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    And they say Prolog isn’t a general purpose language

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      Fun fact: the current Constitution of Japan was promulgated as a single, massive amendment to the then-current Meiji Constitution. It was a rewrite, but also a patch.

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        I have seen this a few times and, though I understand Prolog, I don’t know Japanese so I can’t get much value from this work, although I’m impressed by the idea of it. I would love to see something similar for the American constitution and bill of rights but I also worry that it would lead to a lot of faulty legal reasoning by well-intentioned programmers, since a lot of law and court opinions have occurred since the founding documents were established.

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          My technological dream: laws are written in a restricted, runnable language (let us say, Prolog) and validated whether they conflict with other laws before they get ratified.

          And looking to the predicates in the predicate.pl file, it seems a (minimalist) vocabulary of validations (well, predicates…) was developed, which is a great effort per se, in my opinion. :)

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            Assuming laws will never be written in anything but words with their own legal formalities I think it’s more plausible that there will be nlp “burden detection” on entities that are extracted from existing law, then reviewed and tagged by humans. As I understand it existing work in this area bumps up against the fact that there is a lot of manual work reviewing the output of a tagged legal document for determining accuracy of what is binding upon which people in which situations.

            However, once past a critical mass of tagged and reviewed documents I can see how things like “validated” and “in conflict” can be done in a more automated fashion. American law ends up being that which is passed, then of course the text of the judicial rulings and precedent. If only the full text of constitution to the first bill passed by congress, all the way through to today’s explosion of daily judicial decisions were all available in a single place for that sort of nlp to work against.

            Neat links, thought about this too much. Of course the tools lawyers use probably already have approximations of what I’m describing but they’re not at all free. :)


            ^^ first act passed by congress


            ^^ really good presentation on this subject

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              Someone did codify French tax law to find discontinuities. We should do this sort of thing as a matter of course for mathematical laws like those for taxes.