Technical Specification

1. INTRODUCTION

The European space of freedom, security and justice requires the knowledge of European law, but also mutual knowledge of the legal systems of other Member States. For this reason, in the year 2012, the European Union adopted an interoperability initiative specifically focused on legislative information through the Council Conclusions (2012/C 325/02) inviting Member States to adopt a standard for the identification and description of legislative rules called the "European Law Identifier".

Although there is much legal information available on the Internet, the accessibility and interoperability are limited by the differences in the national legal systems as well as by the existing differences in the technical systems used to store and present the legislation in the national websites.

In this context, the European Legislation Identifier (ELI), has the purpose to facilitate the access, exchange and interconnection of the information published in the European, national and global information systems, in order to enable the setting of a genuine network of legal information, available as open data and reusable.

The European Legislative Identifier is used for:

  • Identify legislation with a steady and unique identifier, recognizable and understandable by people and machines.
  • Describe legislation with a set machine readable metadata elements, in compliance with a recommended ontology.

The advantages of the ELI system are multiple:

  1. It promotes the interoperability of legal systems, facilitating the cooperation of the national administrations in the legal field and contributing to the creation of the freedom, security and justice space of the European Union.
  2. It encourages transparency and openness, reinforcing the legitimacy and the accountability of those Member States that use it.
  3. It allows users to compose manually the URIs of the ELI, providing them a fastest and easier access to the legislation they are looking for.
  4. It helps citizens and legal professionals to search more efficiently legislation from different legal systems.
  5. It improves the efficiency of the legislation publishing processes, contributing a better quality and reliability, besides reducing costs.
  6. It allows a smart reuse of legal data and creates new services development opportunities for the private sector, contributing this way to the development of the digital single market.

The ELI system is structured in three cornerstones:

a) Unique identifiers

ELI offers a way to univocally identify, name and access to national and European legislation, readable both by people and computer systems and compatible with current technological systems.

b) Properties that describe each legislative act according to an ontology

While a structured URI can already identify acts using a set of defined components, the attribution of additional metadata established in the framework of a shared syntax will set the basis to promote interchange and enhance interoperability between legal information systems. By identifying the metadata describing the essential characteristics of a resource, Member States will be able to reuse relevant information processed by others for their own needs, without having to put into place additional information systems.

An ontology represents a formal description of a set of concepts and the relations in a given domain. By describing the properties of legislation and the relations between the different concept, a shared understanding is made possible so ambiguities between terms can be avoided. As a formal specification, an ontology is directly machine procesable.

Therefore, while Member States are free to use their own metadata schema, they are encouraged to follow and use the ELI metadata standards with shared but extensible authority tables, which permit to meet specific requirements. The ELI metadata schema is intended to be used in combination with customised metadata schemas.

c) Render the ELI metadata machine-reusable

ELI allows a wider and faster data exchange: when the metadata are integrated in the corresponding webpage of the different official journals or legal information systems, the information can be exchanged efficient and automatically thanks to the benefits of the emerging semantic network architecture, that makes it possible for the information to be processed directly both by computers and by people.

For the data exchange to become more efficient, ELI metadata elements may be serialised in compliance with the W3C Recommendation "RDFa in XHTML: Syntax and Processing"

Since 2012, ELI system has been adopted by a series of European countries (Denmark, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, United Kingdom) and by the Publications Office of the EU, with different intensity according to the progressive approach that characterizes this identifier (only pillar 1, pillars 1 and 2 or the three pillars).

The system's success has motivated that on 6 November 2017, the Council have adopted new Conclusions about the ELI, encouraging again to the Member States and candidate States, the Lugano states and other States to adopt the identifier voluntarily and gradually.

2. THE APPLICATION OF THE ELI IN SPAIN

2.1 The advantages for Spain

The Spanish legal system is a complex and plural reality. It is integrated by rules corresponding three different territorial levels (State, autonomic and local). However, despite the fact that these rules constitute a system and that they are related to each other, there are differences in the technical systems used to store and present legislation in each legal information system. This makes access to law more difficult for legal practitioners, companies and citizens and hampers the connection among legal information systems.

In fact, if a person wants to know the legislation on any matter in Spain, it is not enough to check the State or regional regulations, but it is needed to check both and in many cases, also the European or local regulations. However, the search of legal information corresponding different territorial levels is costly and difficult, to the extent that the State and Autonomous Communities databases where the most relevant legal information is located are not related to each other, something that requires to look up several databases or, at worst, if you are interested in the different regional legislations, to make searchs through every one of them.

Therefore, the ELI implementation in Spain is specially relevant, since, in addition to the benefits that ELI provides at the European level, there would be, internally, a significant improvement in the access to legal information and in the interoperability of the legal information systems of the different territorial levels.

2.2 Legal and technical aspects that determine the implementation

ELI is a flexible system, designed to adapt to complexity and specificity of the different regional, national and European legal systems, as well as the changes that occur in legal resources.

In the Spanish case, the implementation must have in mind the plurality and diversity that characterizes the Spanish legal system, much higher than the one presented by the European countries that up to now have implemented the identifier:

a) Plurality of issuing territorial levels and official journals

Each of the territorial level with legislative and regulatory powers has its own Official Gazette:

  • The «Spanish Official Gazette» publishes the international law, State rules and also that regional regulations with higher ranks, in compliance with the provisions of the different Statutes of Autonomy.
  • The seventeen Autonomic Gazettes publish the regional rules. Additionally, there are two different Gazettes for the Autonomous Cities of Ceuta and Melilla.
  • The local rules are published, either in one of the seven official journals corresponding to those Autonomous Communities with one province, or in the corresponding Provincial Gazette (43 at the moment).

All the official journals are electronically published with digital signature, as a guarantee of its authenticity e integrity; the documents published are offered in a plurality of formats (mostly pdf and html and occasionally xml and e-pub). Many Official Gazettes publish each provision as a single electronic document; others offer a pdf with the complete issue of the day, with all the provisions and acts published.

b) Linguistic variety

As for the language, each Official Gazzette is published in the corresponding official languages: only in Spanish or in two languages in the case of those Public Administrations that have their own language.

Regarding the State Official Gazette (BOE), it is published in Spanish, although, in accordance to the Royal Decree 489/1997, there are four supplements in co-official languages in compliance with the agreements signed with the Autonomous Communities of the Basque Country, Catalonia, Galicia and Valencia.

c) Plurality of publications

Some rules are officially published in two journals:

  • Autonomic Laws (Acts passed by the Autonomic Parliaments) are published in the BOE once they have been published in the Autonomic Official Journal. Sometimes, the Statute of Autonomy also foresees the double publication for the rest of the regulations with the rank of law or for some types of them. However, the entry into force of the Automomic regulations takes place of its publication in the corresponding regional official journal, not in the BOE.
  • In some specific cases, some State regulations are published in the Autonomic Journal (for example, the Royal Decrees of "transferencias")
d) Multiplicity of legal information systems

ELI applies to legal resources available in the official databases of Member States.

Both the State and the Autonomous Communities have their own legal information systems. Usually, this database systems are available in the website in which the official journal is hosted and allow to retrieve the published regulations, although sometimes the time scope considered is not complete. The information is offered in pdf and html format and less frequently in xml.

Is relatively common for official databases to offer regulations corresponding to other territorial levels, even if they have not been published in the Official Journal that corresponds to the managing entity (for example, Autonomic databases that offer also certain State legislation).

We must pay attention to the consolidated Law databases offered by the State and some Autonomous Communities, because their management is quite different.

  • Regarding the ownership of the service, there are consolidated Law databases available in the Official Journals website itself (BOE, DOCM, DOGV) and databases available on different webs from those of the Official Gazette: in some cases they are managed by the same entity (for example, the EADOP in Catalonia), by a different entity or body (as in the cases of Canary Islands, Balearic Islands or Galicia) or even by a private company with a contract contracted (and in this case there is no uniformity either, depending on the Communities, the website is that of the brand of the company or is that of the Autonomous Community itself) .
  • In relation to search engines, these are different when the websites of the Official Journal and the consolidated legislation are different: however, sometimes, even when all the information is hosted in the Official Gazzete's website, there are independent databases.
  • As to the consolidation activity itself, in some Administrations the consolidated regulations are prepared by themselves and in other cases they have been contracted with a company that, depending on the cases, only provides the texts or also the search engine.

The situation of the databases of the Official Journals of the provinces, dependent on the Provincial Councils is very different and sometimes it is the local corporations themselves that, depending on the resources, are responsible of the online publishing of their own regulations, being rare that they offer it in a consolidated version.

e) Plurality of metadata

The technological situation of the diverse official bodies that offer legal resources on line is very different. Due to this, the metadata range in the different websites is unequal: not all the Administrations have metadata and when they do exist are not uniform, either because they do not match, because they are not named equal or because they are not defined in the same way.

3. PURPOSE AND SCOPE OF THE TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF ELI

The ELI system offers a flexible standard for the access to and identification of legislation, that has to be adapted to the peculiarities of the different regional, national and international legislative systems.

Due to the plurality of the Spanish legal system, the implementation of the identifier must be carried out in a coordinated way by all the Administrations, following the philosophy defined by the "National Interoperability Scheme", which takes into account the European Union recommendations.

Thus, State, Autonomic and Local Administrations have taken part in the technical specification that has been approved by the Sectoral Electronic Administration Commission approved in his meeting of March 13th 2018.

This specification aims to establish the common guidelines required by the implementation of ELI in the Spanish context, so that the identification and description of the legal resources are performed in a coordinated and coherent way by the different Administrations.

According to the gradual approach that defines ELI and that has been followed by all the European countries, the implementation in Spain will take place in various phases: in the first phase, the ELI will be applied only to the State and Autonomic legislation. The complexity of the local legislation and the different technological situations regarding the Provincial Official Journals and the local Administration recommend to approach the application of the identifier to the local legislation in a second phase.

As ELI is designed to work on the basis of existing systems, each Administration can maintain its own Official Journals and legislative databases as appropriate, as well as the internal management processes that meets their needs, criteria and own regulations. The specifications includes only the minimum elements necessary to guarantee the interoperability of the legal information that the different Spanish Administrations offer on the Internet

According to the gradual approach that defines ELI and that has been followed by all the European countries, the implementation in Spain will take place in various phases: in the first phase, the ELI will be applied only to the State and Autonomic legislation. The complexity of the local legislation and the different technological situations regarding the Provincial Official Journals and the local Administration recommend to approach the application of the identifier to the local legislation in a second phase.

This technical specification addresses the first phase of the ELI applications:

  • It defines the ELI URI template for the State and Autonomic legislation as well as its components (Pillar n.1).
  • It establishes a set of minimum common metadata (Pillar n.2).

In any case, this technical specification has been designed in a way that is compatible with the future implementation of the ELI, in a second phase, for the legislation of the Autonomous Cities and the local entities and without prejudice to the development and improvement of the guidelines to over time, through the expansion of the minimum common metadata, and its adaptation to the evolution of the ELI ontology, until the adoption of the three pillars is completed.

The estimated calendar for this first phase of implementation of the identifier is as it follows:

  • Implementation by the State: before 2019.
  • Implementation by the Autonomous Communities: before 2020.

4. SCOPE OF THE TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF ELI

4.1 Legislative scope

The Council Conclusions invite Member States to apply the ELI to national legislation units, giving them space to decide to which regulations the identifier will be apply and to do progressively.

In the first phase of implementation in Spain, the ELI will apply to those State and Autonomic rules that the information systems of each Public Administration have included into their legislative databases.

However, according to the literal meaning of the term "units of national legislation", the following legal resources will not be taken into consideration:

  • Supranational legislation, that is, European legislation. This legislation is published exclusively in the DOUE. It should be pointed out that the Publications Office of the EU has already implemented the ELI for the European legislation.
  • The decisions issued by the courts, both by the constitutional and ordinary jurisdiction, since they don't have a legislative nature. The ELI does not apply to case law, but a specific European Identifier named ECLI (European Case Law Identifier).

With regard to international agreements, they will be identified through the ELI, since once published in the State Official Gazette, they become part of the domestic legal system, as established in the article 96 of the Spanish Constitution, becoming, therefore, "units of national legislation".

LEGISLATIVE SCOPE
  • State legislation.
  • Autonomous Communities legislation.
  • International legislation.

4.2 Temporary scope

Although he benefits from ELI are greater the broader the set of norms to which is applied, but it is necessary to concentrate the effort on that legislation most queried by citizens.

Given that most of the legislation in force has been issued after the Constitution and that the firsts Autonomy Statutes where approved in 1979, ELI will be applied, at least, to State and Autonomic legislation published from 1978/12/29.

At the State level, it will also be applied to all legislation previously published and having a consolidated version.

MINIMUM TEMPORARY SCOPE
  • State legislation published from 29/12/1978 as well as the one published before if it has a consolidated version.
  • Autonomic legislation published from 29/12/1978.

To the extent that it is a minimum application temporary scope, both the State and the Autonomous Communities can widen it, according to their possibilities and needs.

5. CONCEPTUAL MODEL

5.1 The concepts of the ELI ontology

The ELI ontology defines a core model for describing legal resources, aimed at supporting the link with other legal resources, along with their publication and reuse.

ELI itself builds on the well-established model for 'Functional requirements for bibliographic records' (FRBR, http://archive.ifla.org/VII/s13/frbr/), aligned with other current standardisation initiatives in the field. FRBR distinguishes between the concepts of 'work' (distinct intellectual or artistic creation), 'expression' (the intellectual or artistic realisation of a work) and the 'manifestation' (the physical embodiment of an expression)

In the specific case of the ELI, the following concepts can be identified:

  • Legal Resource (RDA work) eli: LegalResource: Concept of legislative resource (It can be a complete rule or part of a rule, for example an article). The legal resources can be described and related to each other using the properties of the ELI model.
  • Legal Expression (RDA Expression) eli:LegalExpression: are the concrete embodiments of a legal resource, typically in the form of a sequence of alphanumerical characters. Those that respond to the use of different languages and those that respond to different versions of the resource can be considered expressions of a legal resource. The legal expressions always must be linked to the legal resource they express (for this there is a mandatory property in the ELI ontology eli:realises).
  • Format (RDA Manifestation) eli:format is the physical embodiment of a legal expression, either on paper or electronically. Formats must be linked to the legal expressions they embody using the property eli:embodies.

The picture embedded below includes these three concepts, applying them to a specific resource, in this case the Council Conclusions inviting to the introduction of the ELI.

The structure of the information in multiple conceptual levels, following the FRBR structure allows users to:

  • create links from a precise description level to another level (the original publication, a consolidated text, a specific translation...)
  • take advantage of the information already integrated in each conceptual level, with no need of reiterating in the following ones.

5.2 What to consider a legal resource

The ELI ontology accommodates different point of view ono what should be considered a new legal resource.

This flexibility is particularly useful in a legislative context such as the Spanish one, that is structured in several territorial levels, each of them with its corresponding official journal, in which certain rules are subjects to double publication and in which the publication can be done in several language.

Therefore, in the implementation in the ELI in Spain, two levels of legal resources will be taken into consideration for each piece of legislation:

  • A first level, which correspond with the rule in an abstract way: for example the 37/2007 Law, of November 16, about information reuse in the public sector.
  • A second level of legal resources derived from the previous one, which corresponds to the different versions that a rule may have, whether it is the one published initially or the consolidated version.

Consequently, there must be configured always for each piece of legislation, at least, two legal resources (legalWork):

  • The abstract legal resource.
  • The initial legal resource, that is, considered as the concrete text initially published.

In addition, the Administrations that offers an updated text of the rule, should also configure a consolidated legal resource. In case the Administration also offers the previous texts that the rule has presented, it will be necessary to configure each of these intermediate wording as a different legal resource.

Along with this, those Public Administrations that have a corrected version of the rules, independently from the consolidated version, should treat this corrected version as a different legal resource.

All legal resources derived from the same rule are linked with two specific properties of the ELI ontology:

  • eli:is_member_of
  • eli:has_member

In turn, the initial legal resource and the consolidated legal resources are linked with the properties eli:consolidates (to link a consolidated legal resource with the initial legal resource that it consolidates) and eli:consolidated_by (to link an initial legal resource with the consolidated legal resource corresponding to its successive versions).

Each of the legal resources would have its corresponding expression or expressions, whether published in one language or in several.

The legal resources and its expressions are linked through the properties of the ontology eli:realizes and its inverse eli:is_realized_by.

Finally, the expression and formats in which is offered are linked with the properties eli:embodies and eli:is_embodied_by.

ENTITIES AND LINKS
  • Each rule, considered in abstract, is configured as a legal resource (abstract legal resource).
  • The initial rule published in the official journal is considered a different legal resource from the consolidated one and both resources are linked with the abstract legal resource through eli:is_member_of y eli:has_member_of.
  • The initial legal resource and the consolidated legal resource are linked with eli:consolidates and eli:consolidated_by.
  • Each legal resource and its corresponding expression or expressions are linked with eli:realizes and eli:is_realized_by.
  • Each expression is related with its formats witht the properties eli:embodies and eli:is_embodied_by.

The structure of legal resources and its links can be consulted in detail in the examples included in annexes III and IV.

5.3The case of double publication

As mentioned in point 2.2, some rules are published in two Official Journals.

In this cases, even it is the same rule, each of the publications must be treated as an independent abstract legal resource, so there is an abstract legal resource for the first publication and other abstract legal resource for the second publication.

Thus, in the case of the most usual re-publication, which is that of the Autonomic Acts, once the publication is made in the Autonomic Official Journal, an abstract legal resource will be generated, with the metadata of the publication in the quoted Official Journal. It will have associated the corresponding initial legal resource and successively, in its case, the consolidated legal resources as needed. Subsequently, once the Autonomic law is published in the State Official Journal (BOE), the State will have to create the abstract legal resource corresponding to said publication and the associated resources (initial and consolidated in its case).

The two abstract legal resources that are created, as well as their corresponding initial legal resources, will be linked through the properties of the ontology eli:is_another_publication_of and eli:has_another_publication.

An example of the double publication treaty can be consulted in the annex V.

LEGISLATION PUBLISHED IN TWO OFFICIAL JOURNALS
  • The rule published in two official journals correspond to two different abstract legal resources, one for each publication.
  • The link between both abstract legal resources and the correspondent initial legal resources is established through eli:is_another_publication_of and eli:has_another_publication.

5.4 The Internet domain

According to the conceptual model presented, it is not necessary to have a single ELI domain, but the State and each Autonomous Community may create their own "ELI domains".

ELI DOMAIN
The State and each of the Autonomous Communities can establish their own "ELI domains".

6. THE IDENTIFICACION OF THE RULES ACCORDING TO ELI SYSTEM

ELI uses "HTTP URIs" to specifically identify all online legal information officially published across Europe. These URIs are formally described by machine-readable URI templates (IETF RFC 6570), using components that carry semantics both from a legal and an end-user point of view. Each Member State will build its own, self-describing URIs using the described components as well as taking into account their specific language requirements.

URI components
  Name eli Comments
Jurisdiction Jurisdiction Use of DCTERMS. ISO3166: 2 alpha country codes, e.g. ‘LU’
For international organizations, the registered domain name can be used: e.g. ‘EU’ or ‘WTO’
Agent Administrative hierarchical structure, e.g. federal States, constitutional court, parliament, etc.
Subagent Administrative hierarchical substructure, e.g. the responsible ministry
Reference Year YYYY
Various interpretations allowed depending on countries’ requirements, e.g. date of signature or date of publication, etc.
Month MM
Day DD
Type Nature of the act (law, decree, draft bill, etc.)
Various interpretations depending on countries’ requirements
Subtype Subcategory of an act depending on countries’ requirements (e.g. corrigendum)
Domain Can be used if acts are classified by themes, e.g. codes
Natural identifier Reference or number to distinguish an act of same nature signed or published on the same day
Subdivision Level 1 Reference to a subdivision of an act, e.g. Article 15
Level 2 Reference to a smaller subdivision than level 1, e.g. Article 15.2
Level 3 Reference to a smaller subdivision than level 2
Level n Reference to a smaller subdivision
Point in time Point in time YYYYMMDD - Version of the act as valid at a given date
Version Version To distinguish between original act or consolidated version
Language Language Language codes (International Organization for Standardization (ISO 639).
Format A file format, like
«pdf» or «html»
Note that the Council conclusions inviting the introduction of the European Legislation does not list this component explicitly, but it is always part of the URIs to identify the eli: format level.

All the components are optional and can be selected based on national requirements and do not have a pre-defined order.

To enable the exchange of information the chosen URI template must be documented using the URI template mechanism, as in the following example

URI COMPONENTS
/eli/{jurisdiction}/{agent}/{sub-agent}/{year}/{month}/{day}/{type}/{natural identifier}/{level 1 ...}/{point in time}/{version}/{language}

According to ELI ontology, each identifier must decomposed into at least three levels:

  • One identifier for the legal resource.
  • One or more identifiers for the legal expression or legal expressions.
  • One or more identifiers for the format or formats of each expression

7. URI TEMPLATE FOR STATE AND AUTONOMIC RULES

The States are free to select and organize the components of the URI template in the most appropriate way to adapt their needs, however, they must take into account a series of recommendations:

  • Create identifiers that are as close as possible to the way in which legislation is cited by users, using those components of the template that usually are used to cite legal resources. If the URIs are understandable not only for the machines but also for the people, who can foresee what they will find when they click on them, access is facilitated.
  • Ensure that each URI identifies a single legal resource. For this reason, is recommended not to add elements that do not contribute to the univocal identification of the legal resources and to evaluate the options when there is legislation that is not numbered or the same number is attributed to more than one legal resource.
  • Design stable URIs, which requires that elements that can change over the time not be included in the template. Once the URI is established it shouldn't be erased and a redirection mechanism should be implemented.

Taking into account these recommendations and the specific legal and technical considerations of the Spanish regulatory system, the URI structure for the State and Autonomic rules will be the following:

URI FOR THE STATE AND AUTONOMIC RULES
/eli/{jurisdiction}/{type}/{year}/{month}/{day}/{number}/{version}/{version_date}/{language}/{format}
URI Components
Name (ELI) Description Format Values Comments
Jurisdiction Jurisdiction Limited list of alphabetic values List of controlled values ISO 3166 alfa 2: ISO 3166-1 for the State.ISO 3166-2 for the Autonomus Communities
Type Type of rule Limited list of alphabetic values List of controlled values (1-4 letters) The types will be identified by acronyms, with a variable length
Year Signing year YYYY 2001, 2002… Date of signature (yyyy/mm/dd)
Month Signing month MM 01, 02…
Day Signing day DD 01, 02…
Number (natural identifier) Natural identifier Numeric and alphanumeric values   In general, the number is the official number of the legal resource
Version Version Limited list of alphabetic values List of controlled values (3 letters) Identifies if the legal resource is the initial, the consolidated or the corrected one
Version_date (point in time) Date of version Numeric values: YYYYMMDD   Only for consolidated legal resources. Indicates the date of updating
Language Language of rule Limited list of alphabetic values List of controlled values ISO 639-3 (3 letters code), with adjustments for valencian and bilingual documents.
Format Format Limited list of values html, pdf, epub, xml The values must be comply with the typologies established by IANA

7.1 Jurisdiction (eli:jurisdiction)

Until now, most of the States that have implemented the ELI and the EU itself, have not incorporated the jurisdiction element in the ELI, since this information already appears in the Internet domain.

However, given that both the State and the Autonomic Official Journals can publish their own territorial level regulations and those from other territorial levels, the domain is not enough to identify if the legislation considered is State or Autonomic.

As a consequence, it is necessary to use the element eli:jurisdiction in the URI template , so that the territorial scope to which the legal resource is considered, is reflected. The ISO3166 alpha 2 standard will be used for this purpose.

Code Territorial Level
es State
es-an Comunidad Autónoma de Andalucía
es-ar Comunidad Autónoma de Aragón
es-as Comunidad Autónoma del Principado de Asturias
es-cn Comunidad Autónoma de Canarias
es-cb Comunidad Autónoma de Cantabria
es-cl Comunidad de Castilla y León
es-cm Comunidad Autónoma de Castilla-La Mancha
es-ct Comunidad Autónoma de Cataluña
es-ex Comunidad Autónoma de Extremadura
es-ga Comunidad Autónoma de Galicia
es-ib Comunidad Autónoma de las Illes Balears
es-ri Comunidad Autónoma de la Rioja
es-md Comunidad de Madrid
es-mc Comunidad Autónoma de la Región de Murcia
es-nc Comunidad Foral de Navarra
es-pv Comunidad Autónoma del País Vasco
es-vc Comunitat Valenciana
eli:jurisdiction
Norma ISO3166 alfa 2

7.2 Resource type (eli:type_document)

In the ELI scheme, the element eli:type_document (legal rank) must be collected in a controlled vocabulary table, according to the peculiarities of the national systems.

Most of Member States have chosen to publish their table of types with acronyms of variable length, except France, that maintains the complete denomination.

In the Spanish case, a limited list of values will be used, including both the ranks of the State and Autonomic legislation, identified by acronyms of variable length (1 to 4 letters).

Given the existing linguistic variants for the same range, the identification by acronyms has the advantage that the resource is always named in the same way.

The values for the controlled vocabulary table eli:type_document are as following:

Spanish Catalan Baske Galician Valencian Acronym
Constitución Constitució Konstituzioa Constitución Constitució c
Reforma (constitucional) Reforma Erreforma Reforma Reforma ref
Acuerdos internacionales Acord internacional       ai
Ley Orgánica Llei orgànica Lege Organikoa Lei orgánica Llei Orgànica lo
Ley Llei Legea Lei Llei l
Ley Foral   Foru Legea     lf
Real Decreto-ley Reial decret llei Errege Lege Dekretua Real decreto Lei Reial Decret llei rdl
Real Decreto Legislativo Reial decret legislatiu Legegintzako Errege Dekretua Real decreto Lexislativo Reial Decret Legislatiu rdlg
Decreto-ley Decret llei Lege Dekretua Decreto Lei Decret llei dl
Decreto-ley Foral   Foru Lege Dekretua     dlf
Decreto-Legislativo Decret Legislatiu Legegintzako Dekretua Decreto Legislativo Decret Legislatiu dlg
Decreto Foral Legislativo   Legengintzako Foru Dekretua     dflg
Reglamento Reglament Erregelamendua Regulamento Reglament reg
Real Decreto Reial decret Errege Dekretua Real Decreto Reial Decret rd
Decreto Decret Dekretua Decreto Decret d
Decreto Foral   Foru Dekretua     df
Orden Ordre Agindua Orde Orde o
Orden Foral   Foru Agindua     of
Acuerdo Acord Akordioa Acordo Acord a
Resolución Resolució Ebazpena Resolución Resolució res
Instrucción Instrucció Instrukzioa Instrucción Instrucció ins
Circular Circular Zirkularra Circular Circular cir
Otros Altres     Atres alia

As the ranks used in the State and Autonomous Communities databases are equivalent, there should be no disagreement about the type that should be attributed to a resource published in two official journals or disseminated in different databases. However, it could happen that a rule does not fit in any of the typologies. For these cases, it is recommended to contrast the rank attributed by the Administration responsible for the first publication before generating the URI corresponding to the second publication.

In any case, there would be a residual type named “alia” and intended to collect those rules that do not exactly correspond to any of the specific types.

Regarding the corrections of errors or misprints, a subtype will be considered: the URI of the corrections will be formed with the standard structure of the ELI, adding after the number, the element corrigendum and the date of publication (eli:date_publication) of the correction of errors in the Official Journal with format AAAAMMDD.

/eli/{jurisdiction}/{type}/{year}/{month}/{day}/{number}/{corrigendum}/{pubdate}/{dof}/language/format

For example:

Real Decreto 20/2017, de 20 de enero, sobre los vehículos al final de su vida útil.

eli/es/rd/2017/01/20/20/

Corrección de errores del Real Decreto 20/2017, de 20 de enero, sobre los vehículos al final de su vida útil.

eli/es/rd/2017/01/20/20/corrigendum/20170327/dof/

eli:type_doc
Controlled vocabulary tables with acronyms of variable length (1 to 4 letters)
URI for corrections
/eli/{jurisdiction/{type}/{year}/{month}/{day}/{number}/{subtype}/{date_publication}/{version}/{language}/{format}

7.3 Date of the resource (eli:date_document)

The date considered to build the identifier is always the date of the signing, not the date of publication.

The components are used independently {year} {moth} {day}, which will allow, through truncation of the URI, the recovery of all the rules corresponding to the same year, month or day.

  • Year (Signing year): AAAA format
  • Month (Signing month): MM format
  • Day (Signing day): DD format
eli:date_document
AAAA/MM/DD Format

7.4 Natural identifier number (eli:number)

This element reports the official number that identifies each provision within its rank or within its normative typology. The inclusion of this element in the template is due to two reasons:

  • The ELI pretends to be a way of identification of the resource as close as possible to the way in which the rules are cited by the users.
  • Since in the same day several rules of the same type can be issued, sometimes, the elements "type" and "date" are not enough to identify the legal resources univocally,

However, in Spain not all the rules have an official number:

  • The rules with the rank of law and decree are all identified with a sequential number, followed by year of issuance (for example 7/2015 Law, 126/2014 Decree, 13/2017 royal Decree-Law). The number is attributed in independent series for each of the legislative types cited. The calculation restarts with each calendar year. In the case of the State rules, the numbering begins to be applied in the year 1959.
  • Orders do not have uniform numbering guidelines: the State and the majority of the Autonomous Communities have begun to number the orders at different times, after the year 2000. The system of number attribution is very similar but not identical in all cases. The key point is whether the number is unique or not, since all orders, regardless of the ministries that issues them, correspond to a single normative type in the ELI template.
  • The resolutions are not numbered by the State nor by the majority of the Autonomous Communities, although few communities do so.
  • Regarding the rest of the ranks, the practice is very variable.
a) Managing of the element Year

The year of adoption is always included (5/2010 Law, 320/2016 Decree, PRE/7/2017 Order...) in the official number of the Spanish rules. Since this year is already part of the template through the element date_document, has been decided not to include it as a part of the element eli:number in the URI template.

b) Management of the rules with unique official number

In the case of higher rank rules, the sequential number will be used as natural_identifier, which allows the creation of a unique URI for each legal resource.

ANDALUCÍA: LEY 9/2016, de 27 de diciembre, de Servicios Sociales de Andalucía.

eli/es-an/l/2016/12/27/9/

ESTADO:

REAL DECRETO-LEY 2/2017, de 27 de enero, por el que se adoptan medidas urgentes para paliar los daños causados por los últimos temporales.

eli/es/rdl/2017/01/27/2/

We should point out that in certain cases of lower rank rules, the official number is composed by an alphanumeric code, prefixing the number with three identifying letters of the responsible department. In these cases, the complete alphanumeric code is considered as the number. However, to simplify the URI, the slash that separates the alphabetic and numeric element will be erased and only lowercase letters will be used.

CASTILLA Y LEÓN:

ORDEN EYH/ 671/2016, de 25 de julio, por la que se dictan las normas para la elaboración de los Presupuestos Generales de la Comunidad de Castilla y León para el año 2017.

eli/es-cl/o/2016/07/25/eyh671/

CATALUÑA:

ACUERDO GOV/16/2017, de 21 de febrero, por el que se aprueba la modificación de los Estatutos de la Autoridad del Transporte Metropolitano, Consorcio para la coordinación del sistema metropolitano de transporte público del área de Barcelona, y su texto refundido.

eli/es-ct/ac/2017/02/21/gov16/

c) Management of the rules with duplicate official numbers

Sometimes, depending on the numeration system used by each Administration, it may happen that rules of the same rank issued on the same date, present identical numbers, which could mean that different legal resources have the same URI.

When the URI for the same type of legal resource is generated, and it has the same date and the same number as another legal resource that already has a URI, a suffix will be added to the official number, beginning from the letter 'b' and followed by the rest if this necessary 'c', 'd', 'e'... etc. For this purpose neither the letter 'a' nor the letter 'ñ' will be used.

This suffix will be included in parenthesis, in order to show that it has a fictional nature.

NAVARRA:
Orden Foral 8/2015, de 4 de febrero, del Consejero de Educación, por la que se aprueban las bases que van a regular el procedimiento de admisión del alumnado en centros públicos y privados concertados, para cursar enseñanzas de segundo ciclo de Educación Infantil y Educación Primaria en la Comunidad Foral de Navarra.

eli/es-nc/of/2015/02/04/8/

Orden Foral 8/2015, de 4 de febrero, de la Consejera de Salud, por la que se crea el Servicio de Medicina Interna del Complejo Hospitalario de Navarra.

eli/es-nc/of/2015/02/04/8(b)/

d) Management of the rules without official number

In the case of the rules without official number, either because its legislative type that does not have an associated official number, or because it is an old regulation, a fictitious number will be assigned. This number will be included in parenthesis, in order to differentiate it from the official numbers.

  • When there are several rules of the same type and with the same date (and therefore with potentially identical URIs), the fictitious number (1), (2), (3)...etc, will be assigned sequentially.
  • When there is only one legal resource of the same type and with the same date, the sequential one (1) will be attributed, even when there is no risk of confusion with another legal resource, given that the natural identifier is a fixed component of the template.

ASTURIAS:

Resolución de 30 de marzo de 2016, de la Consejería de Presidencia y Participación Ciudadana, por la que se aprueban las bases reguladoras de la concesión de ayudas a emigrantes retornados.

eli/es-as/res/2016/03/30/(1)/

ESTADO

Resolución de 24 de febrero de 2017, de Puertos del Estado, por la que se publica la de 14 de noviembre de 2016, sobre delegación de competencias.

eli/es/res/2017/02/24/(1)/

Resolución de 24 de febrero de 2017, de Puertos del Estado, por la que se publica la de 14 de noviembre de 2016, sobre delegación de competencias.

eli/es/res/2017/02/24/(2)/

Resolución de 24 de febrero de 2017, de Puertos del Estado, por la que se publica el Acuerdo del Comité de Distribución del Fondo de Compensación Interportuario, sobre delegación de competencias.

eli/es/res/2017/02/24/(3)/

Resolución de 24 de febrero de 2017, de la Secretaría General de Pesca, por la que se publica la actualización del censo de las flotas de altura, gran altura y buques palangreros mayores y menores de 100 toneladas de registro bruto, que operan dentro de los límites geográficos de la Comisión de Pesca del Atlántico Nordeste.

eli/es/res/2017/02/24/(4)/

eli:number
  • Use of the unique official number (excluding the year)
  • Rules with duplicated official number: a suffix is generated
  • Rules without official number: a fictitious number is generated
7.5 Version (eli:version)

This element identifies if the resource corresponds to the rule's initial text, as it was published in the official journal, or if it is the consolidated legal resource.

The element eli:version must present a controlled vocabulary table associated , which in the case of Spain, it includes the following values:

eli:version
  • dof (initial legal resource)
  • con (consolidated legal resource)
  • cer (corrected legal resource)
7.6 Date of the version (eli:version_date)

This template component is applied only to the consolidated resources and indicates when they were updated.

The format AAAAMMDD recommended by the EU, will be used to differenciate it from the date of signature.

By default, if in the request of a consolidated legal resource a point in time it is not indicated, the system will show the version that is considered more useful for the user, depending on the criteria that each Administration applies to generate the consolidated versions (current text / last published text...etc.).

eli:version_date
AAAAMMDD Format
7.7 Language (eli:language)

This component of the template identifies the different languages in which the consolidated legal resources are published.

To build up this element, the three letters code of ISO 639-3 will be used, with an adaptation for the Valencian and for the bilingual texts, given that some Administrations publish two linguistic versions in the same document.

Idioma 639-3
Spanish spa
Catalan cat
Basque eus
Galician glg
Occitan oci
Valencian vci
Textos multilingües mul
Multilingual texts
Language 639-3
Catalan+Spanish cat-spa
Basque+Spanish eus-spa
Galician+Spanish glg-spa
Occitan+Spanish oci-spa
Occitan+Catalan oci-cat
Valencian+Spanish vci-spa

Have in mind that this table of authorities refers only to the languages with official value in Spain. In the case of an Administration offering legal resources in other foreign languages (English, French...) the corresponding values of ISO 639-3 will apply.

eli:language
ISO 639-3 with adaptations for the Valencian and for bilingual texts
7.8 Format of the publication (eli:format)

The values of the URIs recommended by the EU are the ones established by the IANA. The full list can be consulted at: http://www.iana.org/assignments/media-types.

eli:format
IANA

8. URI TEMPLATE FOR ISSUES OF THE OFFICIAL JOURNAL

ELI admits different points of view regarding what can be considerate as a legal resource. Thus, in addition to the rules, the ELI ontology provides with the possibility of applying the identifier to the journal itself, according to each Member State consideration.

Therefore, along with the URI template envisaged for the rules, it has been considered convenient to include in this specification a URI template model for the numbers of the official journal and the summaries (indexes).

For these purposes, two values of the controlled vocabulary table "type" will be used.

  • dia: To identify a copy of the official journal
  • sum: To identify the summary
PLANTILLA URI DIARIO OFICIAL
/eli/{jurisdiction }/{type}/{year}/{month}/{day}/{number}/{language}/{format}
URI Components
Name (ELI) Description Format Values Comments
Jurisdiction Jurisdiction Limited list of alphabetic values Controlled vocabulary table ISO 3166 alfa 2: ISO 3166-1 for the State.ISO 3166-2 for the Autonomus Communities
Type Type of legal resource Limited list of alphabetic values Controlled vocabulary table The types will be identified by acronyms, with a variable length
Year Year publication journal YYYY 2001, 2002… Date of publication of the journal (yyyy/mm/dd)
Month Month publication journal MM 01, 02…
Day Day publication journal DD 01, 02…
Number Number Numeric and sometimes alphanumeric values/td>   Number of the oficial journal. In case of supplements or annexxes, its identification will be added, separated from the number with a hyphen.
Version Version Limited list of alphabetic values List of controlled values (3 letters) Identifies if the legal resource is the initial, the consolidated or the corrected one
Version_date (point in time) Date of version Numeric values: YYYYMMDD   Only for consolidated legal resources. Indicates the date of
Language Language Limited list of alphabetic values Controlled vocabulary table ISO 639-3 (3 letters code), with adjustments for valencian and bilingual documents.
Format Format of the publication Limited list of values html, pdf, epub, xml The values must be comply with the typologies established by IANA

CATALUÑA

DOGC número 3791 de 31 de diciembre de 2002.

eli/es-ct/dia/2002/12/31/3791/cat/pdf

Anexo A del DOGC número 3791 de 31 de diciembre de 2002.

eli/es-ct/dia/2002/12/31/3791-A/cat/pdf

Sumario del DOGC número 3791 de 31 de diciembre de 2002.

eli/es-ct/sum/2002/12/31/3791/cat/pdf

Sumario del anexo A del DOGC número 3791 de 31 de diciembre de 2002.

eli/es-ct/sum/2002/12/31/3791-A/cat/pdf

Nevertheless, the applications of this template depends on each Administration, as is not strictly necessary in terms of interoperability.

9. MANAGEMENT OF ELI URIS

The web servers must be configured to resolve ELI URIs, managing the contents so that the information is displayed according to the representation that is most appropriate for the user. In practice, when searching through the URI of a legal resource, there will always be a redirection to the URI of an expression of that legal resource that is appropriate, after analyzing the characteristics and preferences of the users.

When an HTTP request is made by a person or a program, the web server can reply in two ways:

  • A page with the description of the legal resource (file that includes the link to the document)
  • The legal resource itself (the document with the text of the legal resource)

If there is already a system to offer legal resources, it is not necessary to build a new one. The web server can use redirection techniques (HTTP 303) that respond with the URI of the system in production when receive an ELI request.

URIs must be persistent over time. An improperly offered URI should not disappear and generate a broken link, instead of that, the server can redirect the correct URI or indicate the error (And, in its case, the correct URI).

10. COMMON METADATA

The implementation of the URI template in Spain requires that the metadata used by the different Administrations to describe legislation should be standardized, at least those containing the information of the components of the URI.

Therefore, in the first phase of ELI implementation in Spain, the Pillar1 must be addressed together with Pillar 2, in order to establish a common minimum metadata relationship:

  • The metadata that cointain the information to build the URIs of the ELI.
  • The metadata defined as mandatory by ELI ontology.
  • The metadata with basic information about the publication of the legal resource: date of publication and publishing entity.
  • The metadata defining the relations among entities that build the conceptual model describe in the section 5.

This initial definition of common metadata will be expanding as progress is made in the implementation of the identifier, with the gradual approach that characterizes the ELI. The goal is to address the definition of the metadata schema and the incorporation of additional metadata that favor greater interoperability, as well as those that define the relations of affectation among rules.

However, the Administrations do not have to replace their current metadata schemes. The ELI metadata can be used in combination with customized metadata schemes and they can be done with those of the ELI ontology.

The relation of minimum common metadata is as follows:

MINIMUN COMMON METADATA
Name Domain Range Definition Observaciones
METADATA PART OF URI TEMPLATE
eli:jurisdiction LegalResource eli:AdministrativeArea, containing the list of administrative territorial units defined in http://publications.europa.eu/mdr/authority/atu The jurisdiction from which the legal resource originates.
The place identifier can be taken from the Administrative Territorial Unit table published of the EU Publications Office at http://publications.europa.eu/mdr/authority/atu.
Member States don't have to recreate their own list of values.
Definida conforme ISO3166 alfa 2 (anexo VI.1)
eli:type_document LegalResource eli:ResourceType, corresponding to a local concept scheme. The type of a legal resource (e.g. "Directive", "Règlement grand ducal", "law", "règlement ministeriel", "draft proposition", "Parliamentary act", etc.).
Member states are encouraged to make their own list of values in the corresponding concept scheme. EU Publications Office provides a list of values for EU resource types at http://publications.europa.eu/mdr/authority/resource-type
Elemento obligatorio según la ontología ELI.Tabla de vocabulario controlado (Anexo VI.2)
eli:date_document LegalResource xsd:Date Date of adoption or signature (of the form yyyy-mm-dd) Genera los elementos year/month/day de la URI
eli:number LegalResource xsd:String An identifier or other disambiguating feature for a legal resource or legal expression. This can be the number of a legislation, the number of an article, or the issue number of an official journal.  
eli:version LegalResource eli:Version, corresponding to a local concept scheme A version status for the resource. Member states are encouraged to make their own list of values in the Version concept scheme. Example of such values can be "Official Journal", "made", "consolidated", "proposed", "prospective", etc. Tabla de vocabulario controlado (Anexo VI.4)
eli:version_date LegalResource xsd:Date The point-in-time at which the provided description of the legislation is valid. Este metadato es necesario solo para recursos consolidados. Se adapta a distintos criterios de interpretación (criterio de vigencia o de publicación)
eli:language LegalExpression eli:Language, corresponding to the list of languages published by EU Publications Office. The language of an expression. EU Publications Office provides a list of languages at http://publications.europa.eu/mdr/authority/language.
This list is large enough so that member states should not have to declare local values.
Note that, if needed, a language can also be stated on a legal resource using the DublinCore "language" property.
Elemento obligatorio según la ontología de ELI. Definido conforme la ISO 639-3 con una adaptación para el valenciano así como para los textos bilingües (Anexo VI.3)
eli:format n/a n/a The physical embodiment of a legal expression, either on paper or in any electronic format (definition adapted from RDA).
For example, any electronic or physical format of the legal expression (XML, TIFF, PDF, etc.); e.g. PDF version of act 3 of 2005. (adapted from Akoma Ntoso)
Elemento obligatorio según la ontología de ELI.
METADATA WITH RELEVANT INFORMATION
eli:title LegalExpression xsd:String The title, or name, of an expression.
Note that, if needed, a title can also be stated on a legal resource using the Dublin Core "title" property.
Elemento obligatorio según la ontología de ELI
eli:date_publication LegalResource; LegalExpression xsd:Date Date of publication of the official version of the legislation, in hard copy or online, depending on what the official publication is, and when it was published. Publication dates at the level of legal expressions can be separately asserted, using standard Dublin Core properties. Necesario cuando se trate del subtype corrigendum
eli:publisher
(eli:publisher_agent)
LegalExpression; format xsd:string Publisher: An entity responsible for making the resource available (definition from Dublin Core). This property should be used when the value cannot be identified by a suitable URI; if a URI is available, the property "publisher_agent" should be used. Resulta de interés identificar la entidad encargada de publicar el recurso, mediante la correspondiente URI, dado que en ocasiones la entidad responsable del diario oficial no es la que ofrece los textos consolidados
METADATA DEFINING RELATIONS AMONG ENTITIES
eli:is_member_of LegalResource LegalResource Indicates that this resource is conceptually included in another one. Typically the successive temporal versions of a given legislation are conceptually members of a single « abstract » resource. For the notion of physical inclusion, use eli:is_part_of. Enlaza un recurso legal con el recurso legal abstracto al que corresponde
eli:has_member LegalResource LegalResource Indicates that this resource conceptually includes another one. For the notion of physical inclusion, use eli:has_part. Enlaza el recurso legal abstracto con los recursos legales que derivan de él.
eli:is_another_publication_of LegalResource LegalResource Indicates that this resource is a new publication, in a different official journal, of another resource already published elsewhere, and cannot be considered to be the same resource (owl:sameAs cannot be used to avoid potential duplication of certain metadata, like the date of publication, or the publisher).
Note that this is different from the exceptionnal cases of "republication", where the same resource is actually republished in the same official journal a few days after its initial publication, in case of errors.
Enlaza una norma publicada en un diario oficial con una publicación anterior en otro diario
eli:has_another_publication LegalResource LegalResource Inverse of "is_another_publication_of". Enlaza una norma publicada en un diario oficial con una publicación posterior en otro diario
eli:realizes LegalExpression LegalResource Relates a legal expression to the legal resource realised through that expression. (definition adapted from RDA). Inverse of "is_realized_by". Elemento obligatorio según la ontología de ELI.Enlaza la expresión con el recurso legal
eli:is_realized_by LegalResource LegalExpression Relates a legal resource to a legal expression of this resource in the form of a "sequence of signs" (typically alpha-numeric characters in a legal context). (definition adapted from RDA). Inverse of "realizes". Enlaza un recurso legal con sus expresiones. Aunque no es un elemento obligatorio, se considera conveniente incorporar este metadato para establecer las relaciones de manera bidireccional
eli:embodies Format LegalExpression Relates a physical format to the legal expression embodied in that format (definition adapted from RDA). Inverse of "is_embodied_by". Elemento obligatorio según la ontología de ELI.Enlaza el formato con la expresión
eli:is_embodied_by LegalExpression Format Relates a legal expression to a physical format of that expression (definition adapted from RDA). Inverse of "embodies". Para enlazar la expresión con el formato.Aunque no es elemento obligatorio, se considera conveniente incorporar este metadato para establecer las relaciones de manera bidireccional
eli:consolidates LegalResource LegalResource Indicates that this consolidated legal resource or expression (which is usually the product of an editorial process that revises the legislation) takes into account another one. This property should be used multiple times to refer to both the original version or the previous consolidated version, and to the legislations making the change. Para enlazar el recurso legal consolidado con el inicialmente publicado
eli:consolidated_by LegalResource LegalResource Inverse of "consolidates". Indicates that this legal resource or expression is taken into account in consolidated text (which is usually the product of an editorial process that revises the legislation). Para enlazar el recurso legal inicialmente publicado con el recurso legal consolidado
eli:corrects LegalResource or LegalExpression LegalResource or LegalExpression or Format Indicates that this resource introduces textual modifications (like correction of spelling mistakes) with no legal change in another resource, expression or format; typically corrigenda in EU legislation. For modifications that have a legal impact, use eli:amends. Para enlazar las correcciones con el recurso legal correspondiente
eli:corrected_by LegalResource or LegalExpression or Format LegalResource or LegalExpression Inverse of "corrects". Indicates a resource that introduces textual modifications (like correction of spelling mistakes) with no legal change in this resource, expression or format; typically corrigenda in EU legislation. For modifications that have a legal impact, use eli:amended_by. Para enlazar el recurso legal con sus correcciones