Normative References Analysis for Enhancing the Legislative Effectiveness in the Emergency Situations. The case of the earthquake in Emilia-Romagna

Abstract submitted to
JADT2016 Journées internationales d’Analyse statistique des Données Textuelles
7-10 juin 2016 Nice (France)
Normative References Analysis for Enhancing the Legislative Effectiveness in the Emergency Situations. The case of the earthquake in Emilia-Romagna

By Monica Palmirani*, Luca Cervone*, Francesco Draicchio*, Ilaria Bianchi*
*CIRSFID – Centro Interdipartimentale di ricerca in storia del diritto, filosofia e sociologia del diritto e informatica giuridica, Università di Bologna, Italy, {,,, }
15 November 2015
Key words: legal textual analysis, parser, visualization, network matrix

This paper investigates the modifications made over time on the legal corpus of the ordinances issued by the Commissioner to emergency and reconstruction in the first 18 months after the 2012 earthquake in Emilia-Romagna, Italy. The goal is to extract information concerning the number and the typology of the modifications produced and support the debate on a national law on emergency after natural disasters.
Clustering produced with automatic text analysis developed by Pavone et al. (2015) on the corpus of those ordinances has provided a list of main categories and subtopics from which an expert has drawn tags to be associated to each ordinance, according the sub topics detected in our analysis. The analysis underlines in which temporal period they are made, in which domain they acted, which ordinances were mostly affected by changes. The modifications introduce complexity inside a normative corpus in term of certainty of the law, clarity of the text updated, simplicity of application of norms. However modifications are necessary, especially in new domain with a strong emergency, for introducing details, for specifying the domain of norms application, for correcting clerical and substantive errors, for extending the terms of the procedural deadlines. Analysis of modifications permits to evaluate the effectiveness of the normative actions in the emergency situations and to provide instructions to the law-maker for improving the effectiveness of the norms. The modifications in the first 18 months were 820 on 90 ordinances (from 22 June 2012, 17 October 2013); 80% within the 2012 (7 months from the event). This work was conducted manually by legal experts, building the lifecycle of the normative documents. We adopt the modification taxonomy developed inside of the NormeInRete and Akoma Ntoso projects (Palmirani, Cervone 2014). A matrix graph is produced for showing those analysis and a bubble graph presents the relationships with the thematic domain.
A second strand detects automatically normative references inside of texts by using legal parser based on regular expressions, patterns and legal vocabulary (Palmirani, Cervone, et. al. 2013). We detected on 252 ordinances 12,727 references. We have represented the relationships between the ordinances using a matrix graph.
From a pure methodological perspective, this second method supports a check for the robustness of the cluster analysis produced through automatic text analysis and for the network analysis produced with Infomap (Pavone et al). The two methods, that have been developed in the Energie Sisma Emilia research project, allow to cross-check of groupings based on lexical-textual analysis and groupings based on structural elements. Such cross-checks provide a full analysis to the legislation, highlighting both the key issues to be addressed and the structural relationship between the several domains to be considered during the intervention, an outcome to improve the legislation of emergence under scrutiny that could not have been reached by reading the individual ordinances and legislation.