Computational approach to law: compatibility with human rights and current regulation

Lviv Regional Institute for Public Administration of the National Academy for Public Administration
National University “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy

Problem setting. The development of information technologies and especially the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic have highlighted the problem of digitization of many areas of human activity, including law. Digital tools are increasingly used in the legal business, legal services, law enforcement, including administrative services and even justice. One of the most radical ideas in this area is the translation of legal norms into the form of program code, called “Computational Law” or computational approach to law.
Recent research and publications analysis. In modern Ukrainian-language scientific literature, the term “Computational Law” is virtually absent. However, it is worth paying attention to the works of Ukrainian researchers such as
L. Mamchur, V. Varavka, T. Katkova, A. Bezhevets, V. Vlasyuk, N. Haletska,
A. Kostenko, E. Zheltukhin, M. Shvets, L. Chistokletov and O. Khytra in the field of legal informatics and automated legal systems. The term “Computational Law” and the analysis of the problem of compatibility with human rights and legal systems in general is sufficiently developed in foreign publications of such authors as H. Andersson, M. Genesereth, L. Loevinger, L. Mehl, W. Hoffmann-Riem,
S. Yuill, J. Riva , V. Gavrilov, A. Paliwala, M. Curtotti, J. Rhim, A. Vashkevich,
M.    Livermore, S. Wolfram, E. Rissland, L. Allen, M. Sergot, E. Churilov. It should be emphasized that there is no unified approach to the concept and even use of the term “Computational Law”, so synonymous terms such as “Legal Artificial Intelligence”, “Jurimetrics” and even “Legal Informatics” are used.
Highlighting previously unsettled parts of the general problem. The introduction of technologies that partially or completely exclude a person from the decision-making process, mimic certain types of human activities, should be associated with the concept of artificial intelligence, regardless of specific technological approaches. As a result, there is a need to analyze the problem of using Artificial Intelligence (and Computational Law) in legal activities in the context of respect for human rights and its compatibility with existing legal regulations.
Paper main body. Computational Law is an approach to the representation of legal norms in an accurate computational form (machine-readable) with the ability to use it for automated legal reasoning in a digital environment. The introduction of Computational Law poses risks to compatibility with modern legal systems, in particular there is a threat to human rights. Such fundamental right as the right to a fair trial may be violated or restricted in terms of justification of judicial decisions, the adversarial principle, the right to participate in the trial and the principle that the trial is exercised by a human individual, which all may undermine the trust and legitimacy of the authorities empowered to apply the law.
In our opinion, the right to free development of the individual is also threatened in terms of the moral right of a person to consciously violate the law and be held liable in the context of self-fulfilling rules.
The right to respect for private life, in terms of personal data protection is also under threat, but we found this issue purely technological. Problems also arise with non-discrimination, as technologies such as machine learning rely on large data sets, which are difficult to trace, and which reflect the entire human experience with its discriminatory and biased manifestations.
Legislation, in particular the draft EU regulations, allows for the existence of Computational Law, but strictly regulates such use and requires human participation and supervision. German law allows the use of automated decision- making process in exceptional cases that do not require the discretion of the authorized person. Although such example of Computational Law as smart contracts in fact already exists in many jurisdictions, it is not regulated, but its use does not violate the principles of civil law.
Conclusions of the research and prospects for further studies. In our opinion, a hybrid approach should be applied, which involves combining existing law with Computational Law as an optional source of law. This can significantly enhance the realization of the right of access to justice as well as the right of access to information. We believe that there is a need for a further research into the possibility of using Computational Law and identifying those areas where it is the most effective, for example, in informing laypersons, professional collection and analysis of information for lawyers, pre-trial dispute resolution, training of law students.

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