John McClure and Murk Muller have been advancing the concept of an RDF Dictionary, driven by the conviction that the standardisation process for the exchange of legal data, needs the creation of a common source. The common source serves on the one hand as a "data element database" which provides elements to build datastructures (DTD's and Schemas) and on the other hand as an interface for communication between those datastructures.
The syntax seen as best suited for describing such common source is the W3C standard "Resource Description Framework" (RDF). As the internet is a global network, the goal is to accomodate a global exchange of legal data. As a first step in reaching this goal, two projects are starting simultaneously : one project led by John McClure (USA) aimed at developing an RDF Dictionary containing all English language legal terms and one project led by Murk Muller, hosted by Lexml (Europe), aimed at developing a multi-lingual and multi-jurisdictional RDF Dictionary. The two projects will work jointly on certain parts. A major field of common development will be a datamodell which will be shared by both RDF Dictionaries. This datamodell will come to serve as a common source for developing RDF Dictionaries, enabling the global exchange of legal data.May 2001