I am delighted to present to you the proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Legal Knowledge and Information Systems – JURIX 2016. For nearly three decades the JURIX conferences have been held under the auspices of the Dutch Foundation for Legal Knowledge Based Systems (www.jurix.nl). JURIX has far outgrown its humble beginnings as a local, Dutch conference, with editions in every corner of Europe, from west (Belgium, France, the Netherlands and the UK) to east (Austria, Germany, Poland) and south (Italy, Portugal). The number of topics has also grown, keeping pace with developments in the wider field of artificial intelligence: logic and argument have been joined by statistical methods and data, and knowledge engineering has been enriched with machine learning.
The 2016 edition of JURIX, which runs from 14–16 December, takes place on the beautiful French Riviera, at the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis. We received 56 submissions for this edition, 11 of which were selected for publication as full papers (10 pages in the proceedings), 10 as short papers (six pages in the proceedings), and 10 as poster papers, each allotted four pages in the proceedings for the first time. As always, the JURIX conference aims to be inclusive rather than exclusive, with a total acceptance rate of 54% and again a Doctoral Consortium aimed at helping young researchers enter the JURIX community. In addition to being an open conference, JURIX also promotes research of the highest quality. The full-paper acceptance rate is only 23%, and all papers have undergone a rigorous reviewing process, in which borderline or weakly acceptable papers were accepted as short papers only. The papers address a wide range of topics in AI & Law, such as argumentation, norms and evidence (theory), network science, information retrieval and natural language processing (technologies). Many of these theories and technologies have been applied to real legal materials, such as cases brought before the European Court of Human Rights, Dutch and Greek legal texts, International Investment agreements and contracts.
This year, we have the honour of welcoming two ERC grant recipients as invited speakers. Jan Broersen of Utrecht University has received an ERC Consolidator grant for his project on Responsible Intelligent Systems, in which he is investigating how to automate responsibility, liability, and risk checking for autonomous systems using logical specifications and related model checkers. Norman Fenton, of Queen Mary University, London, has received an ERC Advanced grant for his project Bayes Knowledge, which aims to use Bayesian Network techniques to improve evidence-based decision-making in areas where there is little or no statistical data, such as complex legal cases. These high-profile projects demonstrate that the interdisciplinary combination of Artificial Intelligence and Law is a fruitful one, with exciting possibilities for the future.
The interdisciplinary character of AI & Law is also evident in the various workshops at the conference. The first ever MIREL workshop aims to bridge the gap between researchers working on legal ontologies and NLP parsers on the one hand, and researchers working on reasoning methods and formal logic on the other. The seventh edition of the AICOL workshop welcomes research in AI, political and legal theory, jurisprudence, philosophy and the social sciences to address the ways in which the current information revolution affects the basic pillars of today's legal and political systems. The fourth NaiL workshop aims to bring together researchers from computational social science, computational legal theory, network science, data science and related disciplines to discuss the use and usefulness of network analysis and data mining in the legal domain. Finally, the third CEILI LDA workshop will focus on representation, analysis and reasoning with legal data in information systems from the lawyer's and citizen's perspectives.
It only remains for me to thank the various people who have helped to make JURIX 2016 a success. Serena Villata, who with her team of local organisers has made this year's edition possible; Monica Palmirani, who together with her committee has tirelessly assisted those students who have submitted to the Doctoral Consortium; the 49 reviewers and sub-reviewers who have conducted the thorough reviews and participated in the lively discussions which have ensured a strict but fair reviewing process; the 117 authors who have submitted papers, demos and posters; the workshop organisers who have expanded the JURIX conference beyond the boundaries of the central programme; and finally, the members of the Jurix Steering Committee, and of the former and current Jurix board for taking care of all things Jurix all year round.
JURIX 2016 Programme Chair