Category Archives: General

‘The Law of AI’

Michael Veale and Frederik Zuiderveen Borgesius, ‘Demystifying the Draft EU Artificial Intelligence Act’ 22(4) Computer Law Review International 97-112 (2021). The question of whether new technology requires new law is central to the field of law and technology. From Frank Easterbrook’s ‘law of the horse’ to Ryan Calo’s law of robotics, scholars have debated the […]

Rebecca Stone, ‘Private Liability without Wrongdoing’

ABSTRACT Rights-based theories of private law tend to be wrongs based and defendant focused. But many private law wrongs don’t seem like genuine wrongs, at least when the background distribution of resources is unjust. A very poor person may, for example, be held legally liable for breaching a one-sided contract with a very rich person. […]

Talya Ucaryilmaz, ‘Back to (for) the Future: AI and The Dualism of Persona and Res in Roman Law’

ABSTRACT The development of AI brings many contemporary challenges which force law to face its roots. Legal relationships are materializing that take us to Roman law – to when these relationships were not about machines and their masters, but about masters and slaves. Today’s search for accountability of the AI remains within the confines of […]

‘Legal Theory Lexicon: Overlapping Consensus and Incompletely Theorized Agreements’

“As law students become more sophisticated, they begin to notice that certain debates seem to repeat themselves over and over again. Disagreements about disparate subjects – in procedure, criminal law, torts, property, and constitutional law – frequently seem to turn on the really big questions of ethics and political theory. On the one hand, the […]

Maximilian Kiener, ‘When do nudges undermine voluntary consent?’

ABSTRACT The permissibility of nudging in public policy is often assessed in terms of the conditions of transparency, rationality, and easy resistibility. This debate has produced important resources for any ethical inquiry into nudging, but it has also failed to focus sufficiently on a different yet very important question, namely: when do nudges undermine a […]

Jeffery Atik, ‘Parsimony – Using Feature Engineering to Critique Private Law Rules’

ABSTRACT Parsimony, as a design principle, is the insight that fewer features may be preferable in many contexts. Features may be redundant; they may offset the effect of other features and they may make little effective contribution to the outcome. Parsimony restrains the impulse to accrete complexity through the addition of features. Adding features increases […]

Attila Harmathy, ‘Civil law and the role of the State’

ABSTRACT The profound changes in both everyday life and the legal system over the last hundred years have transformed civil law as well. While the notion that civil law concerns relationships of private persons still prevails, the traditional public law-civil law division now seems questionable. This paper points out some of the key changes in […]

‘Seminar: The Edinburgh Centre for Private Law presents: Global legal comparisons: what can we compare, how, and to what purpose? – Professor Fernanda Pirie – Friday 29 October 2021, 16:00-17:30 (on Zoom)’

“Looking widely at different laws quickly raises questions about what we can compare. Legal systems have taken very different forms and have been created for very different purposes over the course of human history, so what and why should we try to compare? What, after all, counts as law? Rather than focusing on content and […]

Sarah Seo, ‘User’s Guide to History’

ABSTRACT Historical knowledge is necessary to make informed policy choices, but history’s methods are unsuited for determining what, exactly, those policies should be. This chapter examines how historians have been contributing to the New Legal Realist project, identifies obstacles in translating historical conclusions into policy arguments, and explores specific ways that the past can inform […]

Cass Sunstein, ‘Analogical Reasoning’

ABSTRACT In law, the process of analogical reasoning appears to work in five simple steps. (1) Some fact pattern A – the ‘source’ case – has certain characteristics; call them x, y, and z. (2) Fact pattern B – the ‘target’ case – has characteristics x, y, and q, or characteristics x, y, z, and […]