Gianmarco Gori defends his PhD ‘Law, Rules, Machines’ on 29 October 2021

We are proud to announce that COHUBICOL’s affiliated researcher Gianmarco Gori will defend his PhD on Law, Rules, Machines: ‘Artificial Legal Intelligence’ and the ‘Artificial Reason and Judgment of the Law’ on 29 October 2021 at University of Florence. Mireille Hildebrandt is a member of the jury.


The thesis investigates the assumptions which ground the desirability and, above all, the very intelligibility of the ideal of a Rule of Machines, a narrative which, harkening back to a series of criticalities running through the whole history of the doctrine of the Rule of Law, depicts the latter as inevitably facing the risk of degenerating into the Rule of Men and, on the other hand, envisions legal automation as the potential solution of the troubles of law. The research aims at showing how the conditions of success of such a narrative depend on a certain picture of rules and rule followers which affords to bridge the gaps between different forms of formalism: legal and computational.
Starting from a historical analysis of the doctrine(s) of the Rule of Law, the research aims at showing how the aporias in which the latter have recurrently incurred can be understood in the light of the concept of rules which such doctrine(s) assume, and which underpins the understanding of what it is for the law to rule.
The study shows how the Rule of Machines narrative derives its essential characters – i.e., anthropological and normative pessimism, on one hand, and technological optimism, on the other- precisely by drawing on such picture of rules and by rereading it through conceptual toolbox offered by the computational paradigm.
In this light, the thesis confronts the paradigm advanced by Artificial Legal Intelligence with an account of normativity which centres on the practice of jurists and their “artificial reason and judgment”. It argues that the understanding of rules which emerges from such an account can contribute to both the identification of the limits inherent to the ideal of the Rule of Machines and, on the other hand, the valorisation the affordances of the Rule of Law.