In common law, the outcome of a new case is determined mostly by precedent cases, rather than by existing statutes . Answering this question is crucial for guaranteeing fair and consistent judicial decision-making . We are the first to approach this question computationally by comparing twolongstanding jurisprudential views . We base our study on the corpus of legal cases from the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), which allows us to access not only the case itself, but also cases cited in thejudges’ arguments (i.e. the precedent cases) We find that the precedent’s arguments share 0.38 nats of information with the case’s outcome, whereas precedent’s facts only share just 0.18 nats . This suggests Halsbury’s view may be more accurate in this specificcourt. We found however in a qualitative analysis that there are specificstatues where Goodhart’s view is more accurate, and present some evidence these are

Author(s) : Josef Valvoda, Tiago Pimentel, Niklas Stoehr, Ryan Cotterell, Simone Teufel

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Keywords : precedent - cases - case - accurate - question -

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