ICAIL 2009 Workshop on Modelling Legal Cases



*** The programme for the workshop is now available here ***


Research in AI and Law has, throughout its history, produced a variety of approaches by which legal cases can be modelled. These approaches support different styles of reasoning for a variety of problem-solving contexts, such as decision-making, information retrieval, teaching, etc. Particular legal cases that have received wide coverage in the AI and Law literature include: the famous property law case of Pierson v. Post (see e.g. Berman and Hafner, 1993; Gordon and Walton, 2006); other cases involving the capture of wild animals such as Young v. Hitchens and Keeble v. Hickeringill (see e.g. Berman and Hafner, 1993; Bench-Capon and Rissland, 2001); US trade secrets cases such as Mason v. Jack Daniel Distillery (see e.g. Aleven and Ashley, 1997); and, criminal cases such as the Rijkbloem case (see e.g. Bex et. al, 2007). In order to provide a forum for researchers to present and discuss their own particular approaches to modelling such legal cases, a workshop was held at the Twentieth Annual JURIX conference in December 2007 in Leiden, The Netherlands. Building upon the successes of the previous workshop, a second instalment of the workshop is to be held at ICAIL 2009.


For this second instalment, in order to facilitate comparison and discussion, authors are particularly encouraged to use their preferred representation method to model to a particular case: Popov vs. Hayashi[1]. The decision in this case raises issues relating to evidence, testimony, expert opinion, and precedent, and so covers a wide range of topics in case modelling.


Papers modelling cases other than this one can also be submitted. The approach to case representation may be approached from numerous different angles, including but not limited to: logic-based approaches, ontology-based approaches; argumentation formalisms; representation with factors and dimensions; dialogical approaches; and diagramming tools.


Regardless of the case used, all papers should make clear what the particular distinctive features of the approach are and why these features are useful in modelling the case. It is intended that the workshop will provide an opportunity for presenters to demonstrate the benefits of their approach, whilst providing a basis for group discussions to identify useful overlapping features, or individual elements that could be further explored and developed. Possibilities for sharing and reuse will also be considered.


Short position papers are also welcome from those interested in the topic but who do not wish to present a fully represented case. Acceptance of a paper will require at least one author to attend the workshop and present the paper, following which there will be discussion among the workshop participants. Issues for consideration and discussion are: the level of granularity in the case modelling; the context of use and how it affects the representation; the fidelity of the model to the original decision; the reasoning supported by the method chosen; tradeoffs between different approaches; prominent features of different approaches modelling the same case.


Following the JURIX 2007 workshop on this topic a special issue of AI and Law journal was published which contained revised and extended papers that report on some approaches to modelling legal cases that were presented at the workshop. Similar avenues will be explored following this workshop.


Format of papers and submission guidelines:


Papers should not be more than 10 pages long and should be submitted in PDF format. It is suggested that the conference style files are to be used for formatting.


All papers should provide:

-          A summary of the case being modelled (if Popov vs. Hayashi is not being used) and, where appropriate, a link to the text of the decision.

-          An overview of the representation technique, or reference to a full description of it.

-          The context in which it is intended to be used.

-          The representation itself.

-          Discussion of any significant features.


Short position papers are also welcome, as are summaries and reflections on previously published work that has addressed the topic.


All submissions should be emailed as a PDF attachment to the workshop organiser, Katie Atkinson, at: K.M.Atkinson@liverpool.ac.uk


Important Dates:


Deadline for submission of papers: 8th April 2009 (extended to 14th April)

Notification: 4th May 2009 (extended to 15th May)

Deadline for camera-ready copies: 2nd June 2009

Workshop: Monday 8th June (afternoon)


Programme Committee members:


Trevor Bench-Capon, University of Liverpool, UK

Tom Gordon, Fraunhofer, FOKUS, Germany

Henry Prakken, Groningen University & Utrecht University, The Netherlands

Douglas Walton, University of Windsor, Canada

Radboud Winkels, University of Amsterdam

Adam Wyner, University of Liverpool, UK


Workshop organiser:


Katie Atkinson, Department of Computer Science, University of Liverpool, UK. Email: K.M.Atkinson@liverpool.ac.uk

[1] The text of the decision can be found at: http://fl1.findlaw.com/news.findlaw.com/hdocs/docs/bonds/popovhayashi121802dec.pdf. The case has also been modelled in: A. Wyner, T. Bench-Capon and K. Atkinson (2007): Arguments, values and baseballs: Representation of Popov v. Hayashi.  In: Proceedings of JURIX 2007, pp. 151-160.