Who can Enter:
Anyone who is enrolled in CDU IT Courses (VET, undergraduate and postgraduate courses) in Academic year 2022
Family and domestic violence is a blight in the community.
In 2022, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reported that one in six women across Australia experienced physical or sexual violence by a current or previous partner since the age of 15.
Criminal and family law in Australia is regulated through six State and two Territory jurisdictions. Unfortunately, domestic violence legislation in each jurisdiction differs in its approach and complexity in tackling the problem.
While the calls for better consistency among these legislations are loud and clear, accomplishing that objective is difficult. Comparing legislations is a monumental task usually done manually by legal experts.
This challenge focuses on measuring the complexity of domestic violence legislation in Australia. Your team must propose, model, and demonstrate a scalable data science solution that automates this process.
The solution must enable the comparison of legislation complexity between states and territories and be scalable to larger or different legislation corpora in the future.
- Information Session
- Date: Thursday 3rd November 2022
- Time: 15:00 hrs
- Venue: Virtually on Teams Meeting
- Close of Python solution submission
- Date: Sunday 27th November 2022
- Time: 23:59 hrs
- Challenge Date
- Date: Tuesday 6th December 2022
- Time: 9:30 – 12:00 hrs
- Venue: Purple 12.1.15
Scope and dataset
For this Challenge, you will only analyse a set of family and domestic violence legislation listed in the table below. These legislation documents are available as HTML from the Australian Legal Information Institute website.
Table 1. List of legislation to be analysed
|Australian Capital Territory|
Family Violence Act 2016 (ACT)
|New South Wales|
Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007 (NSW)
Domestic and Family Violence Act 2007 (NT)
Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012 (Qld)
Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (Vic)
|Remark||South Australian, Tasmanian and Western Australian legislations are not part of this challenge.|
- Participants must be in teams of 2 to 3 students. Individual submission is not accepted.
- The data science solution must be developed in Python. Results must be submitted as either .py scripts or Jupyter Notebooks written in Python.
- There is no restriction on the specific Python packages.
Measuring the complexity of legislation is done by completing a list of well-defined analytic tasks below. Your solution must precisely compute the requested output in each task.
You must progressively tackle the tasks from the Easy level up to the Harder level (Task 1 to Task 9). Skipping tasks is not permitted; attempts made on a harder task will not be considered unless the easier tasks are also attempted.
A solution that could automatically scrape the HTML page of each legislation is highly desirable.
Easy: Length and structural elements of a legislation
- Task 1. Word count of a legislative text
- Task 2. Word count per chapter, part, divisions, subdivisions, and sections
- Task 3. Number of sections, subsections
Medium: Amendment frequency of a legislation
- Task 4. Extract the year of the legislation enactment
- Task 5. Extract the years and count the frequency of legislation amendments
Hard: Readability of a legislation
- Task 6. Measure legislation readability according to the Flesch Reading Ease score. You must implement this formula: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flesch%E2%80%93Kincaid_readability_tests
Harder: Cross-referencing of a legislation
- Task 7. Number of internal cross-references (i.e. to provisions within the same legislative text)
- Task 8. Number of external cross-references (i.e. to provisions in other legislative texts, such as cross-references from an Act to regulations or another Act)
- Task 9. Uncover interesting cross-referencing pattern
The following items must be submitted before the closing date of the submission (not the presentation date):
- One .zip file containing .py scripts / Jupyter Notebooks, all processed datasets, and the requirements.txt file to replicate your Python environment.
Clearly identify your submission with your team’s name. Late submissions will not be accepted.
Upload your submission here: https://bit.ly/3MFx2Cr
Your team is required to pitch your work to a panel of judges on the stated presentation date at Charles Darwin University (Casuarina Campus). This is your best chance to convince the panel of judges on the viability of your models.
Duration: 10 minutes pitching + 5 mins Q&A per team
Participating teams will be judged along 5 criteria:
- Innovation (25%)
- Sophistication (15%)
- Results (30%)
- Scalability and automation (10%)
- Presentation (20%)
- Dr Guzyal Hill, CDU
- Ewan Perrin, DCDD (NTG)
- Liam Ma, ALPA
- Patrick Orr, Office of the Parliamentary Counsel (NTG)
To help you better understand the context of this challenge and gain inspirations, consult these recommended readings.
- How to read legislation – a beginner’s guide. Parliamentary Counsel’s Office of Western Australia (2011, May).
- Understanding domestic and family violence. National Domestic and Family Violence Bench Book. (n.d.). Dfvbenchbook.aija.org.au. Retrieved 5 September 2022, from https://dfvbenchbook.aija.org.au/terminology/understanding-domestic-and-family-violence/
- Family, domestic and sexual violence in Australia: continuing the national story 2019: in brief, Summary. (n.d.). Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/domestic-violence/family-domestic-and-sexual-violence-in-australia-c/summary
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2022, July 7). Family, domestic and sexual violence. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/domestic-violence/family-domestic-and-sexual-violence
- Causes of complex legislation and strategies to address these. Attorney-General’s Department, Australian Government (2014, June 16).
- Complexity and legislative design. Australian Law Reform Commission, Australian Government (2021, Oct 15). https://www.alrc.gov.au/publication/fsl2/
- Ruhl, J. B., Katz, D. M., & Bommarito, M. J. (2017). Harnessing legal complexity. Science, 355(6332), 1377-1378.
- Coupette, C., Beckedorf, J., Hartung, D., Bommarito, M., & Katz, D. M. (2021). Measuring Law Over Time: A network analytical framework with an application to statutes and regulations in the United States and Germany. Frontiers in Physics, 9, 658463.