Causal Analysis for Attributing Responsibility in Legal Cases

Hana Chockler, Norman Fenton, Jeroen Keppens, David Lagnado

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
633 Downloads (Pure)


An important challenge in the field of law is the attribution of re- sponsibility and blame to individuals and organisations for a given harm. Attributing legal responsibility often involves (but is not lim- ited to) assessing to what extent certain parties have caused harm, or could have prevented harm from occurring. This paper presents a causal framework for performing such assessments that is partic- ularly suitable for the analysis of complex legal cases, where the actions of many parties have had a direct or indirect effect on the harm that did occur. This framework is evaluated by means of a case study that applies it to the Baby P. case, a high-profile case of child abuse leading to the death of a child that has been the subject of a number of public inquiries in the UK. The paper concludes with a discussion of the framework, including a roadmap of future work and barriers to adoption.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationICAIL '15: Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Law
PublisherACM Digital Library
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print) 9781450335225
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015


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