Designing a database to assist legal thinking : a new approach to indexing using facets

Authors: Reiner, Günter; Cumyn, Michelle; Hudon, Michèle; Mas, Sabine
Edited by: Schweighofer, Erich
Kummer, Franz
Saarenpää, Ahti
Abstract: A well-designed database supports legal thinking by bringing together the request for infor-mation and the information contained within the documents of the database. Indexing is oneof the oldest means to achieve this goal, and yet there is still a lot of potential for improve-ment. What is missing is a syntactic structuring of semantic indexing. This is the subject ofthe interdisciplinary project described below, which is currently entering the testing phase. In-spired by the theory of faceted classification, we have built a prototype database containing2,500 cases in the areas of administrative law, labour law and the law of obligations. Usinga controlled vocabulary, we have (manually) indexed such decisions with keywords, assigningeach one to one of six predefined categories or facets (Person, Action, Thing, Context, Legalcategory and Sanction). In this way, we have formalized the legal essence of the database con-tent in a way that is not unlike an ontology. Our hypothesis is that our model will improvesearch results, facilitating the search for cases with similar facts and supporting legal thinkingby revealing connections between facts and legal consequences that co-occur within decisionsof the database. A further step will be to consider whether our scheme may serve as a tool forthe automatic indexing of court decisions.
Document Type: Chapitre d'ouvrage
Issue Date: 1 January 2019
Open Access Date: Restricted access
Document version: VoR
This document was published in: Internet of Things : proceedings of the 22nd International Legal Informatics Symposium : IRIS 2019
Collection:Chapitres de livre

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