CDA in collaboration between King’s College London and The National Archives
Primary academic supervisor: Dr Barbara McGillivray (King’s College London)
Collaborative Partner supervisor: Nicki Welch (The National Archives)
Collaborative Partner lead contact: Rose Rees Jones (The National Archives)
Secondary academic supervisor: Dr Niccolò Ridi (King’s College London)
Co-academic supervisor: Marton Ribary (Royal Holloway University of London)
Access to case law is vital for safeguarding the constitutional right of access to justice. It enables members of the public to understand their position when facing litigation and to scrutinise court judgements. Since April 2022, UK court and tribunal decisions are preserved by The National Archives’ Find Case Law service as freely accessible online public records. This project seeks to improve Find Case Law by enhancing it with meaning-sensitive (semantic) search functionality. It will study how individuals without legal training use language to navigate court judgments and it will develop tools to facilitate this navigation. In most digital cultural heritage catalogues, while we can search for words within the metadata describing their records, we cannot search for records based on the meaning of words contained within these records, for examples the different words to refer to “knife crime”. Therefore, users’ access to collection is determined by their ability to articulate their information need precisely. Recent advances in natural language processing unlock new possibilities for querying documents via state-of-the-art semantic search. Incorporating such search capabilities in the Find Case Law collection is crucial for democratising access to digital collections, helping expose the social impact of how the law is written.
- Experience with Natural Language Processing research and applied work, including developing new tools.
- Interest in working with UK case law for improving access to justice
- Background in law or legal research.
- Experience working with digital archives
- Knowledge of User experience (UX) research
- Knowledge of lexical semantics.
- Experience with semantic search.
- Experience with NLP applied to legal texts.
For queries specific to the project, please contact the project’s lead supervisor Barbara McGillivray on firstname.lastname@example.org