The network of the International Criminal Court decisions as a complex system

Fabien Tarissan and Raphaëlle Nollez-Goldbach

ISCS 2013: Interdisciplinary Symposium on Complex Systems, Emergence, Complexity and Computation, 8:225-264, Springer, 2013.

Many real-world networks lend themselves to the use of graphs for analysing and modeling their structure. This approach has proved to be very useful for a wide variety of networks stemming from very different fields. Yet, only few papers focused their attention on legal networks. This paper intends precisely to remedy this situation by analysing a major legal network by means of complex system methods. The network under investigation is the network composed by decisions taken by the International Criminal Court since its creation. We first model the network by a simple directed graph in which nodes are the decisions and links represent citations between decisions. Our analysis shows that standard properties shared by common real networks are also present in this network. Then we turn to studying the network by means of bipartite graphs that involve both decisions and articles of law. We show that this two-level structure presents several non trivial properties and we show evidences of the relevance of the bipartite representation to explain properties observed in the graph of citations.