Communications Aspects of Legal Expert Systems - Incorporating Them in Shells for Lawyers
National Conference on Law, Computers & Artificial Intelligence, University of Exeter, United Kingdom, 17-18 November 1988
9 Pages Posted: 21 Jun 2017
Date Written: November 17, 1988
This early paper concerning the DataLex Project concerns features of legal experts systems which may be grouped as their ‘communications’ aspects. These have received relatively little attention compared with inferencing methods, and the closely related questions of the most suitable form of knowledge representation and knowledge acquisition.
Knowledge-based technologies are not limited to inferencing techniques. There is also a need for both practical development and theoretical discussion of the communications aspects of these technologies. These communications aspects are of greater importance in the legal domain than in most other problem domains, for reasons related to the nature of law and its use. Legal reasoning is irreducibly based on language and its interpretation, whereas most other expert systems domains are largely concerned with causal relationships between physical objects and processes.
The expression ‘communications aspects’ is used to group these features because they are all concerned with the communication of the meaning of the primary legal texts (statutes and cases) on which such systems are based. It is therefore preferred to categories such as ‘user interface’ or ‘knowledge utilisation. The contents of the paper are:
Introduction The Interpretation Aspect ........The ‘deductive model’ of a legal expert system ........The ‘interpretative’ model of a legal expert system ........Interpretation techniques The Elucidation Aspect ........Noise’ in legal texts ........Elucidation techniques The Efficiency Aspect ........ Efficiency techniques ........Completeness and complexity The Explanation Aspect ........Explanation techniques ........Legal integrity in programs Conclusions
Some of these techniques are employed in two legal expert system shells, LES and X-SH, and a number of demonstration applications (INTEST, COPYRITA and FINDER), developed by the authors as part of the DataLex Project. These are used for illustration purposes in the paper.
Keywords: legal expert systems, AI and law, DataLex, Australia
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