Modeling the Evolution of Legal Discretion - An Artificial Intelligence Approach

29 Pages Posted: 12 Nov 2007

See all articles by Ruth Kannai

Ruth Kannai

Bar-Ilan University - Faculty of Law

Uri J. Schild

Bar Ilan University Department of Computer Science

John Zeleznikow

Victoria University - Victoria University of Technology

Abstract

Much legal research focuses on understanding how judicial decision-makers exercise their discretion. In this paper we examine the notion of legal or judicial discretion, and weaker and stronger forms of discretion. At all times our goal is to build cognitive models of the exercise of discretion, with a view to building computer software to model and primarily support decision-making. We observe that discretionary decision-making can best be modeled using three independent axes: bounded and unbounded, defined and undefined, and binary and continuous. Examples of legal tasks are given from each of the eight ensuing octants and we conclude by saying what this model shows about current legal trends. We should stress that our taxonomy has been based on our observations of how discretionary legal decisions are made. No claim is made that our model is either complete (providing advice in every domain) or exact, but it does help knowledge engineers construct legal decision support systems in discretionary domains.

Suggested Citation

Kannai, Ruth and Schild, Uri J. and Zeleznikow, John, Modeling the Evolution of Legal Discretion - An Artificial Intelligence Approach. Ratio Juris, Vol. 20, Issue 4, pp. 530-558, December 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1028123 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9337.2007.00374.x

Ruth Kannai (Contact Author)

Bar-Ilan University - Faculty of Law ( email )

Faculty of Law
Ramat Gan, 52900
Israel

Uri J. Schild

Bar Ilan University Department of Computer Science ( email )

Israel

HOME PAGE: http://u.cs.biu.ac.il/~schild/

John Zeleznikow

Victoria University - Victoria University of Technology ( email )

P.O. Box 14428
Melbourne, Victoria 8001
Australia

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