Jurix 2005: looking back

January 16th, 2006

The annual Jurix conference took place at the Free University Brussels (VUB) on 8-10 december. It was both an intellectually as well as socially rewarding and inspiring event. Many thanks to the organisation!

We had the pleasure of presenting two papers on our work. The first by Alexander Boer – co-authored by Tom van Engers and Radboud Winkels – about a preference-based representation of norms, entitled “Mixing Legal and Non-Legal Norms”. This paper, which is part of his PhD research, argues that legal norms are in may contexts best understood as expressions of a ceteris paribus preference, and that this viewpoint adequately accounts for normative conflict and contrary-to-duty norms. This paper sparked some very interesting discussions, not in the least because of a possible link with the work of Guido Governatori and Antonino Rotolo: “Norm Modifications in Defeasible Logic”

The second paper, by Tom van Engers – a joint research abstract with Ron van Gog and Arian Jacobs – is titled “How Technology can help reducing the Legal Burden” and explains how relatively simple technology can help governments to reduce the burden imposed by legal regulations.

The work by Katie Atkinson and Trevor Bench-Capon, titled “Theory and Practice in AI and Law: A Response to Branting” gives a clear overview of recent, and not-so-recent work in our field, and describes a useful framework for positioning various `branches’ of research. A very insightful paper, and perhaps less controversial than our own Functional Ontology of Law (Andre Valente, 1995).

Many other authors reported on their work, and by the looks of it the field is reaching consensus on the currently most prominent issues: harmonization and modification, linguistic approaches to legal information extraction and retrieval, formal representation of legislation, legal argumentation, and forensics support.

Hopefully the pdf-versions of all papers will soon be available online through the Jurix website.

Jurix Website
Jurix 2005 Conference website

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