The Legal Matrix

At a session at the Fourth International Legal Ethics Conference at Stanford Law School this morning Laurel Terry pointed us to a very elegant model for organizing legal information. It was developed a decade ago by the Project on International Courts and Tribunals. Simon noticed the link in the post here, but didn’t drill down.

The PICT Research Matrix is the first comprehensive, systematic and holistic mapping of the international judicial system. It encompasses 18 international judicial bodies, grouped in six clusters according to their geographical scope and/or subject-matter jurisdiction. For each institution, 29 issues, grouped in five categories, have been mapped, for a total of 522 individual entries.

There are few domains as hostile as law to visual description. Yet, visual representations help the user to synthesize information provided – an essential feature when the amount of data provided is very large – and can be interpreted in different ways according to the observer. Indeed, the 18 tables presented in the Matrix are just a few of the many ways in which the data can be read.

Enjoy. Sadly it seems that the data may be slightly dated.

Why couldn’t cross-provincial guides to areas of substantive law be organized in the same way as the Matrix?

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