Antoine Louis


pdf bib
Finding the Law: Enhancing Statutory Article Retrieval via Graph Neural Networks
Antoine Louis | Gijs van Dijck | Gerasimos Spanakis
Proceedings of the 17th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Statutory article retrieval (SAR), the task of retrieving statute law articles relevant to a legal question, is a promising application of legal text processing. In particular, high-quality SAR systems can improve the work efficiency of legal professionals and provide basic legal assistance to citizens in need at no cost. Unlike traditional ad-hoc information retrieval, where each document is considered a complete source of information, SAR deals with texts whose full sense depends on complementary information from the topological organization of statute law. While existing works ignore these domain-specific dependencies, we propose a novel graph-augmented dense statute retriever (G-DSR) model that incorporates the structure of legislation via a graph neural network to improve dense retrieval performance. Experimental results show that our approach outperforms strong retrieval baselines on a real-world expert-annotated SAR dataset.


pdf bib
A Statutory Article Retrieval Dataset in French
Antoine Louis | Gerasimos Spanakis
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Statutory article retrieval is the task of automatically retrieving law articles relevant to a legal question. While recent advances in natural language processing have sparked considerable interest in many legal tasks, statutory article retrieval remains primarily untouched due to the scarcity of large-scale and high-quality annotated datasets. To address this bottleneck, we introduce the Belgian Statutory Article Retrieval Dataset (BSARD), which consists of 1,100+ French native legal questions labeled by experienced jurists with relevant articles from a corpus of 22,600+ Belgian law articles. Using BSARD, we benchmark several state-of-the-art retrieval approaches, including lexical and dense architectures, both in zero-shot and supervised setups. We find that fine-tuned dense retrieval models significantly outperform other systems. Our best performing baseline achieves 74.8% R@100, which is promising for the feasibility of the task and indicates there is still room for improvement. By the specificity of the domain and addressed task, BSARD presents a unique challenge problem for future research on legal information retrieval. Our dataset and source code are publicly available.