Research Center for Digital Sustainability

Judgment Outcome Extraction for Swiss Court Rulings

Judgment Outcome Extraction for Swiss Court Rulings

This project is available as a Seminar or Bachelor's project. This project is also available as a group project.


Swiss court decisions are anonymized to protect the privacy of the involved people (parties, victims, etc.). Previous research [1] has shown that it is possible to re-identify companies involved in court decisions by linking the rulings with external data in certain cases. Our project tries to further build an automated system for re-identifying involved people from court rulings. This system can then be used as a test for the anonymization practice of Swiss courts. For more information regarding the overarching research project please go here. We use methods of Natural Language Processing (NLP), a subfield of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Linguistics, and Computer Science.

Legal Judgment Prediction is an NLP task that automatically predicts the judgment outcome based on the facts of a case. In this project, you will extract the judgment outcomes from the rulings of Swiss court decisions. This forms the basis for the judgment prediction task.


From the judgment of the recent decision of the Swiss Federal Administrative Court A-1004/2020, A-1022/2020:

Demnach erkennt das Bundesverwaltungsgericht:

1. Auf die Beschwerden wird nicht eingetreten.

2. Ein Verfahrenskostenanteil von Fr. 1'500.-- wird der Beschwerdeführerin 1 auferlegt. Dieser Betrag wird dem von der Beschwerdeführerin 1 geleisteten Kostenvorschuss entnommen.

3. Die Beschwerdeführerin 1 wird verpflichtet, dem Beschwerdegegner eine Parteientschädigung in der Höhe von Fr. 4'000.-- zu bezahlen.

4. Die Beschwerdeführerin 2 wird verpflichtet, dem Beschwerdegegner eine Parteientschädigung in der Höhe von Fr. 4'000.-- zu bezahlen.

5. Dieses Urteil geht an:

– die Beschwerdeführerin 1 (Gerichtsurkunde)

– die Beschwerdeführerin 2 (Gerichtsurkunde)

– den Beschwerdegegner (Gerichtsurkunde)

– die Vorinstanz (Ref-Nr. […]; Einschreiben)

– das UVEK (Gerichtsurkunde)

Für die Rechtsmittelbelehrung wird auf die nächste Seite verwiesen.


You would recognize the underlined part and conclude that the judgment outcome is: inadmissible (Nichteintreten)

Research Questions

Apart from the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland, there do not exist extracted judgment outcomes for Swiss court decisions. 

RQ1: To what extent can regular expressions and parsers be used to extract judgments from Swiss court decisions?

RQ2: What coverage can be achieved? (i.e. how many judgment outcomes can be extracted?)


  1. Select large Swiss courts (e.g. Bundesverwaltungsgericht, Zürich Sozialversicherungsgericht)
  2. Analyze the structure of the rulings and look for patterns that identify the different judgment outcomes
  3. Implement parsers and regular expressions extracting the judgment outcomes based on the identified patterns
  4. Calculate the judgment extraction coverage (e.g. for how many decisions did we find at least one judgment outcome)


⬤⬤⬤⬤◯ Programming

⬤⬤⬤◯◯ Experimentation

⬤◯◯◯◯ Literature


Good programming skills (preferably in Python)

Preferably experience with regular expressions


Joel Niklaus


[1] Vokinger, K.N., Mühlematter, U.J., 2019. Re-Identifikation von Gerichtsurteilen durch «Linkage» von Daten(banken). Jusletter 27.