Artificial Intelligence and Law

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 181-225

First online:

Comparing Alternatives in the law*

Legal Applications of Qualitative Comparative Reasoning
  • Jaap HageAffiliated withDepartment of Metajuridica, University of Maastricht Email author 

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This paper argues the thesis that a particular style of reasoning, qualitative comparative reasoning (QCR), plays a role in at least three areas of legal reasoning that are central in AI and law research, namely legal theory construction, case-based reasoning in the form of case comparison, and legal proof. The paper gives an informal exposition of one particular way to deal with QCR, based on the author’s previous work on reason-based logic (RBL). Then it contains a substantially adapted formalisation of RBL, to make RBL suitable for dealing with QCR. The paper concludes with a brief discussion of related work.


case-based reasoning legal proof qualitative comparative reasoning reason-based logic theory construction