Coherence as Constraint Satisfaction: Judicial Reasoning Support Mechanism

  • Jaromír Šavelka
Part of the Law and Philosophy Library book series (LAPS, volume 107)


This chapter proposes coherence as constraint satisfaction as a suitable mechanism to be considered for judicial reasoning support. First of all it establishes a notion of ‘legal problem solving’ and draws intuitive parallels to algorithm as ‘computational problem solving procedure’. Then, Thagard’s coherence as constraint satisfaction is introduced to the reader as a general problem solving mechanism/formalism. The chapter continues with an overview of the main concerns and objections that are to be found in fields of law and computer science against a large-scale deployment of any formal mechanism as a tool for support of judicial reasoning. A list of requirements any formal mechanism must meet in order to be a viable candidate for such a deployment is then formulated. Finally, coherence as constraint satisfaction is briefly checked if it meets the requirements. It is concluded that it seems to meet them and thus, to be a mechanism worth considering of a large-scale deployment as a judicial reasoning support formalism.


Turing Machine Constraint Satisfaction Everyday Practice Court Decision Legal Reasoning 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of LawMasaryk UniversityBrnoCzech Republic

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