Morozov on algorithmic regulation

There seems to be much discussion of Evgeny Morozov’s new op-ed article on algorithmic regulation, entitled The rise of data and the death of politics, The Guardian / The Observer, 19 July 2014.

The conclusion:

Algorithmic regulation, whatever its immediate benefits, will give us a political regime where technology corporations and government bureaucrats call all the shots. [...]

For more details, please see the complete article.

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Colbran et al.: The role of digital flashcards in legal education: Theory and potential

Stephen Colbran, Anthony Gilding, and Samuel Colbran have published The role of digital flashcards in legal education: Theory and potential, European Journal of Law and Technology, 5(1) (2014).

Here is the abstract:

This article describes, evaluates and reflects upon the potential use of digital flashcards in legal education using traditional cards expressed in digital format and more interactive flashcards taking advantage of rich media and Web 2.0 technologies. A taxonomy of digital flashcards is developed together with a discussion on how they may be used in legal education. An analysis of where digital flashcards sit within the HoTel, Biggs and Tang SOLO and Atkinson SOLE learning theory frameworks is presented. A new free cloud-based flashcard tool, FlashCram is outlined enabling the easy assembly and sharing of digital flashcards. The article concludes by showing how the traditional flashcard may be reinvented in the digital age into a useful tool for legal education.

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Law Schools, Technology, and Access to Justice Conference, 17-19 July 2014: Storify and resources

A conference entitled Law Schools, Technology, and Access to Justice, was held 17-19 July 2014 at the University of Missouri Kansas City, in Kansas City, Missouri, USA.

The conference was sponsored by the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Law, the University of Massachusetts School of Law, and the Kauffman Foundation.

The conference Website is at: http://law.umkc.edu/lawtecha2j/

The conference program is at: http://law.umkc.edu/lawtecha2j/program.asp

Twitter hashtags for the event include #umkca2j and #umkclegaltech

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

Dazza Greenwood has posted photos from the event here and here.

HT @computational

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Davis: Covering the United States Supreme Court in the Digital Age

The following forthcoming book on legal journalism may be of interest to our readers:

Richard Davis (ed.), Covering the United States Supreme Court in the Digital Age (Cambridge University Press, 2014).

Here is the publisher’s description:

The U.S. Supreme Court seeks to withhold information about its deliberations, while the press’s job is to report and disseminate this information. These two objectives conflict and create tension between the justices and the reporters who cover them; add to that the increasing demands for transparency in the digital age and the result is an interesting dynamic between an institution that seeks to preserve its opaqueness and a press corps that demands greater transparency. This volume examines the relationship between justices and the press through chapters that discuss facets such as coverage of the institution, the media’s approach to the docket, and the effects of news coverage on public opinion. Additionally, two journalists who cover the court offer insights into the profession of reporting today, while two biographers of Supreme Court justices share the perspectives of those justices regarding the press.

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Free Law Founders: New group promotes free access to law and citizens’ participation in lawmaking

Free Law Founders — a new organization promoting free online access to law and citizens’ participation in lawmaking — has launched.

Here is a description of the group, from the group’s Website:

Citizens, technologists and public officials working together to transform state & local lawmaking for the 21st Century

The Free Law Founders is a nation-wide, collaborative effort open to all people who want to improve how laws and legislation are produced and presented to citizens of American states and cities. Our goal is to modernize how democracy works in the United States from the ground up. To get there, we’re creating open source tools and open data formats government workers need to get their jobs done efficiently, effectively and accountably. And we’re building digital democracy platforms so citizens can finally access legislative information online in user-friendly, interactive formats that make sense. And we’re making all of our work available on the Internet for any community to reuse at no cost. [...]

The founding members of the group include:

The group has opened a project called the Free Law Founders’ Challenge:

You can join the Free Law Founder Challenge: to create a one-stop shop site for legislatures to be more open transparent and tech-savvy before the year is out.

At their keynote speech “Hack The Law” at the MIT Media Lab Legal Hackathon online conference in June 2014, New York City Council Member Ben Kallos and San Francisco Supervisor Mark Farrell called on a nation of civic hackers to create a free and open source democracy platform for legislatures by next year.

The site will have five free and open source tools for:

  • Drafting legislation
  • Commenting on legislation
  • Making it available over open API
  • Opening up the law online
  • Authenticating the law

[...]

Free Law Founders is covered in a new article by Michael Grass in Government Executive: Open Gov Backers Launch ‘Free Law’ Group

For more details, please see the group’s Website.

HT @brianpurchia

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Zhang: Public Access to Primary Legal Information in China: Challenges and Opportunities

Xiaomeng Zhang, J.D., M.S.I., M.A., of the University of Michigan has published Public Access to Primary Legal Information in China: Challenges and Opportunities, Legal Information Management, 14, 132-142 (2014).

Here is the abstract:

Despite a lack of a national legislation that mandates open government information in the People’s Republic of China, each major government branch has taken proactive efforts to make primary legal information issued within their power available to the public. A close examination of Chinese official legal information portals on the national level reveal issues such as a lack of uniformity and a lack of access to authenticated primary legal information. This article [...] proposes a solution that would not only offer more consistent guidelines for the government but would empower the public to assert their right to primary legal information more powerfully and effectively.

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