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Wa15c - Supporting the Legal Subsumption Process- Determination of Concreteness and Abstractness in German Laws using Lexical Knowledge

Last modified May 26, 2015


Determining, whether an act is applicable or not, is a non-trivial task. This is strongly associated with the interpretation of acts and the subsumed objects. Although subsumption is a complex process, it is also well studied process and a central part of the legal theory and practice. Words are used as a base line during interpretation and subsumption an allow for taxonomic structuring amongst itself, using hyper- and hyponym relationships. E.g., the word ``energy'' is a hypernym to ``electricity''.

This paper determines the application scope of acts by accessing real-world knowledge stored in a German lexical knowledge database, called GermaNet. Thereby we use the hyper- and hyponym relationships as representations of the abstractness and concreteness of words. Based on the set of the ten largest German law texts we determine the average level of abstractness over a huge set of norms. Our research shows, that words used in German acts are either a very high or very low abstractness. Furthermore, we compared different but related laws from distinct countries, namely Austria and Germany, namely the act governing the liability for a defective product. We are able to automatically determine differences in the application scope of acts, respectively norms.


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Name Type Size Last Modification Last Editor
ICAIL_MWAIL_2015.pdf 536 KB 26.05.2015