Semantic Finlex: Transforming, publishing, and using Finnish legislation and case law as linked open data on the web

Arttu Oksanen, Minna Tamper, Jouni Tuominen, Eetu Mäkelä, Aki Hietanen, Eero Hyvönen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
91 Downloads (Pure)


Governments publish legislation and case law widely in print and on the Web. Such legal information is provided for human consumption, but the information is usually not available as data for algorithmic analysis and applications to use. However, this would be beneficial in many use cases, such as building more intelligent juridical online services and conducting research into legislation and legal practice. To address these needs, this Chapter presents Semantic Finlex, a national in-use data resource and service for publishing Finnish legislation and related case law as Linked Open Data for legal applications to use. The system transforms and interlinks on a regular basis data from the legacy legal database Finlex of the Ministry of Justice into Linked Open Data, based on the European standards ECLI and ELI. The published data is hosted on the '7-star' Linked Data Finland service and SPARQL endpoint with a variety of related services available that ease data re-use. Rich Internet Applications using SPARQL for data access are presented as application demonstrators of the data service. In addition, this Chapter presents methods and tools under development to automatically annotate legal texts and to anonymize case law documents prior to their publication on the Web. Anonymization is necessary due to issues of data protection and privacy, and annotation is needed for semantic search and interlinking the documents. The automated approaches could significantly speed up the process and minimize costs of publishing legal documents as Linked Open Data.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationKnowledge of the Law in the Big Data Age
EditorsGinevra Peruginelli, Sebastiano Faro
PublisherIOS Press
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781614999843
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jul 2019
MoE publication typeA3 Book section, Chapters in research books
EventInternational Conference on Law via the Internet - Florence, Italy
Duration: 11 Oct 201812 Oct 2018

Publication series

NameFrontiers in Artificial Intelligence and Applications
PublisherIOS PRESS
ISSN (Print)0922-6389


ConferenceInternational Conference on Law via the Internet
Abbreviated titleLVI
Internet address


  • Automatic annotation
  • Automatic anonymization
  • Case law
  • Legislation
  • Linked data publishing


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