FROM LEGAL THESAURUS TO E-SIGNATURES

Fernando Galindo

Abstract


In collaboration with several partners, in the middle of the 1980s the Inter¬Disciplinary Research Group on Data Protection and Electronic Signatures located in the Aragon Autonomous Region of Spain began to carry out interdisciplinary research related to the storage and retrieval of legal documentation. The objective was to use the technical possibilities of expert systems to enable retrieval, with the use of suitable dialogues and arguments, local legal texts, especially the legislation of the Aragón Autonomous Region. The intended users would be both ordinary people and legal experts.The chosen method was the construction of an intelligent legal thesaurus. It was too early. We realized practical results could not be obtained at that time in the Spanish context. The research did however generate philosophical ideas on access to legal texts. As the Internet became a reality, another object of research appeared: How to ensure security of identity in electronic legal communications? Such security would assist legal activities while at the same time protecting individual rights to communicate thoughts freely when retrieving information. This involved work on identification management and electronic signatures. The development of these activities began in the mid¬1990s.

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