Artificial Intelligence and Law 29 (2):239-269 (2021)

I consider the potential of eight text-scaling methods for the analysis of jurisprudential change. I use a small corpus of well-documented German Federal Constitutional Court opinions on European integration to compare the machine-generated scores to scholarly accounts of the case law and legal expert ratings. Naive Bayes, Word2Vec, Correspondence Analysis and Latent Semantic Analysis appear to perform well. Less convincing are the performance of Wordscores, ML Affinity and lexicon-based sentiment analysis. While both the high-dimensionality of judicial texts and the validation of computer-based jurisprudential estimates pose major methodological challenges, I conclude that automated text-scaling methods hold out great promise for legal research.
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DOI 10.1007/s10506-020-09274-0
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