Information Extraction from Legal Documents: A Study in the Context of Common Law Court Judgements
Meladel Mistica | Geordie Z. Zhang | Hui Chia | Kabir Manandhar Shrestha | Rohit Kumar Gupta | Saket Khandelwal | Jeannie Paterson | Timothy Baldwin | Daniel Beck
Proceedings of the The 18th Annual Workshop of the Australasian Language Technology Association
‘Common Law’ judicial systems follow the doctrine of precedent, which means the legal principles articulated in court judgements are binding in subsequent cases in lower courts. For this reason, lawyers must search prior judgements for the legal principles that are relevant to their case. The difficulty for those within the legal profession is that the information that they are looking for may be contained within a few paragraphs or sentences, but those few paragraphs may be buried within a hundred-page document. In this study, we create a schema based on the relevant information that legal professionals seek within judgements and perform text classification based on it, with the aim of not only assisting lawyers in researching cases, but eventually enabling large-scale analysis of legal judgements to find trends in court outcomes over time.