Kanunum.com is an online, current and searchable electronic compilation of Turkish statutes, regulatory texts, high court decisions, administrative decisions and legislative material. For its search facility, the service relies on the company's proprietary Turkish stemmer and search technologies, where users proceed with natural language and complex Boolean queries. Launched in 2010 by Karakullukcu Consulting, a Turkish enterprise specializing in legal information services, Kanunum aspires to move the quality and sophistication of legal research service offerings in Turkey to a new level. It affords an online research environment where verified legal texts are presented in an accurate, easy to-understand and useful manner on a technologically advanced platform enabling powerful search functions. Over the years several state and private university libraries, Legal500 Law Firms, local and international companies, as well as a wide range of sole practitioners, investors, accountants and researchers from other professions have become and remained Kanunum users.
As a legal publisher, Kanunum implements its Turkish LT applications and legal informatics tools to enhance its database and search power for researchers. Legal publishing has a venerable history in Turkey and abroad and modern online legal research services continue the tradition in a digital setting. The goal remains the accurate presentation of the broadest possible range of legal texts for the widest possible audience. This being the goal, Kanunum has defined its primary opportunity and challenge in the electronic environment as one of conversion: To work with the unorganized and changing mass of public legal material--laws, rules, decisions, etc.--and use language and data processing technologies to convert it into an online service that produces user-friendly screens of correct, time-sensitive and relevant legal texts and contexts in response to user queries.
In their capacity as a publisher of legal texts, Karakullukçu Consulting has also been publicly proposing for some time that authorities electronically publish all high court decisions, in their entirety, at the time judgments are entered. Kanunum lawyers and domain experts have led a litigation effort to this end. In 2011, we have obtained a favorable decision from the Turkish Right of Information Act Review Board which has agreed that details of final court judgments are public information that should be made available upon demand.
Kanunum is a language technologies company, as well as an electronic legal publisher. It has utilized its decade-long experience updating and processing the rule-based, interconnected texts of the legal domain in order to garner linguistic patterns, train Turkish stemmer applications and NLP tools and build entity and relation extraction and sentiment recognition techniques, with broader LT applications. Kanunum (Karakullukçu Consulting Inc.) is one of the Founding Members of LT-Innovate, the forum for Europe’s Language Technology industry.
Verified data: The team of lawyers and engineers who built and maintain the Kanunum database have successfully tackled the problem of outdated, inaccessible and unreliable legal data in Turkey. Today, Kanunum routinely annotates its legislative and regulatory material with critical and contextualized information on validity and textual history otherwise unavailable in Turkish electronic legal publications. The textual amendment history of current laws, annotations detailing future legislative amendments, notes on court orders suspending the enforcement of some key regulations are among the content users will find on Kanunum.
Comprehensive approach: Kanunum is a database that insists on comprehensiveness where gaps would render the collection unserviceable. Whether it is the amendment history of a law or the digital annotation of constitutional court cases reviewing the texts of statutes, Kanunum seeks to present the whole picture and not a ‘selection’.
Advanced search capability: Kanunum aims to provide exhaustive and complex searches with narrowly defined requirements, on millions of pages of Turkish legal texts, including a century’s worth of parliamentary minutes. These ‘complex’ queries let users verify if and how certain phrases or words have been used in particular contexts or in a particular manner. Kanunum offers complex boolean search and highlighting that targets only those words that fit the complex search conditions.
Emphasis on R&D: Since 2009, we have been the recipient of R&D grants from TÜBİTAK (Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey). We are one of the few legal electronic publishers emphasizing R&D which we believe is essential in an environment where the floodgates on legal electronic data are opening. As a result of our work in this area, we have substantially reduced human involvement in the expansion and daily maintenance of legal data and have improved Kanunum's search performance, successfully addressing the disambiguation problems in text search presented by the agglutinative Turkish language.