Naomi Burstyner, Tania Sourdin, Chinthaka Liyanage, Bahadorreza Ofoghi, John Zeleznikow
This article explores the use of data mining and textual analysis to decipher dispute characteristics, with the goal of developing process referral indicia or ‘dispute resolution triage’ for disputants. It seeks to better understand the characteristics of disputes that eventually result in judicial decisions by examining and exploring available case decision data.
Text mining and knowledge discovery are shown to be useful in detecting which litigated matters are likely to lead to ultimate decision-making by the judiciary. The extension of this work assist us to inform approaches that could be used to assist to manage complex litigation and also support the more effective triaging of legal cases and provide important assistance to the judicial system.
Researchers at the Hague Institute for the Internationalisation of Law who study the impact of big data on the justice environment have noted that these benefits, at present, are generally not being realized:
For most justice systems, the goal of court information systems is to get accurate statistics about workloads, disposition times, sentence rates, appeal and reversal rates, etc. However, our research indicates that existing court IT and organisational tools and mechanisms have limited capacity to extract valuable knowledge and insights from massive data sets.
The result of this analysis will support the more targeted delivery of justice and support services. In addition, it can enable better understanding to emerge about how and what justice interventions might be more effective. It is also possible that big data will support more sophisticated measuring in respect of the effectiveness of the justice system. Whilst this study is exploratory, and perhaps unsurprisingly showed that more complex cases progressed to final hearing before a judge, the study also suggests that there are some ‘markers’ that may indicate that this progression is more likely.
 Naomi Burstyner, Faculty of Law, Monash University Law Chambers, Melbourne 3000 VIC, Australia, Professor Tania Sourdin, Dean of the Law School, Newcastle University, Newcastle 2308 NSW, Australia, Dr Chinthaka Liyanage, Faculty of Law, Monash University, Clayton 3800 VIC, Australia, Dr Bahadorreza Ofoghi, Department of Computing and Information Systems, The University of Melbourne, Parkville VIC 3010, Australia, Professor John Zeleznikow, Professor of Information Systems, College of Business, Victoria University, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
 Lim G, Courts and Big Data (2013), available at http://www.futureofcourts.org/big-data/.
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