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Visualisation of law and legal Process: An opportunity missed

McLachlan, S and Webley, LC (2021) Visualisation of law and legal Process: An opportunity missed. Information Visualization, 20 (2-3). pp. 192-204. ISSN 1473-8716

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Visual representation of the law and legal process can aid in recall and discussion of complicated legal concepts, yet is a skill rarely taught in law schools. This work investigates the use of flowcharts and similar process-oriented diagrams in contemporary legal literature through a literature review and concept-based content analysis. Information visualisations (infovis) identified in the literature are classified into 11 described archetypal diagram types, and the results describe their usage quantitatively by type, year, publication venue and legal domain. We found that the use of infovis in legal literature is extremely rare, identifying not more than 10 articles in each calendar year. We also identified that the concept flow diagram is most commonly used, and that Unified Modelling Language (UML) is the most frequently applied representational approach. This work posits a number of serious questions for legal educators and practicing lawyers regarding how infovis in legal education and practice may improve access to justice, legal education and lay comprehension of complex legal frameworks and processes. It concludes by asking how we can expect communities to understand and adhere to laws that have become so complex and verbose as to be incomprehensible even to many of those who are learned in the law?

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0801 Artificial Intelligence and Image Processing, 0802 Computation Theory and Mathematics, 0804 Data Format
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Divisions: Law
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Date Deposited: 07 Feb 2022 09:58
Last Modified: 07 Feb 2022 10:00
DOI or ID number: 10.1177/14738716211012608
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/16234
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