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The Czech Court Decisions Corpus (CzCDC): Availability as the First Step

10/21/2019
by   Tereza Novotná, et al.
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In this paper, we describe the Czech Court Decision Corpus (CzCDC). CzCDC is a dataset of 237,723 decisions published by the Czech apex (or top-tier) courts, namely the Supreme Court, the Supreme Administrative Court and the Constitutional Court. All the decisions were published between 1st January 1993 and 30th September 2018. Court decisions are available on the webpages of the respective courts or via commercial databases of legal information. This often leads researchers interested in these decisions to reach either to respective court or to commercial provider. This leads to delays and additional costs. These are further exacerbated by a lack of inter-court standard in the terms of the data format in which courts provide their decisions. Additionally, courts' databases often lack proper documentation. Our goal is to make the dataset of court decisions freely available online in consistent (plain) format to lower the cost associated with obtaining data for future research. We believe that simplified access to court decisions through the CzCDC could benefit other researchers. In this paper, we describe the processing of decisions before their inclusion into CzCDC and basic statistics of the dataset. This dataset contains plain texts of court decisions and these texts are not annotated for any grammatical or syntactical features.

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