It was twenty years ago today…
The first JURIX conference was organized in 1988, so the 2007 conference is the twentieth one. At the first conference, the audience was completely Dutch, except for one German speaking attendee, so it was decided to communicate in English.
The Dutch JURIX community started its activities some time before this first conference, indeed twenty years ago. Interestingly enough, the name JURIX existed even before JURIX had been founded. We believe it was at the 1989 Vancouver ICAIL conference that Uri Schild surprised Dutch participants by saying: “You stole my name, I invented JURIX!”. Apparently, in 1986 or 1987, Schild had published an article in which he called a knowledge system JURIX. Of course Uri Schild did not mind, but the JURIX board wanted to be sure and let Uri sign a contract that allowed their use of the name. We are glad that Uri Schild is on this year's Program Committee.
Over the years JURIX has become more and more international. JURIX is officially Dutch/Belgium, more precisely (cf. http://jurix.nl): “Its [board] members are research groups from most Dutch universities and a Flemish university, KU Leuven.” The conference papers are in majority from non-Dutch authors, and since 2002 JURIX is held outside the Netherlands and Belgium every other year: London (2002), Berlin (2004), Paris (2006), and next year in Florence.
Just as the 19th JURIX conference had 19 contributions (out of 29 submissions), the 20th JURIX conference has 20 (out of 34 submissions): 15 full papers, and 5 short papers. The authors are not only from a wide range of countries, but many of the authoring teams were multi-national, viz.: Australia/Netherlands/Italy; Belgium (2); Brazil; France; Germany/Greece/Italy/Spain; India; Italy; Italy/Netherlands (3); Netherlands (3); Poland; Spain/United Kingdom; Sweden/Denmark; United Kingdom (2); USA; and USA/Italy.
Only 7 out of 20 contributions were (partly) Dutch. Italy has the most collaborations, namely 6. We have contributions from North-America, South America, Asia and Australia. Only Africa is missing, but will maybe appear at JURIX in the future, because there are several collaborations going on with various African countries.
Over the years, women have already played an important role in the sometimes male dominated technology and law world, but it is good to see that 70% of the papers were (partly) written by female authors and more than half of the papers (8/15) have a female first author.
There are papers by two authors (9), three authors (6), four authors (2), five authors (1), and seven authors (2). There is not a single single-authored paper! Only the invited speakers stand on their own, and during the conference dinner Delise will – on her own – bring some musical joy.
On Thursday, the Dutch law professor Janneke Gerards will address in her invited talk theoretical models she develops that can help judges to draft grounded verdicts in cases where fundamental rights are involved. In her thesis she tackled 'equal treatment', and she is currently exploring other fundamental rights in a large project. This project is aimed at developing models and guidelines for judicial reasoning in fundamental rights cases, on the basis of legal-theoretical research and comparative case-law analyses.
On Friday, the invited talk by the American law professor David A. Larson explores how the mediation process can be enriched by the use of technology. His observations on the current youth are illustrating the necessity: “Children are switching between cellular telephones, text messaging, e-mail, instant messaging, and Internet chat rooms seamlessly to establish a constant presence in the universe. They are becoming always available, always connected.”
Most accepted papers can largely be fitted into either work on argumentation or work on ontology. Argumentation has been a JURIX-topic during all past years, and the interest in ontology has revived recently with Semantic Web initiatives.
Case law is approached from different angles. Mochales & Moens discuss how arguments can be retrieved automatically in Study on Sentence Relations in the Automatic Detection of Argumentation in Legal Cases. Recommending techniques are novel for our field and applied by Wildeboer, Klein & Uijttenbroek in search of one of AI & Law's holy grails: Explaining the Relevance of Court Decisions to Laymen. For quite some years now, Trevor Bench-Capon has been exploring Case-based reasoning, and this year he integrates CBR with argument schemes in two papers: the first paper has Adam Wyner as the leading author and is entitled Argument Schemes for Legal Case-based Reasoning; the second paper is written with the same first author and Katie Atkinson and is entitled Arguments, Values and Baseballs: Representation of Popov v. Hayashi.
Huizinga (Homo Ludens, 1938), and Bob Dylan (“ashamed to live in a land where justice is a game”, 1976) drew parallels between law and games. In the mid 1990s this topic was popular in AI & Law (e.g., Gordon, Loui, Lodder), and this year two papers successfully continue on this topic. In Success chances in argument games: a probabilistic approach to legal disputes, a group of authors headed by Riveret links the chances of winning arguments to the probabilities of winning claims. In Legal rules and argumentation in a metalogic framework, the Scandinavians Eriksson Lundström, Fischer Nilsson & Hamfelt introduce a simple, straightforward mechanism illustrating that a legal dispute is just a balancing of pro and con arguments of which no one knows the outcome for sure.
In 1993 JURIX had a number of papers on legal drafting, amongst others on the famous LEDA-system. This year we have Agnoloni et al. reporting on the DALOS-project in Building an ontological support for multilingual legislative drafting. The technique of graphs is used to analyse legal drafting by Bourcier & Mazzega in their Codification, Law Article and Graphs. The existing boundaries of legal drafting software are explored by Hafner & Lauritsen and they propose new paths to walk on in Extending the power of automated legal drafting technology. When laws are enacted it is good if the public knows of their existence. The internet is often used for that purpose, and Washington & Griffith assess some existing websites, and focus on how using XML and internet can increase transparency. The development of such standards for legislation is described in Proposed XML Standards for Law: MetaLex and LKIF by Boer, Winkels & Vitali.
Categorisation and systematization can be very helpful to lawyers. De Maat & Winkels aim to do this with legal norms, and distinguish different layers in Categorisation of Norms. Whereas this former paper presents a general model, a specific ontology for patent law has been developed in the context of the Patexpert-project, and a complex ontological framework is described by Giereth et al. in A Modular Framework for Ontology-based Representation of Patent Information.
Argumentation is central in law, but it is hard to develop software that lawyers find of use. Schweers & Verheij want to take the software a step further than the presently existing technology in Beyond boxes and arrows: argumentation support in terms of the knowledge structure of a legal topic.
A nice overview of the state of art in Online Dispute Resolution is provided by Sefora Junqueira & Evandro Costa in their Computer Intelligent Support for the ADR/ODR Domain, and completes this overview.
In the short papers various topics are covered: ontology of the Polish Commercial Companies Code, a methodology for modelling legal workflows, content management and version management of legislation, representation of deadlines, and an ontology for summarizing documents.
This very fine selection of papers could not have been collected without the submissions by all authors, whom we would like to thank very much for their efforts. We would also like to thank the members of the program committee for their efforts to assess the quality of the submissions, and to provide valuable comments to the authors:
Kevin D. Ashley, University of Pittsburgh, USA
Katie Atkinson, University of Liverpool, UK
Emilia Bellucci, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia
Trevor J.M. Bench-Capon, University of Liverpool, UK
Danièle Bourcier, CNRS CERSA, University of Paris 2, France
Frances M.T. Brazier, VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Joost Breuker, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Aspassia Daskalopulu, University of Thessaly, Greece
Tom van Engers, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Thomas F. Gordon, Fraunhofer FOKUS, Berlin, Germany
Carole D. Hafner, Northeastern University, USA
Frank van Harmelen, VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Jaap van den Herik, Leiden University & Maastricht University, The Netherlands
Paul E.M. Huygen, VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Peter Keyngnaert, AKTOR Knowledge Technology, Belgium
Gloria T. Lau, Thomson FindLaw & Stanford University, USA
Arno R. Lodder, VU University Amsterdam & CEDIRE.org, The Netherlands (chair)
Ronald P. Loui, Washington University, St. Louis, USA
Marie-Francine Moens, KU Leuven, Belgium
Laurens Mommers, eLaw@Leiden, Leiden University, The Netherlands
Antoinette Muntjewerff, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Ajit Narayanan, Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand
Kees van Noortwijk, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Anja Oskamp, VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Monica Palmirani, CIRSFID, University of Bologna, Italy
Marta Poblet, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain
Henry Prakken, Groningen University & Utrecht University, The Netherlands
Paulo Quaresma, Universidade de Évora, Portugal
Giovanni Sartor, European University Institute, Italy
Burkhard Schafer, University of Edinburgh, Scotland
Uri Schild, Bar Ilan University, Israel
Daniela Tiscornia, ITTIG-CNR, Italy
Leon van der Torre, University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Bart Verheij, Groningen University, The Netherlands
Kees de Vey Mestdagh, Groningen University, The Netherlands
Wim Voermans, State and Administrative Law, Leiden University, The Netherlands
Douglas Walton, University of Winnipeg, Canada
Radboud Winkels, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
John Zeleznikow, Victoria University, Melbourne
In addition, the day before and after the main conference the following workshops and tutorial are scheduled:
• Modelling Legal Cases (organizer: Katie Atkinson);
• Multimedia Ontologies and Artificial Intelligence Techniques in Law (organizers: Xavier Binefa, Marie-France Moens, José Manuel López-Cobo & Pompeu Casanovas);
• and on Saturday:
• Access to Justice: putting the “i” of intelligence into wiki (organizers: Esther Hoorn, Burkhard Schafer & Laurens Mommers)
• Legislative XML (organizers: Radboud Winkels & Enrico Francescon)
• Tutorial on Technology Enhanced Dispute Resolution by John Zeleznikow
Finally, we would like to thank the E.M. Meijers Institute for Jurispudential Research for its practical support, and the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences for its financial support, in organizing the 20th JURIX conference in Leiden.
Cf. www.emmeijers.nl, www.knaw.nl, cli.vu, elaw.leiden.edu, and www.jurix.nl.
Cf. www.emmeijers.nl, www.knaw.nl, cli.vu, elaw.leiden.edu, and www.jurix.nl.