The Family of Legal Indexes is a suite of classification products that may be used in an
integrated fashion to compare legal information internationally as well as
Internationally endorsed classifications facilitate the analysis,
and interpretation of data and their comparison.
The purposes of the Legal Indexes are to:
? improve legal information available to support
decision making at all levels;
? provide a conceptual framework of information domains for which
classifications are, or are likely to be, required for purposes related to
law and legal practice;
? provide a suite of endorsed classifications for particular purposes defined
within the framework;
? promote the appropriate selection of classifications in a wide range of
settings in the legal field across the world,
? establish a common language to improve communication,
ISO 17115 defines a classification as ‘an exhaustive set of mutually exclusive
categories to aggregate data at a pre-prescribed level of specialization for a
Classification involves the categorization of relevant concepts for the purposes of
systematic recording or analysis. The categorization is based on one or more
Terminologies and classifications are not simply different points on a continuum.
A classification involves clustering according to logical rules. Moreover, there is
no single criterion that differentiates between terminologies and classifications. A
classification may involve grouping many concepts into one category. There
could be a focus on including all relevant concepts in the category, or alternately
on only including concepts that meet precise inclusion criteria.
The purpose of the classification will be important, for example cause of death or
morbidity, activity limitation or participation restriction. The use may be
statistical (and so low frequency concepts would tend to be grouped), economic
(so that cost may be a categorization logic, as in casemix systems), or for a
purpose where rare concepts are of great interest. Coding rules must be
incorporated in the classification.
Classifications are a necessary adjunct to terminologies for standardised coding
of information for statistical purposes. Terminologies and classifications should
be considered as complementary.
Mapping from a reference terminology to a classification is not straightforward. A
concept in a reference terminology will generally be more fine-grained than the
corresponding category in a classification. The context for use of the map will
affect the development of the map. Any mapping between a terminology and a
classification should be developed with the involvement of (and must be
acceptable to) the proprietors of both the terminology and the classification