We are delighted to present the proceedings volume of the 33rd International Conference on Legal Knowledge and Information Systems (JURIX 2020). For more than three decades, JURIX has organized an annual international conference for academics and practitioners, recently also including demos. The intention is to create a virtuous exchange of knowledge between theoretical research and applications in concrete legal use cases. Traditionally, this field has been concerned with legal knowledge representation and engineering, computational models of legal reasoning, and analyses of legal data. However, recent years have witnessed an increasing interest in the application of machine learning tools to relevant tasks to ease and empower legal experts everyday activities. JURIX is also a community where different skills work together to advance research by way of cross-fertilisation between law and computing technologies.
The JURIX conferences have been held under the auspices of the Dutch Foundation for Legal Knowledge Based Systems (www.jurix.nl). It has been hosted in a variety of European locations, extending the borders of its action and becoming an international conference in virtue of the the various nationalities of its participants and attendees.
The 2020 edition of JURIX, which runs from December 9 to 11, is co-hosted by the Institute of Law and Technology (Faculty of Law, Masaryk University, Brno) and the Knowledge-based Software Systems Group (Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Czech Technical University, Prague). Due to the Covid-19 health crisis, the conference is organised in a virtual format.
For this edition we have received 85 submissions by 255 authors from 28 countries; 20 of these submissions were selected for publication as full papers (ten pages each), 14 as short papers (four pages each) for a total of 34 presentations. In addition, 5 submissions were selected for publication as demo papers (four pages each). We were inclusive in making our selection, but the competition stiff and the submissions were put through a rigorous review process with a total acceptance rate (full and short papers) of 40%, and a competitive 23.5% acceptance rate for full papers. Borderline submissions, including those that received widely divergent marks, were accepted as short papers or demo papers only. The accepted papers cover a broad array of topics, from computational models of legal argumentation, case-based reasoning, legal ontologies, smart contracts, privacy management and evidential reasoning, through information extraction from different types of text in legal documents, to ethical dilemmas.
Two invited speakers have honored JURIX 2020 by kindly agreeing to deliver two keynote lectures: Katie Atkinson and Raja Chatila. Katie Atkinson is full professor of Computer Science and the Dean of the School of Electrical Engineering, Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Liverpool. She has also been the President of the International Association for Artificial Intelligence and Law in 2016–2017. She is one of the most significant representatives of the computational argumentation research community, and of AI and Law, where she focused on case-based reasoning and implementation of models of this in real world applications. Raja Chatila is Professor emeritus at Sorbonne Université. He is the former Director of the Institute of Intelligent Systems and Robotics (ISIR) and of the Laboratory of Excellence “SMART” on human-machine interaction. He is co-chair of the Responsible AI Working group in the Global Patnership on AI (GPAI), and he was member of the High Level Expert Group in AI with the European Commission (HLEG-AI). He is one of the main research scientists studying the ethical issues around Artificial Intelligence applications. We are very grateful to them for having accepted our invitation and for their interesting and inspiring talks.
Traditionally, the main JURIX conference is accompanied by co-located events comprising workshops and tutorials. This year’s edition welcomes five workshops: EXplainable & Responsible AI in Law (XAILA 2020), Artificial Intelligence and Patent Data, Artificial Intelligence in JUrisdictional Logistics (JULIA 2020), the Fourth Workshop on Automated Detection, Extraction and Analysis of Semantic Information in Legal Texts (ASAIL 2020), and the Workshop on Artificial Intelligence and the Complexity of Legal Systems (AICOL 2020). One tutorial, titled “Defeasible Logic for Legal Reasoning”, is also planned in this edition of JURIX. The continuation of well-established events and the organization of entirely new ones provide a great added value to the JURIX conference, enhancing its thematic and methodological diversity and attracting members of the broader community. Since 2013, JURIX has also hosted the Doctoral Consortium, now in its eighth edition. This initiative aims to attract and promote Ph.D. researchers in the area of AI & Law so as to enrich the community with original and fresh contributions.
Organizing this edition of the conference would not have been possible without the support of many people and institutions. Special thanks are due to the local organizing team chaired by Jakub Harašta and Petr Křemen. We would like to thank the workshops’ and tutorials’ organizers for their excellent proposals and for the effort involved in organizing the events. We owe our gratitude to Monica Palmirani, who kindly assumed the function of the Doctoral Consortium Chair.
This year, we are particularly grateful to the 74 members of the Program Committee for their excellent work in the rigorous review process and for their participation in the discussions concerning borderline papers. Their work has been even more appreciated provided the complex situation we are experiencing due to the pandemic. Finally, we would like to thank the former and current JURIX executive committee and steering committee members not only for their support and advice but also generally for taking care of all the JURIX initiatives.
Last but not least, this year’s conference was supported by AK Janoušek, law firm based in Prague, Czechia (www.janousekadvokat.cz) and by Artificial Intelligence Center ARIC based in Hamburg, Germany (www.aric-hamburg.de).
Serena Villata, JURIX 2020 Program Chair
Jakub Harašta, JURIX 2020 Organization Co-Chair
Petr Křemen, JURIX 2020 Organization Co-Chair