How Network Science Is Changing Our Understanding of Law

Emerging Technology From the arXiv: “One of the more fascinating areas of science that has emerged in recent years is the study of networks and their application to everyday life. It turns out that many important properties of our world are governed by networks with very specific properties.

These networks are not random by any means. Instead, they are often connected in the now famous small world pattern in which any part of the network can be reached in a relatively small number of steps. These kinds of networks lie behind many natural phenomena such as earthquakes, epidemics and forest fires and are equally ubiquitous in social phenomena such as the spread of fashions, languages, and even wars.

So it should come as no surprise that the same kind of network should exist in the legal world. Today, Marios Koniaris and pals at the National Technical University of Athens in Greece show that the network of links between laws follows exactly the same pattern. They say their network approach provides a unique insight into the nature of the law, the way it has emerged and how changes may influence it in the future.

The work of Koniaris and co focuses entirely on the law associated with the European Union. They begin by pointing out that this legal network is different from many other types of networks in two important ways….

The network can also be using for visualizing the nature of the legal world. It reveals clusters and related connections and can help legislators determine the effect of proposed changes…..It also shows how network science is spreading to every corner of scientific and social research.

Ref: : Network Analysis In The Legal Domain: A Complex Model For European Union Legal Sources”

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