New and Innovative Law and Technology courses offered at uOttawa

Posted on Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Centre for Law, Technology and Society is pleased to announce the creation of three new innovative courses that will be offered at the Faculty of Law, Common Law Section, University of Ottawa starting next year.

Courses are presented bellow in the language in which they are taught. Students may contact professors to obtain detailed information about those courses.


CML 2179 FC – Access to Justice Practicum: Legal Knowledge Engineering

Fall Term | Professor Marina Pavlović (registration by selection)

This new Access to Justice Practicum: Legal Knowledge Engineering course will train lawyers for the future. In this 3-credit, project-based course, the students will conduct research, create resources, and deliver expert legal information and tools to non-expert users via technology. In collaboration with the BC Civil Resolution Tribunal and the BC Ministry of Justice, the course will train students in all aspects of legal knowledge engineering and legal project management. Knowledge engineering is the process of acquiring knowledge from an expert and transferring it to the expert system’s knowledge base. Legal knowledge engineering is a form of applied legal research where the legal expertise is transformed into rules in a legal expert system. There is a demonstrated need for people who experience legal problems of low to moderate value to diagnose problems, learn about their rights, seek context-specific information, problem-solve, and engage in self-advocacy. In this course, the students will address this access to justice gap by creating modules for Small Claims Solution Explorer, and interactive online self-help system that assists people to understand their rights, provides them with tailored information, and offers problem solving pathways.


CML 4514 – L’analyse de données juridiques

January Term | Professor Wolfgang Alschner 

Ce cours familiarise les étudiants avec les méthodes utilisés et les questions de recherche posées par les chercheurs en sciences sociales et les start-ups de technologie juridique pour récupérer, analyser et travailler avec des données juridiques. Les juges ou jurés sont-ils biaisés? Quel est l'impact économique d'une réforme juridique? Comment pouvons-nous utiliser les technologies modernes, telles que l’intelligence artificielle, pour prévoir les décisions judiciaires ou reconnaître des structures communes dans des milliers de contrats? L’objectif du cours est d’apprécier la contribution d‘autres disciplines pour mieux comprendre le droit et de transmettre les outils de base nécessaires pour évaluer et mener une recherche interdisciplinaire. Dans ce cours, nous allons (1) aborder les concepts fondamentaux de sciences empiriques et sociales pour analyser des données juridiques; 2) comprendre et évaluer les études et les procédures qui s'appuient sur les sciences sociales et les approches computationnelles pour l'analyse des documents juridiques; et (3) fournir les compétences nécessaires pour effectuer des tâches de programmation de base afin de se lancer dans l'automatisation, l'analyse et la prévision juridiques. Le cours vise les étudiants et étudiantes qui veulent travailler dans un contexte interdisciplinaire, que ce soit dans des bureaux d'études ou des « legal tech start-ups ».


CML 1105 K – First Year Thematic Course: Legal Data Science

Winter Term | Professor Wolfgang Alschner

This course introduces students to the questions and techniques employed by social scientists and legal technology start-ups to retrieve, analyze and work with legal data. Are judges biased? What is the economic impact of a legal reform? How can we use modern technologies, such as artificial intelligence, to predict judicial decisions or to recognize patterns in thousands of contracts?  The objective of the course is to appreciate the contribution of other disciplines in order to better understand the law and to transmit the basic tools needed to evaluate and conduct interdisciplinary research. It will (1) introduce fundamental concepts of empirical and social science for the analysis of legal documents, (2) enable students to understand and evaluate studies and procedures that rely on social science and computational approaches for the analysis of law and legal outcomes and (3) provide students with the skills to perform basic programming tasks in order to engage in legal search, automation, analysis and prediction. The course is aimed at students who want to work in an interdisciplinary context, whether in consulting firms, public policy, or legal tech start-ups.

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