Bruce: How Well Does Current Legislative Identifier Practice Measure Up?

Bruce: How Well Does Current Legislative Identifier Practice Measure Up?

From Legal Informatics:

Tom Bruce of the Legal Information Institute at Cornell University Law School (LII) has posted Identifiers, Part 3: How Well Does Current Practice Measure Up?, on LII’s new legislative metadata blog, Making Metasausage.

In this post, Tom surveys legislative identifier systems currently in use. He recommends the use of URIs for legislative identifiers, rather than URLs or URNs.

He cites favorably the URI-based identifier system that John Sheridan and Dr. Jeni Tennison developed for the system. Tom praises Sheridan’s (here) and Tennison’s (here and here) writings on legislative URIs and Linked Data.

Tom also praises the URI system implemented by Dr. Rinke Hoekstra in the Leibniz Center for Law‘s Metalex Document Server for facilitating point-in-time as well as point-in-process identification of legislation.

Tom concludes by making a series of recommendations for a legislative identifier system:

See the post for his recommendations (in case you are working on such a system) and for other links.

I would point out that existing legislation has identifiers from before it receives the “better” identifiers specified here.

And those “old” identifiers will have been incorporated into other texts, legal decisions and the like.


We can’t re-write existing identifiers so it’s a good thing topic maps accept subjects having identifiers, plural.

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