Knowledge Systems and Law — The Juricas Project
Due to the lack of empirical knowledge in the law, it is not possible to produce either legal expert systems or legal knowledge systems. Jurimetrics, the scientific studying of the law, may in the long term change this situation. Until then, the best alternative is the production of computerized legal advice systems. Such a system would advise its users about a specific legal subject on the basis of legal practice.
These systems have been developed by the Workshop for Computer Science and Law at Erasmus University as part of the JURICAS project. While responsibility remains with the user, it is ensured that all relevant criteria are examined. Each advice system is targeted at a particular sort of user, e.g. a judge or public prosecutor. It is also an ideal means for a legal author of a JURICAS system to convey his opinions. The JURICAS “Advice System Shell” has been made generally available and therefore it is now possible for Dutch lawyers to design their own advice systems.
Not only lawyers are using JURICAS, however. Policymakers and managers also showed interest in the JURICAS shell. So what was designed as a legal advice system is now an advice system for the implementation of rules in general.
KeywordsExpert System Knowledge System Legal Rule Empirical Knowledge Advice System
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