Physics of Law

There has been growing discussion among legal scholars over the past two decades of an emerging “global community of courts” composed of a network of judicial dialogue across national borders.

Our Data Scientists investigated the cross-border flow of judicial thinking by analysing over 1.5 million judgments from twenty-six common law countries. They modelled the use of persuasive authority as a complex network.

Our study revealed that even though the use of foreign case law is increasing, judges typically prefer to cite to jurisdictions that are geographically nearby, potentially suggesting that judges equate proximity with similarity.  Our work was published as part of MDR Research in the Frontiers Physics journal here.