Impact of Law Research in South African Courts
Vimal Ranchhod , Christiaan Klopper
Abstract: Academic research, frequently cited, often plays a valuable role as supportive research which ultimately drives impact. In the context of the legal framework, measuring research impact can become difficult to quantify. Fontes Juris entails legal literature where judgment, court, year, author and publication is well documented between the period 1825 to 2015. The aim of this project was to firstly extract the relevant information referencing authors and judgment and model the relationship using a bipartite network. Network degree centrality metric measures the author impact on South African courts, however lacks some key information to properly assess author influence. Court hierarchy and distinct historical periods are some parameters that were eventually factored into the final weighted model, which proved to be more representative of how authors and their research, impact South African courts.