Sheridan on Big Data for Law

John Sheridan of The National Archives (UK) has published Big Data for Law, Internet Newsletter for Lawyers (March 2014).

The article describes the AHRC-funded Big Data for Law research project that John Sheridan is directing (and which we wrote about earlier).

Here is an excerpt:

[…] Big data, then, looks set to transform law in the same way that it has transformed business, and research, across a wide range of sectors. And there has never been a more relevant time for research into the architecture and content of law, the language used in legislation and how, through interpretation by the courts, it is given effect.

Legislation.gov.uk is now used and accessed by a wider group of users than ever before, and most have very little formal legal training. We know they find legislation difficult. It’s not surprising really – they’re confronted by huge amounts of legislation that’s piecemeal in structure, frequently changes, and which has complex inter-dependencies that aren’t always evident to the lay-reader.

What we’ve lacked, until now, are the tools, data and methods we need to better map and understand the statute book, to understand evidentially what practice supports understandability and usability, and to generate the evidence that could support policy makers to understand legislative impact. Big Data for Law will change that.

For more details, please see the complete article.

HT @owenboswarva

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