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Comparison of Law Texts - An Analysis of German and Austrian Legislation regarding Linguistic and Structural Metrics

Last modified by Florian Matthes Apr 2, 2015


Understanding legal texts is a non-trivial task. This has various causes arising from different origins, such as structural or linguistic properties of legal texts. In this article, we extend prior results of structural and linguistic metrics, to deepen the understanding of legal texts’ complexity. Since complexity can be observed on various levels of legal systems and law texts, we restricted ourselves to the complexity of language, including structural and lexical properties. In particular, we focused on the usage of general clauses, indicated by indeterminate legal terms. Thereby, we differentiated and classified indeterminate legal terms regarding their properties. We performed an analysis on a dataset containing 3 553 German laws, respectively regulations. The papers’ result is the extension of an existing complexity indicating set of metrics, including a quantitative, comprehensive and data-intensive analysis of their contribution in German law texts. Finally, we use the metrics to compare the Austrian and German version of the act governing the liability for a defective product.

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Name Type Size Last Modification Last Editor
Wa15a.pdf 318 KB 10.01.2015