© 2012

Computer Applications for Handling Legal Evidence, Police Investigation and Case Argumentation


Part of the Law, Governance and Technology Series book series (LGTS, volume 5)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xliv
  2. Ephraim Nissan
    Pages 1-12
  3. Ephraim Nissan
    Pages 13-128
  4. Ephraim Nissan
    Pages 129-205
  5. Ephraim Nissan
    Pages 323-481
  6. Ephraim Nissan
    Pages 991-1015
  7. Ephraim Nissan
    Pages 1017-1020
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 1021-1340

About this book


This book provides an overview of computer techniques and tools — especially from artificial intelligence (AI) — for handling legal evidence, police intelligence, crime analysis or detection, and forensic testing, with a sustained discussion of methods for the modelling of reasoning and forming an opinion about the evidence, methods for the modelling of argumentation, and computational approaches to dealing with legal, or any, narratives. By the 2000s, the modelling of reasoning on legal evidence has emerged as a significant area within the well-established field of AI & Law. An overview such as this one has never been attempted before. It offers a panoramic view of topics, techniques and tools. It is more than a survey, as topic after topic, the reader can get a closer view of approaches and techniques.

One aim is to introduce practitioners of AI to the modelling legal evidence. Another aim is to introduce legal professionals, as well as the more technically oriented among law enforcement professionals, or researchers in police science, to information technology resources from which their own respective field stands to benefit. Computer scientists must not blunder into design choices resulting in tools objectionable for legal professionals, so it is important to be aware of ongoing controversies. A survey is provided of argumentation tools or methods for reasoning about the evidence. Another class of tools considered here is intended to assist in organisational aspects of managing of the evidence.

Moreover, tools appropriate for crime detection, intelligence, and investigation include tools based on link analysis and data mining. Concepts and techniques are introduced, along with case studies. So are areas in the forensic sciences. Special chapters are devoted to VIRTOPSY (a procedure for legal medicine) and FLINTS (a tool for the police). This is both an introductory book (possibly a textbook), and a reference for specialists from various quarters.


Analitic Tools Applications of Computing Argumentation Argumentation Methods Argumentation Tools Artificial Intelligence & Law Cadaver Dogs Computer Forensics Computer Techniques Crime Analysis Crime Detection Criminal Investigation Criminal Trials DNA Environmental Forensics Evidence Evidentiary Value Exoneration Face Processing Facial Reconstruction Fingerprints Forensic Archeaology Forensic Disciplines Forensic Engineering Forensic Geology Forensic Palynology Forensic Science Forensic Testing Gas Soil Surveying Historical Perspective Identification Methods Identity Parades Intelligence Analysts Juridic Culture Law Enforcement Legal Evidence Legal Narratives Legal Professionals Litigation Modelling of Reasoning on Legal Evidence Narrow Evidence Domains Odorology Police Intelligence Polygraph Tests Prosecution Questioned Documents Evidence Reasoning Reasoning of Jurors Scent Detection Self-Incriminating Confessions Training Police Officers Wigmore Chart

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Welling, KentUnited Kingdom

About the authors

Dr. Ephraim Nissan has a long record of research in artificial intelligence (AI), including on AI & Law. He has held research positions at various universities, and since 1994 he is based in London. He has over 320 publications, of which 115 are articles in journals. He also holds an honorary fellowship in the humanities at the University of Manchester. In the late 1980s, his ALIBI model was a seminal project in the area of this book. From 1996, by means of editorial projects, he has had a central role in bootstrapping into existence, as a unified field, the AI modelling of reasoning on legal evidence, and in moving this field into the mainstream of AI & Law scholarship. This effort’s culmination is this book. He has established three scholarly journals, and been a guest-editor about twenty times, of which the topic of six was within AI & Law.

Bibliographic information


From the reviews:

“The two-volume book will be useful for police officials involved in investigations and information technology specialists responsible for developing applications for forensics and investigation of crime. The book is quite exhaustive and may be useful to students, researchers, police officials, and specialists from various disciplines. The author offers useful insights on the application of information technology to manage legal evidence. … I strongly recommend it as a valuable resource for its intended audience.” (S. V. Nagaraj, Computing Reviews, October, 2013)