Baltic Journal of European studies (Oct 2016)

A Structural and Grammatical Analysis of the Estonian Constitution

  • Rull Addi,
  • Tamme Tõnu,
  • Võhandu Leo

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 6, no. 2
pp. 76 – 95


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The authors propose a novel quantitative method to analyse the structure of legal texts. The method enables to determine grammatical similarity between legal texts. The authors use the external theory of fundamental rights to separate the text of fundamental rights of the Estonian Constitution into two categories of norms: constitutional rights and restrictions. Grammatical similarity between constitutional rights, restrictions and selected legal acts and case law is measured. The layer of special norms renders the best grammatical similarity with the text of fundamental rights. The same grammatical similarity tests can be replicated to cover other jurisdictions in the future. The research is experimental, but the authors believe that the method can be utilised in fields of computational linguistics and legal text mining, but also in research where legal text structures are analysed for various purposes.