Graphing the World’s Laws: Visualization of 1.55 Million Laws + Our PenaltyAI Search

The graph above is the first time that penalties for non-compliance with the world’s laws has been visualized. It was made possible by the culmination of Global-Regulation Inc.’s R&D efforts over the last year to create an automated AI method for reading penalty provisions from civil laws – see the system here.

Our system (that we’re calling “PenaltyAI Search”) is now able to extract penalties from legislation (statutes and regulations) and present them in US dollars, along with the original text. This is a multi-phase process that starts with an AI based algorithm that identifies the penalty clauses. The next step is to extract the penalty amount from the penalty clause. This step includes complex linguistics mechanism that can convert amount in words into numbers like “one hundred thousand” to 100,000, and Indian English notation like “lakh” and “crore”. The next step is to convert different notation systems into a standardized decimal format (e.g. “560,99” to 560.99).The final step is converting all the world’s currency’s into USD to enable comparison on a global scale (which is done on an ongoing basis to account for currency fluctuations).

As for the graph at the top of this page, it was created by applying PenaltyAI Search to all of the laws in the Global-Regulation.com database (currently around 1.55 million laws from 79 countries) and then excluding countries with only a small number of laws available or too few penalties to make any useful statistical inferences. We’re making available the Excel file for the graph here: World Penalties – Feb 9 2017. We’ve excluded any penalties other than those within the top twenty most frequent for each country in order to eliminate outliers.If you make any use of this data please link back to this blog post and let us know by pinging us on Twitter @globeregulation.

The PenaltyAI Search system has been implemented into the Global-Regulation.com search engine and soon (within the next week) the user will be able to search, explore and drill down for a given topic, across jurisdictions or filtered by country. As usual, these features will be accompanied by our innovative visualization display.

We see this system as a ground breaking event in the field of extracting valuable information from legal text using algorthmic methods. On the theoretical level this is proof that the text of legislation can be mined for insights, and on the practical level, this is a celebratory milestone for compliance and GRC professionals that will be able to use our system to simplify their work.

Congratulations to our technical team that enabled us to go to where no legal tech product has gone before.

More updates will be available in the next edition of our newsletter and will be rolled out to subscribers shortly thereafter.

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LexisNexis vs. Westlaw: How Many Countries Can You Search?

Which countries can be searched on global legal research platforms? According to our research, Westlaw (as of 2017) has legislation search for 14 countries (counting the EU as a country) and LexisNexis has 12 countries.

Westlaw (Thomson Reuters) and LexisNexis (RELX Group) are the two largest legal research companies in the world. Wolters Kluwer is a close third place, and in some jurisdictions is the main legal research company (they’re about 50/50 EU and North America). All of these companies offer a bewildering list of databases and sources, and none of them bundle multiple country search into one search engine. On one webpage, Westlaw claims that they make available 28,000 different databases worldwide.

According to our research, these are the countries for which LexisNexis has primary legal research search (i.e. national laws in a searchable format):

US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, France, Ireland, India, UK, EU, South Africa, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Japan.

Westlaw (Thomson Reuters) offers the following countries:

Australia, New Zealand, Canada, UK, EU, USA, Philippines, Qatar, Iraq, UAE, Hong Kong, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay.

LexisNexis Sources: http://www.lexisnexis.ca/en/support/resources/KM_LNQLFullServiceInt.pdf, https://www.lexisnexis.com/fr/droit/, http://www.lexisnexis.co.za/, http://www.lexisnexis.com.hk/en-hk/product-line/legal.page, http://www.lexisnexis.jp/ja-jp/Products/lexis-asone.page, http://www.lexisnexis.co.in/en-in/products/lexis-india.page, http://www.lexisnexis.co.nz/en-nz/home.page. One Lexis page, http://www.lexisnexis.com/en-us/products/global-law-news-business-resources.page, notes that there are nine countries in total but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Westlaw Sources: http://westlawinternational.com/our-solutions/, http://www.westlaw.ie/, http://westlawgulf.com/inside-west-gulf/legislation/, http://www.laleyonline.com.ar/, http://www.laleyonline.com.py/, http://www.laleyonline.com.uy/, http://www.thomsonreuters.co.nz/westlawnz, http://www.westlawasia.com/philippines.

A caveat to the above infographic: there may be countries that either one of these companies offers legislation search for that they either don’t advertise or is very difficult to discover. They essentially operate as independent businesses in many countries and have other subscription services that are sub-licensed, so there may be other flags missing from the infographic above. If you discover a missing country please let us know so we can update this blog post.

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