The first key intermediate goal is grounded in an in-depth study of current law’s text-driven nature which should result in a deeper understanding of legal protection in modern positive law.

This has involved a reflection on how concrete legal protection is premised on the affordances of a text-driven architecture - and is thus dependent on law’s current mode of existence, raising a number of questions about the transformation of legal protection under code- and data-driven architectures.

At a deeper level, we have developed a detailed understanding of how the force of law operates in a way that enables contestation while simultaneously providing legal certainty.

The output - co-authored by the legal team, together with some of our affiliate researchers - has been consolidated in the first Working Paper, on Text-driven Normativity and Legal Protection, pubished online in July 2021.

Halfway the fourth year two extended papers will be written that reflect on how data- and code-driven normativities may afford the kind of protection that is warranted under the Rule of Law, achieving a dynamic reflective equilibrium between more concrete proposals of legal protection by design and an inquiry into the scope and the meaning of the concept of legal protection by design.

This will include a first reflection upon the kind of methodological innovation that is warranted by computational law if it is to sustain the mode of existence of law as the Rule of Law. The papers will be authored by the legal team, with input from the computer science team, and used as input for the dissertations of the PhD students.

The papers will interact with the major international conference on legal protection in computational law, scheduled for the Fall of 2022 in Brussels, with pivotal keynotes and based on a Call for Papers.