Precedent Comparison in the Precedent Model Formalism: Theory and Application to Legal Cases

Heng Zheng, Davide Grossi, Bart Verheij

Comparison between precedents and case facts is a core issue in case-based reasoning, which has been discussed in a lot of research. In this paper, we use a recently developed precedent model formalism to discuss precedent comparison in case-based reasoning. With this formalism and a case study in a real legal domain, we show a new generalization and a new refinement of precedent comparison with respect to case-based reasoning approaches based on factors, such as HYPO and CATO. 1) Generalization: precedents and case facts can now be compared with general propositional formulas, and not only with factors. 2) Refinement: a distinction can be made between current analogies and distinctions in precedent models, and so-called relevances, i.e., unshared formulas between two precedents that are relevant for possible additional analogies and distinctions that can arise in a discussion. With these contributions the role of factors in case-based reasoning can be refined and compound formulas based on factors can be taken into account in casebased reasoning.

Manuscript (in PDF-format)

A shortened version of this paper has been presented at the JURIX 2020 conference. See here.

Reference:
Zheng, H., Grossi, D., & Verheij, B. (2020). Precedent Comparison in the Precedent Model Formalism: Theory and Application to Legal Cases. Proceedings of the EXplainable & Responsible AI in Law (XAILA) Workshop at JURIX 2020.


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