In this paper we present the results of a study to see whether the number of citations to cases is an indication of the relevance and authority of these cases in the Dutch legal system. Fowler e.a. have shown such results for the US common law system, but given the different status of case law in continental tradition it is not clear whether this will hold in the Netherlands. Moreover, we introduce an alternative way to validate the results using selections made by human experts for legal education. We discuss the results and conclude that network analysis of cases is a useful tool for legal research.


relevance authority case law citations 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Radboud Winkels
    • 1
  • Jelle de Ruyter
    • 1
  1. 1.Leibniz Center for LawUniversity of AmsterdamThe Netherlands

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