Numérique, vol 9/1 -2006.
  • Ovidiu Vasutiu, David Jouve, Youssef Amghar, Jean-Marie Pinon, XML based Legal Document Drafting Information System, 20th Aniversary Annual JURIX Conference, Workshop on Legislative XML, LIRIS, 12/2007
  • Data models for version management of legislative documents, Marà­a Hallo Carrasco,
    Journal of Information Science.
  • V. R. Benjamins, P. Casanovas, J. Breuker, and A. Gangemi, editors. Law and the Semantic
    Web: Legal Ontologies, Methodologies, Legal Information Retrieval and Applications.
    Springer-Verlag, 2005.
  • C. Lupo and C. Batini. A federative approach to laws access by citizens: The Normeinrete system. In R. Traunmuller, editor, Proc. Second International Conference on Electronic
    Government, Berlin, 2003. Springer.
  • Thomas F. Gordon, Guido Governatori, and Antonino Rotolo. Rules and norms: Requirements for rule interchange languages in the legal domain. In Guido Governatori, John Hall, and Adrian Paschke, editors, Rule Representation, Interchange and Reasoning on the Web, LNCS 5858, pages 282-296. Springer, 2009.
  • Long-term preservation of legal resources, Gioele Barabucci et al.
  • Electronic Government and the Information Systems Perspective, Kim Normann Andersen, ?Enrico Francesconi, ?Ake Grünlund
  • Legislative xml: principles and technical tools (commissioned by the inter-american development bank), Monica Palmirani



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