Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
Research Young Academy Groningen About us Projects Interdisciplinary PhD Projects

Meet our interdisciplinary PhD Students - Part 2: Masha Medvedeva

11 December 2017

For decades, summaries of court judgements were published in written journals, which were not easily accessible for the public. Nowadays, courts publish their judgements online. For example, through (NL) or through (European Court of Human Rights). The goal of our project is to automatically identify linguistic patterns in this type of legal big data and use these to predict the outcome of the judgements.

Coming from a computational linguistics background, I wanted to learn something new and see how I can apply all that knowledge in a new area. I got interested in this project, because of how new the topic is and how relevant its application is. Combining computational linguistics and law opens so many doors for statistical analysis in law and automation in legal studies.

Right now I am at working with trials of European Court of Human Rights. After a few weeks of work we can already predict how the court will rule on the case correctly 81% of the time. And I expect that number to get higher soon. To achieve such results, we look at parts of the trial that describe the circumstances of the case, for instance: who is the victim, where they are from, which of their right they believe has been violated. Then we use a machine learning algorithm that counts how many times different words were used in that text and evaluates which words make the most impact and thus learns to predict the decision. Using that information we can predict the results of future trials in the European Court of Human Rights.

Masha Medvedeva
Masha Medvedeva

Later, we are planning to move on to other international courts and then to the Dutch courts. By using more linguistic information extracted from the texts of the trials we can learn to predict the decisions better as well as detect potential flaws in the legal systems.

I feel that the interdisciplinary nature of the YAG projects is a very unique opportunity to get out of the comfort zone, learn something completely new and find what lies in the intersection of different disciplines. "To Boldly Go Where No Man Has Gone Before…”

Last modified:09 April 2019 3.48 p.m.

More news

  • 01 July 2020

    Sander de Hosson elected Alumnus of the Year 2019

    Lung doctor Sander de Hosson has been elected Alumnus of the Year 2019 by the University of Groningen. He is receiving the award for the incisive way in which he calls for attention for the emotional side of palliative care and for making death a...

  • 01 July 2020

    Ymkje Anna de Vries wins Gratama Award

    The 2020 Gratama Science Award has been awarded to Dr Ymkje Anna de Vries of the Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences of the University of Groningen. De Vries followed degree programmes in the fields of neuroscience, clinical science and...

  • 01 July 2020

    Wierenga-Rengerink Dissertation Prize for Arpi Karapetian

    The Wierenga-Rengerink Dissertation Prize for the best PhD thesis of the year 2019 has been awarded to Dr Arpi Karapetian. Her 502-page thesis is entitled Bestuurdersaansprakelijkheid uit onrechtmatige daad: Civielrechtelijke en strafrechtelijke...