Compulaw: Law-by-Design & Machine Law

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Giuseppe Contissa

This talk presents the ERC project "CompuLaw", which 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 directly 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 becomes computation-oriented: legal and ethical requirements must be integrated with, mapped onto, and partially translated into, computable representations of legal knowledge and reasoning.
The aim of the project is twofold. On the one hand, it proposes 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.

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