The research project “The Law Factory” aims at using different software and informatics tools in order to question the generalized Parliament impotence corroborated by a number of case studies, namely from the legal and political science area.
By systematically exploiting large public databases related to parliamentary activities, in fact, these instruments offer an unique resource of visualization, understanding and analysis of parliamentary debates. The project includes a focus on those areas of legislation that have been changed as a result of parliamentary amendments. It aims at offering one intelligent visualization that allows quantitative but also qualitative analysis of parliamentary activity. This instrument is intended for both the academic community and the large public. The aim is first, to deepen the knowledge about contents and procedures of parliamentary activities, and secondly, to enable citizens to use the data on this issue.
The scope of this project is to contribute to the larger debate on the quality of our democracy and its future, starting from a reflection on the mechanisms that characterize representative institutions.
For this purpose, a collaboration between citizens and researchers seeking to produce new type of data on the functioning of parliamentary democracy was established. More precisely, the question that guides our research is: «to what extend the parliamentary phase modifies the law? ». In other words, what is the specific impact of the Parliament as an institution on laws?
Observing the evolution of a bill from its original version to the official promulgation will allow us to identify those areas of text that have been modified through amendments. By describing the substantive or cosmetic nature of these amendments and by identifying their authors and the associated debated, we seek to develop data allowing us to study the extent to which Parliament is concretely involved in the law making process.
For a more detailed presentation, please see the concept note.