The Promise and Pitfalls of Automated Text-Scaling Techniques for the Analysis of Jurisprudential Change
Dyevre, A. (2020). The promise and pitfall of automated text-scaling techniques for the analysis of jurisprudential change. Artificial Intelligence and Law, 1-31.
33 Pages Posted: 3 Jul 2015 Last revised: 27 Aug 2020
Date Written: March 14, 2019
I consider the potential of eight text-scaling methods for the analysis of jurisprudential change. I use a small corpus of well-documented German Federal Constitutional Court opinions on European integration to compare the machine-generated scores to scholarly accounts of the case law and legal expert ratings. Naive Bayes, Word2Vec, Correspondence Analysis and Latent Semantic Analysis appear to perform well. Less convincing are the performance of Wordscores, ML Affinity and lexicon-based sentiment analysis. While both the high-dimensionality of judicial texts and the validation of computer-based jurisprudential estimates pose major methodological challenges, I conclude that automated text-scaling methods hold out great promise for legal research.
Keywords: Judicial Opinions, Jurisprudential Change, Automated Text-scaling
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