A Reduction-Graph Model of Ratio Decidendi

05/2000; DOI: 10.1145/158976.158981
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This paper proposes a model of ratio decidendi as a justification structure consisting of a series of reasoning steps, some of which relate abstract predicates to other abstract predicates and some of which relate abstract predicates to specific facts. This model satisfies four adequacy criteria for ratio decidendi identified from the jurisprudential literature. In particular, the model shows how the theory under which a case is decided controls its precedential effect. By contrast, a purely casebased model of ratio fails to account for the dependency of precedential effect on the theory of decision. 1 Introduction Every computational model of legal precedent that refers to individual past cases necessarily embodies, at least implicitly, some model of ratio decidendi, the content of a precedent that is authoritative as to subsequent cases. Predicting, advocating, and justifying the binding effect of a precedent on subsequent cases all require identifying the authoritative elements of...

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Available from: Luther Branting, May 21, 2013
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    • "Any attempt to model reasoning with cases requires some extensive analysis of the domain, whether to identify dimensions, as in HYPO, factors as in CATO, reduction operators as in [12], concrete arguments as in [19], or abstract arguments as here. Any such analysis will rely on skill and judgement, and be open to some discussion of possible alternative ways of performing the analysis. "
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    ABSTRACT: In this paper we discuss how recent developments in argumentation frameworks, most notably Extended Argumentation Frameworks, can inform the representation of a body of case law using abstract argumentation techniques. This builds on previous work which has first used abstract Argumentation Frameworks, and then Value based Argumentation Frameworks for this purpose. Extended Argumentation Frameworks augment Argumentation Frameworks to not only allow arguments to be attacked, but also attacks to be attacked. This allows argumentation based reasoning about information normally assumed to be metalevel to the object level domain of argumentation, including argumentation over preferences, values and the audience based ranking of values promoted by arguments. The Extended Argumentation Frameworks can then be rewritten as standard Argumentation Frameworks, so that cases, and values and their rankings relevant to the cases, can be reasoned about using standard dialogue games for Argumentation Frameworks. In this way precedents can be represented as collections of arguments and dialogues using these arguments. Now, when confronted with a new case, these dialogues may be used to identify ways of deploying the arguments in the new case so as to reach a favourable position.
    The 12th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Law, Proceedings of the Conference, June 8-12, 2009, Barcelona, Spain; 01/2009
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    • "The use of graphical representations as teaching tools has long been a common phenomenon in many domains, also in argumentation . However, although graphical representations of legal argumentation (Branting 1994) and even Supreme Court Oral Arguments (Marshall 1989) have been employed as research tools, they have not made inroads into the classroom. While legal scholars have long recognized the value of note-taking and summarization in education (Llewellyn 1930), the focus has been on textual summaries and annotation rather than on graphical markup. "
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    ABSTRACT: The intelligent tutoring system LARGO allows law students to annotate a transcript of an oral argu- ment using diagrams which can be linked to text portions. LARGO analyzes diagrams and gives feed- back to support students' reflection. The feedback mechanisms rely on certain hypotheses about the interaction between the student and the system. In particular, a linear working mode (from beginning to end of the transcript) and a consistent and correct linking of diagram elements to the text are assumed. Based on an empirical study, this paper argues that the design of LARGO is functional and that the central interaction hypotheses are confirmed.
    Mensch & Computer 2007: Konferenz für interaktive und kooperative Medien, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, Weimar, Germany, 2-5 September 2007; 01/2007
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    • "In the Anglo-American legal system, the most prominent judicial documents are appellate decisions. Appellate opinions typically contain a summary of the facts of the case, identiication of the issues of law raised in arguments by counsel for each of the parties, pronouncement of the legal propositions supported by the controlling authorities, and declaration of a decision that resolves the issues by applying the legal propositions to the facts of the case Branting, 1993b]. The complexity and individuality of appellate opinions makes automated assistance for such documents far beyond the scope of current technology. "
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    ABSTRACT: Document drafting is a central judicial problem-solving activity. Development of automated systems to assist judicial document drafting has been impeded by the absence of an explicit model of (1) the connection between the document drafter's goals and the text intended to achieve those goals, and (2) the rhetorical constraints expressing the stylistic and discourse conventions of the document's genre. This paper proposes a model in which the drafter's goals and the stylistic and discourse conventions are represented in a discourse structure consisting of a tree of illocutionary and rhetorical operators with document text as leaves. A document grammar based on the discourse structures of a representative set of documents can be used to synthesize a wide range of additional documents from sets of case facts. The applicability of this model to a representative class of judicial orders---jurisdictional show-cause orders---is demonstrated by illustrating (1) the analysis of show-...
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