Supported by the King's Together Multi & Interdisciplinary Research Scheme, the project 'Taming the complexity of the law: modelling and visualization of dynamically interacting legal systems' (April-November 2018) aimed at exploring the complexity of the legal system from a unique range of perspectives, from user interface design to network analysis, from legal expertise to geography and informatics. King's Digital Lab involvement entailed close collaboration with the Department of Mathematics and The Dickson Poon School of Law.

A project research assistant was hired to experiment with extracting information from one specific legal act selected as representative sample. The Housing Act 1980  was selected as input source in its XML format which follows the Crown Legislation Markup Language (CLML) schema and is provided publicly by The National Archive www.legislation.gov.uk site. This act attracted interest and has high social resonance since it created shorthold assured tenancies which now dominate the rented housing market. KDL reviewed and optimised the workflow so as to feed nodes, interactions and attributes into the network visualization. The main aim of the network is to visualise information about quantity and location of changes (amendments, modifications and citations) in the act using its 2002 historical variant as reference.

Link to TCL prototype visualisation

The team

  • Ginestra Profile new 2

    Ginestra Ferraro


    Senior Research Software UI/UX Designer, King’s Digital Lab

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  • Arianna

    Arianna Ciula


    Senior Research Software Analyst, King’s Digital Lab

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  • Miguel

    Miguel Vieira


    Principal Research Software Engineer, King’s Digital Lab

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  • Pierpaolo Vivo

    Dr Pierpaolo Vivo

    Principal Investigator

    Lecturer in the Disordered Systems, Department of Mathematics (King’s College London)

  • Robert Blackburn

    Professor Robert Blackburn

    Principal Investigator

    Professor of Constitutional Law, The Dickson Poon School of Law (King’s College London)

  • Alessia Annibale

    Dr Alessia Annibale


    Senior Lecturer in Disordered Systems, Department of Mathematics (King’s College London)

  • Naru Shiode

    Dr Narushige Shiode


    Reader in Geocomputation and Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography (King’s College London)

  • Peter McBurney

    Professor Peter McBurney


    Professor of Computer Science, Department of Informatics (King’s College London)

  • King's College London

    Yuanwen Li

    Research Assistant

    Post-Graduate student, Department of Informatics (King’s College London)

With funding from