Legal Expert Systems: Words, Words Words...?

Yearbook of Law, Computers & Technology, Vol. 3, pp. 119-136, 1987

16 Pages Posted: 26 Feb 2012

See all articles by Graham Greenleaf

Graham Greenleaf

University of New South Wales, Faculty of Law

Andrew Mowbray

University of Technology Sydney, Faculty of Law

Alan Tyree

Independent

Date Written: March 1, 1987

Abstract

Some special features of the legal domain which affect the development of expert systems are examined, including: why ‘ready made rules’ are a problem, not an answer; the relationship between prescriptive laws and legal source materials; ‘rules’ of interpretation of statutes are not meta-rules; ‘precedents’ of case-law cannot always be treated as rules; the need for access to legal source materials; the relevance of ‘deep’ or causal models to the legal domain; reasons why lawyers must play the main role in developing legal expert systems.

DATALEX, a joint research project by the authors which commenced in 1986, is outlined. Its main aims are: (i) to develop a shell which integrates a number of inferencing techniques in a consistent environment, and is itself integrated with a free text retrieval system. The shell, LES (Legal Expert System), includes decision network and nearest neighbour discriminant analysis modules; other inferencing modules are being added; and a free-text retrieval system, AIRS, is being integrated with LES. (ii) to use this shell, and to encourage others to use it, to develop a range of knowledge-based applications in different areas of Australian law. Applications as yet concern intestacy, copyright, the finding of chattels, and other areas of law. (iii) to use these applications as a teaching resource to encourage interest in and understanding of knowledge-based techniques and their potential by Australian lawyers.

This 1987 paper was the first paper published about the DataLex Project, which ran from 1985-1995.

Keywords: law, expert systems, legal expert systems, artificial intelligence, knowledge-based systems, Australia, DataLex

Suggested Citation

Greenleaf, Graham and Mowbray, Andrew and Tyree, Alan, Legal Expert Systems: Words, Words Words...? (March 1, 1987). Yearbook of Law, Computers & Technology, Vol. 3, pp. 119-136, 1987. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2011196

Graham Greenleaf (Contact Author)

University of New South Wales, Faculty of Law ( email )

Sydney, New South Wales 2052
Australia
+61 2 9385 2233 (Phone)
+61 2 9385 1175 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www2.austlii.edu.au/~graham

Andrew Mowbray

University of Technology Sydney, Faculty of Law ( email )

Sydney
Australia

Alan Tyree

Independent

No Address Available

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