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AI and Law Call for Papers

Brian Carver

Passing along this call for papers:

Special Issue of Artificial Intelligence and Law in Honor of Carole Hafner: call for papers

Earlier this year, Carole Hafner, a key figure in the origin and development of AI and Law, died. A tribute to Carole can be found at http://www.iaail.org/?q=page/memorials. A special issue of Artificial Intelligence and Law (which she co-founded) will be published in 2016, focusing on Carole's main research topics: semantic retrieval and the procedural, temporal and teleological aspects of reasoning with legal cases.

In her long academic career, Carole Hafner made contributions in a number of areas of AI and Law. Her 1978 Ph.D. dissertation was a pioneering effort in semantic information retrieval of legal cases; ahead of its time, it supplied what would now be called ontologies for describing case law domains and cases, a retrieval language, and methods for retrieving, from a corpus of a hundred cases, cases providing: examples of which a specified concept is (or is not) true, criteria for knowing that the concept does (or does not) hold, or the consequences of the presence or absence of the concept in a particular case. Today, developments in technology have transformed the possibilities for information and case retrieval, and opened up rich possibilities to address the issues which motivated Carole.

Perhaps her most significant contributions were her triptych of papers written with Don Berman published in the 1991, 1993 and 1995 ICAIL conferences and consolidated in an AI and Law journal paper (Hafner and Berman 2002). All three of these papers dealt with various limitations of factor based reasoning. The 1991 paper (Berman and Hafner 1991) called for more account to be taken of the procedural context. The 1993 paper (Berman and Hafner 1993) discussed the need for consideration to be given to the social purposes of laws and legal decisions and the 1995 paper (Berman and Hafner 1995) recognized the dynamic nature of case law, and suggested that it was essential to be aware of the possibility that a current consensus was breaking down and a landmark case was coming. Factor based reasoning remains a very popular way of looking at reasoning with cases in AI and Law, and these papers are as relevant today as they were when they were first written. Although it is the second of these papers which has received by far the most attention of the three, all of them discuss issues that still demand attention.

We therefore invite contributions to a special issue of Artificial Intelligence and Law intended to revisit these aspects of conceptual case information retrieval or of reasoning with legal cases and the contribution of these papers. While contributions on any or all of the papers are welcome, we particularly seek contributions on the procedural and temporal aspects of case based reasoning, which we regard as unduly neglected. All contributions should clearly demonstrate their connection with Carole's work. The editor of the special issue will be Trevor Bench-Capon, and all papers will go through the standard review process for this journal.

Contributions, which should be submitted through the Journal's site at http://www.editorialmanager.com/arti/default.aspx and copied to Trevor Bench-Capon (tbc@csc.liv.ac.uk), should be received by 31st May 2016, and notification of acceptance will be by the end of July 2016 with a view to the special issue appearing as the last issue of 2016.


Carole D. Hafner and Donald H. Berman: The role of context in case-based legal reasoning: teleological, temporal, and procedural. Artificial Intelligence and Law 10(1-3): 19-64 (2002)

Donald H. Berman, Carole D. Hafner: Incorporating Procedural Context into a Model of Case-based Legal Reasoning. ICAIL 1991: 12-20

Donald H. Berman, Carole D. Hafner: Representing Teleological Structure in Case-based Legal Reasoning: The Missing Link. ICAIL 1993: 50-59

Donald H. Berman, Carole D. Hafner: Understanding Precedents in a Temporal Context of Evolving Legal Doctrine. ICAIL 1995: 42-51

Carole D. Hafner: An Information Retrieval System Based on a Computer Model of Legal Knowledge.  Ann Arbor: UMI Research Press, 1981.

Carole D. Hafner: Conceptual Organization of Case Law Knowledge Bases.  ICAIL 1987: 35-42.

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