Research Center for Digital Sustainability

Web Scraping for a Database of Court Decision Related Documents

Web Scraping for a Database of Court Decision Related Documents

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 in certain cases it is possible to re-identify companies involved in court decisions by linking the rulings with external data. Our project tries to go a step further by building 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.

For a successful re-identification of involved people in a court decision, we need external data. This project has the goal of building a well-structured database of external data connected to Swiss federal court rulings.

List of possible data sources:

Research Questions

So far, there has not been collected a dataset of external documents related to Swiss federal court rulings.

RQ1: Which data sources are most likely to contain information also occurring in Swiss federal court rulings?


  1. Identify promising data sources
  2. Analyze the HTML and scrape the documents from the websites (using libraries such as Scrapy or BeautifulSoup)
  3. Extract the text from the documents
  4. Structure the documents in a database
  5. Evaluate the results


⬤⬤⬤⬤◯ Programming

⬤⬤◯◯◯ Experimentation

⬤◯◯◯◯ Literature


Good programming skills (preferably in Python)


Joel Niklaus


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