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Rethinking Law, Regulation, and Technology

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Rethinking Law, Regulation, and Technology

9781800886469 Edward Elgar Publishing
Roger Brownsword, Professor of Law, King’s College London and Bournemouth University, UK
Publication Date: March 2022 ISBN: 978 1 80088 646 9 Extent: c 288 pp
This insightful book presents a radical rethinking of the relationship between law, regulation, and technology. While in traditional legal thinking technology is neither of particular interest nor concern, this book treats modern technologies as doubly significant, both as major targets for regulation and as potential tools to be used for legal and regulatory purposes. It explores whether our institutions for engaging with new technologies are fit for purpose.

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This insightful book presents a radical rethinking of the relationship between law, regulation, and technology. While in traditional legal thinking technology is neither of particular interest nor concern, this book treats modern technologies as doubly significant, both as major targets for regulation and as potential tools to be used for legal and regulatory purposes. It explores whether our institutions for engaging with new technologies are fit for purpose.

Having depicted a legal landscape that includes legal rules and principles, regulatory frameworks, technical measures and technological governance, this thought-provoking book presents further exercises in rethinking. These exercises confront communities with a fundamental question about how they are to be governed—by humans using rules or by technical measures and technological management? Chapters rethink the traditional arguments relating to legality, the rule of law, legitimacy, regulatory practice, dispute resolution, crime and control, and authority and respect for law.

Examining the role of lawyers and law schools in an age of governance by smart technologies, Rethinking Law, Regulation, and Technology will be a key resource for students and scholars of law and technology, digital innovation and regulation and the law.
Critical Acclaim
‘Any lawyer remotely interested in technology today will find much food for thought in this pioneering text by a leading legal technologist. While the future is always unpredictable, this provides no excuse for forging ahead blindfolded. Professor Brownsword’s careful, reflective study on how law, regulation, and technology may interrelate (both presently and potentially) presents us with the stones by which we can feel our way across the seemingly surging technological river.’
– Kelvin Low, National University of Singapore

‘It is uncommon for a new academic work to cause the reader to stop and re-evaluate their understanding of the subject. This book does. Brownsword ask us to rethink the relationships between law, regulation, and technology and evaluates the role each plays in the modern complex legal-technology-regulatory environment. Brownsword has been a powerful and leading voice in this field for years and this book is the culmination of his work in the field. It is a genuine must read.’
– Andrew Murray, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK

‘This book extends Professor Brownsword’s deep thinking on the implications of the use of technology in governance, or “Law 3.0”, asking important questions about the authority of computer code and the legitimacy of regulating humans through machines. Not only is it of interest to legal theorists and scholars of law and technology, it asks important questions about the future of law and legal education in a world where rules can be baked into systems.’
– Lyria Bennett Moses, UNSW Sydney, Australia

‘Roger Brownsword is one of the most salient authors in the domain of law of technology. In his elegant and incisive prose, he shares an in-depth understanding of how we may come to lose legality, legitimacy and the rule of law. In this new work he addresses the difficult questions around law’s computability. What if computing systems provide more accurate, just and legitimate legal decisions than human lawyers could possibly do? And even if they cannot, Brownsword explains in crucial detail why human imperfection is not a bug but a feature.’
– Mireille Hildebrandt, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium and Radboud University, the Netherlands

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