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Computable Law

 Legal protection in the era of infosphere

The increasing proliferation of data is raising some ethical and philosophical questions regarding the impact of data on society. Until now, there are no adequate law and legal instruments to rule the 'hybrid infosphere': the huge and increasingly pervasive, autonomous and intelligent computational entities transforming almost every dimension of social life. These computations are so large, fast and ubiquitous that it is impossible for humans to monitor them and anticipate all possible illegal behaviours. The EU-funded CompuLaw project proposes to make law computation-oriented. The goal is to integrate, map and partially translate legal and ethical requirements into computable representations of legal knowledge and reasoning. Computational law will help society move more smoothly into a newly-created digital space.


The project addresses the regulation of computations (processes and systems) through an innovative legal & technological framework: it provides epistemic, technical and normative guidance for the development of computable laws and law compliant computations. 

The context is the ongoing transformation of the social world into a hybrid infosphere, populated by a huge and growing number of increasingly pervasive, autonomous and intelligent computational entities. The scale, speed, ubiquity and autonomy of computations make it impossible for humans to di-rectly monitor them and anticipate all possible illegal computational behaviours. The law can hold the hybrid infosphere under its rule – providing protection, security and trust – only if it be-comes computation-oriented: legal and ethical requirements must be integrated with, mapped onto, and partially translated into, computable representations of legal knowledge and reasoning. 

Current legal culture still has not adequately addressed risks and potentials of computable law. My project will fill this gap, providing concepts, principles, methods and techniques and normative guide-lines to support law-abiding computations. It has the normative purpose to uphold the principle of rule of law, translating legal norms and legal values into requirements for computable laws and legally-responsive computational agents. My project will provide major methodological and substantive breakthroughs. On the one hand, it pro-poses a socio-technical methodology for regulatory design and evaluation, integrating three disciplinary clusters: a social-legal one, a philosophical-logical one and a computing-AI one. On the other hand, it develops a framework including: (a) norms, legal values and principles for developers, deployers and users; (b) languages and methods to specify requirements of computations and norms directed to them; (c) cognitive architectures for legally-responsive computational agents.

(fields of science)law