Taking Laughter Seriously at the Supreme Court [study update]

Studies into possible implications of laughter episodes at the US Supreme Court were initiated in 2005 by Professor Jay D. Wexler (Boston University School of Law) who was the first to calculate the ‘Laughter Episodes Instigated Per Argument Average’ (LEIPAA) from the records of court proceedings. Details here in a 2016 Improbable Article. Then, in 2019, […]

The US Constitution : is it (a) fractal? [study]

If you thought that fractals were restricted to coastlines, clouds and cauliflowers – think again. Over the years (especially since the name ‘fractal’ was coined in the 1960’s ) investigators have been on the lookout for them, and have been finding them in quite unexpected places. Take, for example the US Constitution. Researcher Daniel M Braun, […]

The Ethical Knob: ethically-customisable automated vehicles and the law (new study)

Vehicles could be fitted with what they call an ‘Ethical Knob’, under a proposal by Giuseppe Contissa, Francesca Lagioia, and Giovanni Sartor of CIRSFID, at the University of Bologna,  Italy. The device might help clarify ethical/legal issues with Autonomous Vehicles (AVs). What for example, should a self-driving car do when it ‘realizes’ (in an impending […]

A round-up of American hole-in-one jurisprudence

Of all the curious things one can get insurance cover for – the golfing fraternity’s ‘hole-in-one-insurance’ is surely one of the curiouser. Why would one want insurance against a hole-in-one? The answer lies in the substantial cash bonus prizes which (some) golf clubs offer to those players who manage to get one. From the club’s […]

“Commenting by Emoji: A Tentative Glossary for Legal Writing Professors”

Are you a legal-writing professor? Unsure about the use of Emoji(s) for comments on academic work? Jennifer Murphy Romig who is an Instructor in Legal Writing, of the Research and Advocacy Program at Emory University School of Law, Atlanta, US, has produced a guide to ‘Commenting by Emoji: A Tentative Glossary for Legal Writing Professors’. […]

When rats meet the legal system: Vermin trials reappraised

“Everyone has heard of a kangaroo court. But how about a court for kangaroos? What about a court for caterpillars? Impossible though it seems, for 250 years French, Italian, and Swiss legal systems had just that. Their ecclesiastic courts tried insects and rodents for property crimes as legal persons under the same laws and according […]

To Simply Examine the Complexity of the Law

Can you, in some simple way, measure how complex a country’s legal system has gotten? This 41-page study perhaps does exactly that, more or less: “Measuring the Complexity of the Law: The United States Code,” Daniel Martin Katz [pictured here] and Michael James Bommarito II, SSRN report #2307352, August 1, 2013. The study comes equipped with […]