Hanjo Hamann / Fachtexte

4 … Computer-Assisted Legal Linguistics. Corpus Analysis as a New Tool for Legal Studies, Law & Soc. Inq. 42 (2017), S. 1–24, gemeinsam mit Friedemann Vogel / Isabelle Gauer

Law exists solely in and through language. Nonetheless, systematical empirical analysis of legal language has been rare. Yet, the tides are turning: After judges at various courts (including the US Supreme Court) have championed a method of analysis called corpus linguistics, the Michigan Supreme Court held in June 2016 that this method “is consistent with how courts have understood statutory interpretation.” The court illustrated how corpus analysis can benefit legal casework, thus sanctifying twenty years of previous research into the matter. The present article synthesizes this research and introduces computer-assisted legal linguistics (CAL2) as a novel approach to legal studies. Computer-supported analysis of carefully preprocessed collections of legal texts lets lawyers analyze legal semantics, language, and sociosemiotics in different working contexts (judiciary, legislature, legal academia). The article introduces the interdisciplinary CAL2 research group (www.cal2.eu), its Corpus of German Law, and other related projects that make law more transparent.

3 … Computer Assisted Legal Linguistics (CAL²), S. 195–198 in: Bex/Villata (Hrsg.), Legal Knowledge and Information Systems. JURIX 2016: The Twenty-Ninth Annual Conference, Verlag IOS Press, Amsterdam 2016, gemeinsam mit Friedemann Vogel / Isabelle Gauer

We introduce Computer Assisted Legal Linguistics (CAL²) as a semi-automated method to “make sense” of legal discourse by systematically analyzing large collections of legal texts. Such digital corpora have been increasingly used in computational linguistics in recent years, as part of a quantitative research strategy designed to complement (rather than supplant) the more qualitative methods used hitherto. This use of statistical algorithms to analyze large bodies of text meets with an increasing demand by lawyers for empirical data and the recent turn towards evidence-based jurisprudence. Together, these research strands open exciting avenues for research and for developing useful IT tools to support legal decision-making, as we exemplify using our reference corpus of about 1 billion tokens from the language of German jurisprudence and legal academia.

2 … The Hog Cycle of Law Professors. An Econometric Time Series Analysis of the Entry-level Job Market in Legal Academia, PLoS ONE 11 (2016), Nr. e0159815 & e0168041, S. 1–22, gemeinsam mit Christoph Engel

The (German) market for law professors fulfils the conditions for a hog cycle: In the short run, supply cannot be extended or limited; future law professors must be hired soon after they first present themselves, or leave the market; demand is inelastic. Using a comprehensive German dataset, we show that the number of market entries today is negatively correlated with the number of market entries eight years ago. This suggests short-sighted behavior of young scholars at the time when they decide to prepare for the market. Using our statistical model, we make out-of-sample predictions for the German academic market in law until 2020.

1 … Cui Bono, Benefit Corporation? An Experiment Inspired by Social Enterprise Legislation in Germany and the US, RLE 11 (2015), S. 79–110, gemeinsam mit Sven Fischer / Sebastian J. Goerg

How do barely incentivized norms impact incentive-rich environments? We take social enterprise legislation as a case in point. It establishes rules on behalf of constituencies that have no institutionalized means of enforcing them. By relying primarily on managers' other-regarding concerns whilst leaving corporate incentive structures unaltered, how effective can such legislation be? This question is vital for the ongoing debate about social enterprise forms, as recently introduced in several US states and in British Columbia, Canada. We ran a laboratory experiment with a framing likened to German corporate law which traditionally includes social standards. Our results show that a stakeholder provision, as found in both Germany and the US, cannot overcome material incentives. However, even absent incentives the stakeholder norm does not foster other regarding behavior but slightly inhibits it instead. Our experiment thus illustrates the paramount importance of taking into account both incentives and framing effects when designing institutions. We tentatively discuss potential policy implications for social enterprise legislation and the stakeholder debate.