The use of legal knowledge-based systems in public administration: what can go wrong?

Hugo de Bruin, Henry Prakken, Jorgen S. Svensson

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In recent years, practical applications of legal knowledge-based systems have become increasingly common. This raises the issue of their functioning in practice and their actual influence on the quality of decisions. In this paper we investigate to what extent incorrect decisions may be caused by factors that cannot be attributed to flaws in the programme’s knowledge base or reasoning. Based on a literature study, five possible causes are identified that pertain to the interaction between a programme and its user. Then it is illustrated how this list of causes may be used to investigate risk factors in practical applications, with a small case study on the use of a knowledgebased system in processing claims for general income support in a Dutch municipality.
Original languageUndefined
Title of host publicationLegal Knowledge and Information systems
EditorsTrevor J.M. Bench-Capon, Aspassia Daskalopulu, Radboud Winkels
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
ISBN (Print)1586032992
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Event15th Annual Conference on Legal Knowledge and Information Systems, JURIX 2002: Legal Knowledge and Information systems - London, United Kingdom
Duration: 16 Dec 200216 Dec 2002
Conference number: 15

Publication series

NameLegal knowledge and information systems
PublisherIOS Press


Conference15th Annual Conference on Legal Knowledge and Information Systems, JURIX 2002
Abbreviated titleJURIX
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • METIS-210687
  • IR-102174

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