Modelling legal complexity
The legal system is a complex adaptive system of hundreds of thousands of interrelated legal documents such as legal acts, decrees, legislative memoranda, and court decisions. Legal research traditionally relies on human analysis of this legal information. Humans, however, cannot manually analyse big legal data. This creates barriers to access to law and justice: the high complexity of the legal system makes it difficult to understand the rights it grants and the obligations it imposes upon people.
Like in physics and bioinformatics, modelling big legal data using computational techniques and quantitative methods can provide an innovative understanding of legal complexity. For example by revealing new insights regarding what predicts the duration of legal procedures, the costs of cases, or what are landmark cases and how the importance of landmark cases increases or decreases over time. . These models could, for example, be used to measure integration of European legal orders by quantitatively investigating how case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union is received in the case law of the various Member States. We are constructing descriptive and predictive models of the law with data science and artificial intelligence.