Formalising law, or, the return of the Golem

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract / Description of output

“Good old fashioned” AI, developed first in the 1980s but still an approach used in many contemporary legal apps and law chatbots, is often seen as less likely to create a dangerous “black box society” than machine learning based approaches. The chapter queries this notion by looking at the way in which the very process of formalising the law rests on normative decisions and value commitments that can’t simply be left to software developers. Using the literary figure of the Golem, it traces some of the normative decisions that any legal technology has to make, and posits some desiderata for an ethically responsible theory of legal formalisation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch Handbook on Law and Technology
EditorsBartosz Brożek, Olia Kanevskaia, Przemysław Pałka
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9781803921327
ISBN (Print)9781803921310
Publication statusPublished - 5 Dec 2023

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • legal tech
  • AI and law
  • formal logic
  • legal reasoning
  • AI ethics


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