Flood and Goodenough: Contract as Automaton: The Computational Representation of Financial Agreements

Mark D. Flood and Oliver R. Goodenough have posted a working paper entitled Contract as Automaton: The Computational Representation of Financial Agreements, on SSRN.

Here is the abstract:

We show that the fundamental legal structure of a well written financial contract follows a state-transition logic that can be formalized mathematically as a finite-state machine (a.k.a. finite-state automaton). The automaton defines the states that a financial relationship can be in, such as “default,” “delinquency,” “performing,” etc., and it defines an alphabet of events that can trigger state transitions, such as “payment arrives,” “due date passes,” etc. The core of a contract thus describes the rules according to which different sequences of event arrivals trigger particular sequences of state transitions in the relationship between the counterparties. By conceptualizing and representing the legal structure of a contract in this way, we expose it to a range of powerful tools and results from the theory of computation. These allow, for example, automated reasoning to determine whether a contract is internally coherent, and whether it is complete relative to a particular event alphabet. We illustrate the process by representing a simple loan agreement as an automaton.

HT @orgoodenough

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Lippe, Katz, and Jackson: Legal by Design: A New Paradigm for Handling Complexity in Banking Regulation and Elsewhere in Law

Paul Lippe, Daniel Martin Katz, and Daniel H. Jackson have posted a working paper entitled Legal by Design: A New Paradigm for Handling Complexity in Banking Regulation and Elsewhere in Law, on SSRN.

Here is the abstract:

On August 5, 2014, the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation criticized shortcomings in the Resolution Plans of the first Systematically Important Financial Institution (SIFI) filers. […]

The Fed and FDIC identified two common shortcomings across the first 11 SIFI filers: “(i) assumptions that the agencies regard as unrealistic or inadequately supported, such as assumptions about the likely behavior of customers, counterparties, investors, central clearing facilities, and regulators, and (ii) the failure to make, or even to identify, the kinds of changes in firm structure and practices that would be necessary to enhance the prospects for orderly resolution.” We believe this regulatory response highlights, in part, the need for lawyers (and other advisors) to develop approaches that can better manage complexity, encompassing modern notions of design, use of technology, and management of complex systems.

In this paper, we will describe the information mapping aspects of the Resolution Planning challenge as an exemplary “Manhattan Project” of law: a critical enterprise that will require — and trigger — the development of new tools and methods for lawyers to apply in their work handling complex problems without resort to unsustainably swelling workforce, and wasteful diversion of resources. Fortunately, much of this approach has already been developed in innovative Silicon Valley legal departments and has been applied by leading banks. Although much of the focus of the Dodd-Frank Act is on re-organizing and simplifying banks, we will focus here on the information architecture issues which underlie much of what should — and will — change about how law is delivered, not just for Resolution Planning, but more broadly.

Among the topics discussed in the paper are the development of a new type of electronic contract, and the application of IBM Watson to complex legal information.

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Casanovas et al.: AI Approaches to the Complexity of Legal Systems

Pompeu Casanovas, Ugo Pagallo, Monica Palmirani, and Giovanni Sartor have co-edited a new article collection entitled AI Approaches to the Complexity of Legal Systems: AICOL 2013 International Workshops, AICOL-IV@IVR, Belo Horizonte, Brazil, July 21-27, 2013 and AICOL-V@SINTELNET-JURIX, Bologna, Italy, December 11, 2013, Revised Selected Papers (Springer, 2014).

Here are the contents:

  • Pompeu Casanovas, Ugo Pagallo, Monica Palmirani, Giovanni Sartor: Law, Social Intelligence, nMAS and the Semantic Web: An Overview
  • Ugo Pagallo: The Legal Roots of Social Intelligence and the Challenges of the Information Revolution
  • Fernando Galindo: Methods for Law and ICT: An Approach for the Development of Smart Cities
  • Eleonora Bassi, David Leoni, Stefano Leucci, Juan Pane, Lorenzino Vaccari: Opening Public Deliberations: Transparency, Privacy, Anonymisation
  • Pompeu Casanovas, John Zeleznikow: Online Dispute Resolution and Models of Relational Law and Justice: A Table of Ethical Principles
  • Andrea Ciambra, Pompeu Casanovas: Drafting a Composite Indicator of Validity for Regulatory Models and Legal Systems
  • Monica Palmirani, Luca Cervone: Measuring the Complexity of the Legal Order over Time
  • Michał Araszkiewicz: Time, Trust and Normative Change. On Certain Sources of Complexity in Judicial Decision-Making
  • Alessio Antonini, Cecilia Blengino, Guido Boella, Leendert van der Torre: The Construction of Models and Roles in Normative Systems
  • Guido Boella, Silvano Colombo Tosatto, Sepideh Ghanavati, Joris Hulstijn: Integrating Legal-URN and Eunomos: Towards a Comprehensive Compliance Management Solution
  • Pedro Miguel Freitas, Francisco Andrade, Paulo Novais: Criminal Liability of Autonomous Agents: From the Unthinkable to the Plausible
  • Makoto Nakamura, Yasuhiro Ogawa, Katsuhiko Toyama: Extraction of Legal Definitions and Their Explanations with Accessible Citations
  • Marcello Ceci: Representing Judicial Argumentation in the Semantic Web
  • Elie Abi-Lahoud, Leona O’Brien, Tom Butler: On the Road to Regulatory Ontologies
  • Enrico Francesconi, Ginevra Peruginelli, Ernst Steigenga, Daniela Tiscornia: Conceptual Modeling of Judicial Procedures in the e-Codex Project
  • Jorge González-Conejero, Rebeca Varela Figueroa, Juan Muñoz-Gomez, Emma Teodoro: Organized Crime Structure Modelling for European Law Enforcement Agencies Interoperability through Ontologies
  • Paulo Novais, Davide Carneiro, Francisco Andrade, José Neves: Harnessing Content and Context for Enhanced Decision Making
  • Josep Suquet, Pompeu Casanovas, Xavier Binefa, Oriol Martínez, Adrià Ruiz: Consumedia. Functionalities, Emotion Detection and Automation of Services in a ODR Platform
  • Marta Poblet, Esteban García-Cuesta, Pompeu Casanovas: Crowdsourcing Tools for Disaster Management: A Review of Platforms and Methods
  • Nuno Luz, Nuno Silva, Paulo Novais: A Method for Defining Human-Machine Micro-task Workflows for Gathering Legal Information

HT Monica Palmirani

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Young and Hermida: Computational journalism and crime reporting

Mary Lynn Young and Alfred Hermida have published From Mr. and Mrs. Outlier To Central Tendencies: Computational journalism and crime reporting at the Los Angeles Times, forthcoming in Digital Journalism.

Here is the abstract:

This study examines the impact of computational journalism on the creation and dissemination of crime news. Computational journalism refers to forms of algorithmic, social scientific, and mathematical processes and systems for the production of news. It is one of a series of technological developments that have shaped journalistic work and builds on techniques of computer-assisted reporting and the use of social science tools in journalism. This paper uses the Los Angeles Times’ Homicide Report and its Data Desk as a case study to explore how technological adaptation occurred in this newsroom in the early twenty-first century. Our findings suggest that computational thinking and techniques emerged in a (dis)continuous evolution of organizational norms, practices, content, identities, and technologies that interdependently led to new products. Computational journalism emerges from an earlier and still ongoing turn to digital within broader organizational, technological, and social contexts. We place this finding in the local, situated context of the Homicide Report, one of the first crime news blogs to adopt computational journalism in North America.

HT @hermida

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Proceedings: SW4LAW+JURIX-DC 2014: Semantic Web for the Law and Second Jurix Doctoral Consortium

Full text of proceedings have been published jointly for SW4LAW 2014: International Workshop on Semantic Web for the Law, and JURIX-DC 2014: The Second JURIX Doctoral Consortium, both held in December 2014 in Krakow, Poland.

The proceedings have been published free of charge online as volume 1296 in the CEUR Workshop Proceedings Series.

The volume is co-edited by Serena Villata, Silvio Peroni, and Monica Palmirani.

Here are the contents:

SW4LAW 2014: International Workshop on Semantic Web for the Law:

  • Serena Villata and Silvio Peroni: Preface
  • Dirk Thatmann, Erwin Schuster, Gökhan Coskun: Mapping Legal Requirements to SLAs: An Ontology Based Approach for Cloud-based Service Consumption
  • Tara Athan, Guido Governatori, Monica Palmirani, Adrian Paschke, Adam Wyner: Legal Interpretations in LegalRuleML
  • Víctor Rodríguez-Doncel, Cristiana Santos, Pompeu Casanovas: Ontology-Driven Legal Support-System in the Air Transport Passenger Domain
  • Jakub Nowakowski and Czeslaw Jedrzejek: Logical Model of Guilt as a Part of a Structure of Crime

JURIX-DC 2014: JURIX Doctoral Consortium 2014:

  • Monica Palmirani: Preface
  • Johannes Scharf: rOWLer – A Hybrid Rule Engine for Legal Reasoning
  • Alessandra Malerba: Argumentation Schemes as an Effective Tool in Cases of Double Taxation
  • Javed Ahmed: A Privacy Protection Model for Online Social Networks
  • Cristiana Santos: Enhancing the Decision Making Process through Relevant Legal Information in Consumer Law Disputes – a Case Study in Air Transport Passenger Rights
  • Marco Giacalone: Alternative Cross-Border Dispute Resolutions, from the Past to New Computational Methods (IT Realities)

HT Monica Palmirani

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Open Law Legal Hacking Project: Presentations of results

Presentations of technology projects developed as part of the Open Law legal hacking project were given at an event held 11 December 2014 at DILA in Paris.

Videos of the presentations are available at: http://www.dailymotion.com/playlist/x3hyc5_DILA_open-law-le-droit-ouvert/

Prizes are scheduled to be awarded at an event to be held 17 December 2014 at DILA in Paris.

The Open Law Project is an extended legal hacking project, described in this post.

The projects developed during Open Law are listed at: openlaw.fr/projets-open-law

The Website for the Open Law Project, and the data sets used to develop these projects, are available at: openlaw.fr/

The Open Law Project has been organized by la Direction de l’information légale et administrative (DILA), Etalab, and NUMA.

One Twitter hashtag used for the event was #openlaw

Click here for a storify of images and Twitter tweets from the 11 December event.

Here is a description of Open Law Project, from the project’s Website:

Open Law est un programme de cocréation juridique organisé par l’Open World Forum (OWF), la Direction de l’information légale et administrative (DILA), Etalab et le NUMA et lancé le jeudi 30 octobre 2014 lors de l’Open World Forum 2014. Placé sous le signe de l’innovation et de lacollaboration, il a vocation a être alimenté durant toute une année par une multitude d’événements périodiques permettant d’approfondir, préfigurer et prototyper les différents projets et scénarios de services susceptibles d’être coconstruits.

Le programme s’appuie sur les jeux de données récemment diffusés en Open Data en France et a pour ambition de stimuler et dynamiser la réutilisation des données juridiques dans le cadre d’une innovation juridique collaborative et ouverte qui réunit le secteur public et privé.

Les objectifs de ce programme sont de :

  • réfléchir à l’exercice, la place et les pratiques entourant le droit dans notre société numérique ;
  • rendre plus accessibles certains jeux de données juridiques nouvellement ouverts ;
  • créer une communauté de « hackers (coconstructeurs) du droit » ;
  • mener des expérimentations autour du cadre juridique de ce type d’événement qui regroupe des acteurs de tout milieu.

Ce programme est ouvert à toute personne désirant contribuer, quelle que soit sa formation, son expérience ou encore ses compétences. […]

HT @b1jam

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