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JILT 1997 (2) - JURIX '96

JURIX'96 Conference

Foundations of Legal Knowledge Based Systems

Reviewed by
John Zeleznikow
La Trobe University, Australia

This is a Conference Report published on 30 June 1997.

Citation: Zeleznikow J 'JURIX'96 Conference: Foundations of Legal Knowledge Based Systems', Conference Report, 1997 (2) The Journal of Information, Law and Technology (JILT). <>. New citation as at 1/1/04: <>

The 1996 JURIX conference, devoted to the theme of Legal Knowledge Based Systems, was held on Friday 13th December 1996. On the day prior to the conference, a full day workshop on Dialectical Legal Argument: Formal and Informal Models was held. During the afternoon of 12 December, a four hour tutorial on the topic Using cases to reason and argue in legal knowledge based systems was presented by the author of this report.

Thus I am unable to comment in detail on either the workshop or the tutorial. However what was noticeable was the level of attendance at both events: over thirty at the workshop and fifteen at the tutorial. International scholars Trevor Bench-Capon (United Kingdom) and Tom Gordon (Germany) gave talks at the workshop whilst students, academics and practitioners from the Netherlands, Germany, Lithuania, Belgium and Jamaica attended the tutorial. The JURIX conferences have become truly international.

The first JURIX conference, in 1988, was held in the Dutch language. I have attended and made presentations at the 1990, 1994 and 1996 JURIX conferences. I was a member of the Program Committee for the 1996. It is clear that JURIX has become a prime conference for the International Artificial Intelligence and Law Community.

As the General Chairman of ICAIL-97, the Sixth International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Law, to be held at the University of Melbourne Law School, June 30 — July 3 1997, I do realise that the biennial ICAIL conferences are the only truly international conferences. Whilst JURIX-96 had ten papers over one day, with speakers from the United States, United Kingdom, Belgium, France, Australia, Japan and the Netherlands; it does not match the number (twenty-seven), time (four days) and breadth of the ICAIL conferences. And ICAIL-97 will have four tutorials, two invited addresses, at least two workshops, a doctoral consortium and a panel session. Topics to be discussed at ICAIL-97 include argumentation, case-based reasoning, information retrieval, Logics for Artificial Intelligence and Law, machine learning and ontologies.

JURIX-96 featured two keynote addresses: a speech by the former Dutch Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers on the globalisation of information and a talk by Daniele Bourcier of Universite de Paris on foundations of legal reasoning. Trevor Bench-Capon and Pepijn Visser (University of Liverpool) presented two papers about legal ontologies. The topic of ontologies is receiving much coverage in Artificial Intelligence circles: indeed Trevor and Pepijn together with Radboud Winkels of the University of Amsterdam are organising the First International Workshop on Legal Ontologies at ICAIL-97.

Luuk Matthijssen (Tilburg) and Uyttendale, Moens and Dumortier (Leuven, Belgium) presented excellent research concerned with legal retrieval. Two papers from Japan considered analogies and indeterminacy. Den Haan and Breuker (University of Amsterdam) continued their work about normative rules whilst Andrew Stranieri and the author of this review presented a paper on using machine learning techniques in discretionary legal domains.

Robert van Kralingen and his team have produced an excellent set of proceedings to supplement the wonderful conference. I certainly look forward to attending many more JURIX conferences.

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