Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Mapping the Science of Law: A Jurimetrics Analysis

Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Mapping the Science of Law: A Jurimetrics Analysis

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

The term metrics means measurement. It indicates application of mathematical and statistical techniques to any field of study. Librametrics, bibliometrics, informaterics, scientometrics, webometrics, altmetrics have been derived from the term metrics fusion with library, bibliography, information, science, world wide web respectively. These metric studies are used by the librarian, information professionals, decision and policy makers, research funding agencies to evaluate collection, services, users and to analyses the research activity from micro to macro level.

Similarly the word metrics suffixed to juris which means law describes application of quantitative methods and often especially statistics to law (Bryan, 2001). The term jurimetrics was first coined by Lee Loevinger in 1949 in the article entitled "Jurimetrics: the next step forward". According to him, Jurimetrics is concerned with such matters as the quantitative analysis of judicial behaviour, the application of communication and information theory to legal expression, the use of mathematical logic in law, the retrieval of legal data by electronic and mechanical means, and the formulation of a calculus of legal predictability. Justice Holmes in 1895 believed that "an ideal system of law should draw its postulates and its legislative justification from science". He further expands his view "the man of the future is the man of statistics". He asserted that the techniques of physical science could solve the most basic problems of law. In 1709 Nicolaus I Bernoulli was the first person to submit his doctoral thesis on this topic.

The Indian constitution has provided a unified judicial system. It provides for one single integrated judiciary having jurisdiction and providing remedies in all cases arising under the constitutional law, the civil or criminal. The Supreme Court of India occupies the highest position in the judiciary hierarchy. It is the final interpreter of the Constitution of India and also of the general law of India. It is regarded as the guardian of the fundamental rights of the people. It is the highest Court of appeal in all civil and criminal matters. As per the Constitution of India, Article 141 states that the law declared by the Supreme Court shall be binding on all courts within the territory of India.

Decisions are given by judges who are experts in the study of law. A judicial decision can make a law but cannot alter it. Decisions are normally supported by the legal information sources such as relevant precedents, statutes, law reports, journals, books. Advent of information and communication technologies in the 20th century has tremendously changed the landscape of legal information sources and the channel of legal reporting. There are enormous open access legal information sources and services are available. Hence legal fraternity and professionals has to develop technological skills to retrieve relevant decisions, analyses judicial behavior of the judges, and to find out the most influential case laws to support their arguments.

This research work is aims to create awareness about the techniques available to analysis the Jurists' information source use pattern, find out the most relevant case laws related to their case, analyze the distribution of citations among different types of source materials, and create legal citation network to reveal the most authoritative and influential decision. This work also helps the librarian working at law libraries includes academic, professional and Legislative libraries in selecting, subscribing, and weeding out of legal information sources.

2. Objectives

The objectives of the study are,

1. To find out the chronological distribution of the cited precedents

2. To identify the use of different sources of information cited by the jurists

3. To find out the geographical distribution of cited precedents. …

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