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The Finnish Law and Justice as a Linked Open Data Service

Work on this dataset is described in more detail on page Semantic Finlex: Finnish Law and Justice on the Semantic Web

Our goal is to create a 7-star linked open data service of Finnish legislation, a semantic version of Finlex. Based on the service, a next generation of public and commercial legal systems can be built. The work involves 1) juridical ontology development, 2) metadata modeling of legislative documents, 3) publication of the content as linked data, and 4) evaluation of the system via application demonstrators.

Metadata schemas

The following metadata schema specifications have been published as part of the LDF.fi service:


Pilot datasets of statutes of Finnish legislation and court decisions are published in the LDF.fi service as Linked Data:
Semantic Finlex dataset page.

Examples in the dataset:

The data is also available as data dump files and can be queried from a SPARQL endpoint in the LDF.fi service.



Matias Frosterus: Building Ontology and Data Infrastructure for Semantic Web Applications. Dissertation, Aalto University, School of Science, Department of Computer Science, April, 2023. bib link


Arttu Oksanen, Jouni Tuominen, Eetu Mäkelä, Minna Tamper, Aki Hietanen and Eero Hyvönen: Semantic Finlex: Transforming, Publishing, and Using Finnish Legislation and Case Law As Linked Open Data on the Web. Knowledge of the Law in the Big Data Age (G. Peruginelli and S. Faro (eds.)), Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence and Applications, vol. 317, pp. 212-228, IOS Press, 2019. ISBN 978-1-61499-984-3 (print); ISBN 978-1-61499-985-0 (online). bib pdf link
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.


Eero Hyvönen, Arttu Oksanen, Jouni Tuominen, Eetu Mäkelä and Minna Tamper: Semanttinen Finlex. Laki ja oikeus avoimena linkitettynä datana. (Semantic Finlex. Law and Justice as Linked Open Data.). Oikeus-lehti, vol. 46, no. 1, March, 2017. bib pdf


Matias Frosterus, Jouni Tuominen and Eero Hyvönen: Facilitating Re-use of Legal Data in Applications--Finnish Law as a Linked Open Data Service. Proceedings of the 27th International Conference on Legal Knowledge and Information Systems (JURIX 2014), pp. 115-124, IOS Press, Krakow, Poland, December, 2014. bib pdf link


Matias Frosterus, Jouni Tuominen, Mika Wahlroos and Eero Hyvönen: The Finnish Law as a Linked Data Service. The Semantic Web: ESWC 2013 Satellite Events, pp. 289-290, Springer-Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg, Montpellier, France, May 26-30, 2013. bib pdf
Juridical information is important to organizations and individuals alike and is linked to from all walks of life. The Finnish government has published the Finlex Data Bank for searching and browsing legislation documents. However, the data there is not yet open, is based on a traditional XML schema, and does not conform to new semantic metadata standards. There are many difficulties in maintaining and using the site in, e.g., data harvesting, interoperability, querying, and linking that could be mitigated by the Semantic Web technologies. This paper presents an approach and a project—including first results—for publishing and using Finnish legislation as a 5-star Linked Open Data service.

Contact persons:

Jouni Tuominen
Aalto University

Matias Frosterus
Aalto University

Prof. Eero Hyvönen
Aalto University, and University of Helsinki
eero.hyvonen [at] aalto.fi

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