Friday, December 09, 2005

Executable Law

Democracy 2.0 is a project that plans to rewrite laws from scratch via a wiki medium.  I'm not entirely sure of the validity of this experiment as I believe that a system as complex as a body of laws needs to evolve and adapt rather than being designed.

However this project gave me an idea.  Law is knowledge and some knowledge can be encoded in an executable format. What if laws could be translated to code?

You would have systems of laws that can be checked for consistency and loopholes.  The laws that apply to a given situation could be searched and legal simulations could be run as well.

Laws of course need interpretation, but I still wonder if there is a useful subset that could be mapped to code.

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