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Towards Measures of Complexity - Applying Structural and Linguistic Metrics to German Laws

Last modified Jun 20


The increasing complexity of legal systems has many origins, which are worth a deeper analysis. This paper is an attempt to unveil the complexity in legal texts driven by structural, lexical and syntactical properties. Thereby we transferred established quantitative methods from structural network analysis and linguistics into the domain of legal text analysis. Based on 3 553 German laws, respectively regulations, we calculated several structural and lexical indicators for complexity and determined highly significant correlations (p <= 0.01). The papers' contribution is a set of metrics, enabling a structured and objective comparison of legal texts regarding their complexity.

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Name Type Size Last Modification Last Editor
Wa14c.pdf 232 KB 14.10.2014