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Institute of Law Organizes Workshop on Akoma Ntoso Technology

September 5, 2012
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In the context of its extensive effort to further develop and upgrade the Palestinian Legal and Judicial System AL-MUQTAFI, the Institute of Law (IoL) at BZU hosted from 23-25 April 2012 a training workshop on the Akoma Ntoso model. The IoL persistently seeks to integrate and incorporate legal and judicial theories and the most up-to-date programming tools. The workshop brought together IoL researchers and IT specialists. In addition to Mr. Ashok Hariharan, who is Software Development Coordinator at UN/DESA on the Africa i-Parliament Action Plan, law and IT experts from the University of Bologna in Italy, including Professor Monica Palmirani and Mr. Gioele Barabucci, provided the training.



Experts covered theoretical and applied areas of the training. Professor Palmirani explained that Akoma Ntoso “is an advanced technique that processes and displays legislative and legal data. Integrating the theory of law with most effective, efficient and tailor-made IT models, Akoma Ntoso facilitates linking legal concepts and documents.” In the legal context, the Akoma Ntoso model processes and displays online laws and court judgments, enabling multidisciplinary users to view legal principles that inform various specializations. Additionally, the Akoma Ntoso system consolidates a common language used by various legislative bodies. Besides tracking phases of the legislative cycle, Akoma Ntoso informs legislative drafting by consolidating respective rules and guidance, enabling a clearer and more consistent legislative content.

Trainers gave a presentation on standard naming techniques for identifying legal resources using Akoma Ntoso. Using the same technology, experts explained how to deal with metadata describing regulations or court judgments, identify relevant concepts, process the legislative cycle, and integrate amendments. To take account of the Palestinian legal and legislative framework, panelists elaborated that Akoma Ntoso helps identify components of court decisions and introduced principles needed to customize the model.

On the second training day, experts provided an overview of Bungeni Editor techniques, highlighting the relationship with the Akoma Ntoso design. Having introduced tools needed to customize and render the model locally, trainers explained how the Bungeni Editor helps produce legal documents in tandem with the Akoma Ntoso operation.

To illustrate the theoretical presentation, experts provided practical examples relating to Palestinian and non-Palestinian legislations. Discussants addressed issues of legislative and judicial practices and how to align the Akoma Ntoso system with current AL-MUQTAFI techniques. An assessment was made of the commonalities between AL-MUQTAFI and Akoma Ntoso software applications with a future prospect of transformation into the new Akoma Ntoso system.

Along side the two-day workshop, the IoL IT team and Mr. Hariharan visited the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC). Currently, a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) team is assessing PLC IT needs. Mr. Hariharan gave a presentation on the Bungeni Editor model, in terms of scope and benefits availed to parliamentary functions. In this context, the IoL’s experience in customizing and locally rendering Bungeni Editor techniques can be utilized by the PLC to edit and analyze published legislation. Additionally, the PLC can apply these techniques to the legislation cycle, thereby scaling up the process and invigorating civic monitoring of PLC performance. The IoL research team also overviewed achievements and progress the IoL has made towards customizing the Bungeni Editor model with a view to processing Palestinian legislations. The system will ultimately be adopted as a major software application to process AL-MUQTAFI legal documents.



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