In the first part of this 3-part series, we spoke about the status quo in law and how we at Legalese and the Computational Law Centre (CCLAW) at Singapore Management University are working together to make Computational Law a reality. Last week, we painted you a picture of what a computational law driven future might look like, and assured you that the approach of building a DSL is a rather well-honed tradition one in software that has transformed professional domains like accounting, architecture, and digital photography. This article is the final part of a 3-part series.
If you recall, we discussed the (natural) language problem of law and how perhaps a domain-specific language (DSL) for law might be the foundational technological innovation to fix it. Because a DSL gives “Law” (which term we use to collectively refer to statutes, regulations, contracts, guidelines, business process logic, rules, quasi-legal documentation, you name it) a common denominator, the disparate bits can now “talk” to each other. This is what makes “Law” computable and computational. And in our vision, this foundational technology gets us from pseudocode to real code. That’s what we suspect a contract wants to be when it grows up: a program. And the marvellous thing about programs is that Law can graduate from simply expressing syntax (i.e. words on a page, legalistic expressions) that are essentially pseudocode to semantics (i.e. what does it mean in an objective or clearly defined fashion), to pragmatics (i.e. what does it mean for me). Semantics and pragmatics are the traditional demesnes of lawyers; these are things you’d pay and ask for a lawyer’s advice on. But lawyers’ service of semantics and pragmatics may be too much like a priesthood (and too expensive) for most end users: go forth with this blessed document, but don’t break your back carving out the laundry list of assumptions, professional indemnities, and deciphering what exactly it means for you. Take faith. This just might not cut it anymore for the increasingly tech-savvy and knowledge-driven common man on the Clapham omnibus who reviews and background checks everything including their drivers, romantic dates, and restaurants.
Supported by: Lenon Ong, Utsav Rakshit, Benjamin Peck, Ong Chin Ngee, Tristan Koh
“In a year when a certain pesky virus turned the world upside down, how can a conference engage, encapsulate and elaborate upon all of the disruption seen in one year?”
This must have been the key question on the minds of the planners of TechLaw.Fest 2020, as they went about organising Asia’s largest law and technology conference. What followed was a signature conference held with a virtually (pun intended) uniquely signature.
In this article, LawTech.Asia will take our readers on a quick recap of TechLaw.Fest 2020, as we look forward to another exciting edition of TechLaw.Fest in 2021. LawTech.Asia is grateful for our ongoing strategic media partnership with the Singapore Academy of Law (“SAL”), and for the opportunity to be a media partner for TechLaw.Fest once again.
LawTech.Asia is proud to be a partner of the HKU LITE Lab’s LawTech and RegTech Sandbox Student Virtual Showcase 2021.
To be held on 3 May 2021 at 6pm HKT, the University of Hong Kong’s (“HKU“) Law, Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship Lab (“LITE Lab“) invites industry players and students to learn more about how future legal professionals are co-designing proof-of-concepts with legal, compliance and operations professionals to create self-help, triage and document automation solutions for real-world issues.
Legal and compliance departments are increasingly expected to “do more with less” and work “faster, cheaper, better”. As studies like LITE Lab’s report in conjunction with the Association of Corporate Counsel and Eversheds on Illuminating the New Normal: Asia Pacific Counsel in a Time of Unprecedented Change (2020) confirms, however, many in-house lawyers and compliance officers face limited budgets and limited time to learn and implement new tech platforms. Some, alas, are also tech averse.
LITE Lab launched its Lawtech & Regtech Sandbox to allow students to be part of the solution and at the same time develop hands-on experiential and interdisciplinary skills solving real world problems. LITE Lab has been contributing towards the talent development of Hong Kong’s international legal and financial hub status, and is working on innovative collaborations with Hong Kong-based teams of leading companies and financial institutions such as HSBC, FedEx Express, Goodman and Angelhub. LITE Lab’s students are also developing impactful access to justice lawtech tools to assist our ordinary and disadvantaged communities.
LITE Lab counts organisations such as Association of Corporate Counsel Hong Kong, Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, Fintech Association of Hong Kong, Asia Pacific Legal Innovation and Technology Association (“ALITA“) and the Asian Academy of International Law as its supporting organisations, and it looks forward to viewers joining in on 3 May (Monday) via Zoom to witness the growth of the Lawtech and Regtech community in Hong Kong and beyond, together.
Interested participants should register using the button below.