Thank you for visiting. This site outlines research as part of my PhD studies in the Research School of Computer Science at the Australian National University. The focus of the research is on the application of computational techniques to create new tools for reading and writing legal rules.
For example legal rules are written and read in contracts and legislation. In both cases they can impact heavily on our lives. Poorly written rules can be ambiguous, defeat the purpose of the people who created them and can be more costly than necessary to comply with. In the case of a person trying to make sense of a law, they can be inaccessible.
This research currently focusses on two uses of computational techniques to enhance the reading and writing of legal rules. Visualization techniques are applied to contracts to help communicate the web of meaning found in definitions used in contracts. The research has also explored how visualization techniques are applied in the presentation of legislation, particularly in an online environment. As part of the research, an online research platform for undertaking readability studies of legislation has been created. This platform includes a number of tools for such readability research including traditional readability metrics, cloze testing, subjective user evaluations and application of natural language processing and machine learning. The research has also included the application of corpus linguistics to the study of a corpus of Australian contracts. The research has grown out of experience in contract drafting and considering the needs for practical software tools that drafters face.
Disclaimer and Copyright Notice
Materials provided on this site are subject to copyright and are made available for research and academic purposes only, including reproduction of research. Apart from such use, all rights are reserved. Contact the website owner for permission for other uses. Materials are made available without warranty of any kind and with specific notice that the material has been developed solely for research use and has not been designed or tested for use outside its original research context. Copyright in third party materials rests with the respective owners. Rights to use third party materials available through this site, rest with the respective copyright owners, and your own enquiries should be made as to fair use rights in your legal jurisdiction.
Last modified: May 2013