Important Update:

The workshop will be held as a hybrid event with full support for remote participation, following the latest update from the main POPL conference. To attend in person, choose “in-person POPL” option from the main registration page, which later will prompt you to select the specific meetings you want to attend. To participate remotely, choose “Virtual POPL” option which is common to all POPL-week events. Note that in both cases, you will automatically get all the benefits of “Virtual POPL” option, namely, remote access to all POPL-week events as well as the POPL Virtual Workshop. If you are already registered, and wish to either update your information or switch between the in-person and virtual options, use “Update Information” option.

Law at large underpins modern society, codifying and governing many aspects of citizens’ daily lives. Oftentimes, law is subject to interpretation, debate and challenges throughout various courts and jurisdictions. But in some other areas, law leaves little room for interpretation, and essentially aims to rigorously describe a computation, a decision procedure or, simply said, an algorithm.

The programming languages community has so far brought very few answers to the problem of having a transparent, accountable implementation of computational law. The current state of affairs is concerning: in many cases, human-critical systems are implemented using technology that is several decades old, resulting in e.g. the IRS relying on assembly code from the 60s or its French counterpart relying on a home-made language from the 90s with tens of thousands of global variables. For institutions stuck with this unfortunate status quo, consequences are many: legacy systems cannot be evolved, in spite of hundreds of millions of dollars spent on “modernization” budgets; mistakes are made and rarely noticed; automatic analyses remain elusive, meaning policymakers are “flying dark”; and in the worst case, as happened with the French military pay computation, families are on the verge of bankruptcy because of incorrect code. However, there is hope. Recent papers published at PL venues (A Modern Compiler for the French Tax Code, CC’21; Catala: a Programming Language for the Law, ICFP’21; Property conveyances as a programming language, Onward!’19), along with a recent NSF proposal for Designing Accountable Software Systems point to a reckoning in the broader scientific and PL community. The purpose of this workshop is to gather momentum and bring together a community that can advance the state of law, and society.

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Sun 16 Jan

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09:00 - 09:45
Research keynoteProLaLa at Salon III
Chair(s): Jonathan Protzenko Microsoft Research, Redmond
09:00
45m
Keynote
Research keynote -- Programming Languages and Law: A Research Agenda for a New FieldRemote
ProLaLa
James Grimmelmann Cornell University
File Attached
09:45 - 10:05
Long talks #1ProLaLa at Salon III
Chair(s): Jonathan Protzenko Microsoft Research, Redmond
09:45
20m
Talk
Legal CalculiInPerson
ProLaLa
Shrutarshi Basu Harvard University, Anshuman Mohan Cornell University, James Grimmelmann Cornell University, Nate Foster Cornell University
File Attached
10:20 - 12:00
Long talks #2ProLaLa at Salon III
Chair(s): Jonathan Protzenko Microsoft Research, Redmond
10:20
20m
Talk
Position Paper: LLD is All You NeedRemote
ProLaLa
L. Thorne McCarty Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Pre-print
10:40
20m
Talk
Logical English as a Programming Language for the LawRemote
ProLaLa
Robert Kowalski Imperial College London, Jacinto Dávila Contratos Lógicos. C.A. and Universidad de Los Andes, Miguel Calejo logicalcontracts.com
File Attached
11:00
20m
Talk
Introduction of PROLEG (PROlog-based LEGal reasoning support system)Remote
ProLaLa
Ken Satoh National Institute of Informatics, Wachara Fungwacharakorn National Institute of Informatics, Kanae Tsushima National Institute of Informatics, Japan
File Attached
11:20
20m
Talk
DPCL: a Language Template for Normative SpecificationsRemote
ProLaLa
Giovanni Sileno University of Amsterdam, Thomas van Binsbergen University of Amsterdam, Matteo Pascucci Slovak Academy of Science, Tom van Engers Leibniz Institute / University of Amsterdam / TNO
Pre-print
11:40
20m
Talk
Reflections on the design and application of eFLINTRemote
ProLaLa
Pre-print File Attached
13:30 - 14:10
Short talksProLaLa at Salon III
Chair(s): Jonathan Protzenko Microsoft Research, Redmond
13:30
10m
Talk
Littleton: An Educational Environment for Property LawRemote
ProLaLa
Shrutarshi Basu Harvard University, Anshuman Mohan Cornell University, James Grimmelmann Cornell University, Nate Foster Cornell University
File Attached
13:40
10m
Talk
Modeling Administrative Discretion Using Goal-Directed Answer Set ProgrammingRemote
ProLaLa
Joaquín Arias Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Mar Moreno-Rebato Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, José Antonio Rodríguez-García Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Sascha Ossowski Universidad Rey Juan Carlos
Pre-print Media Attached File Attached
13:50
10m
Talk
Probabilistic programming for Employment Tribunal remediesRemote
ProLaLa
James Cheney University of Edinburgh; Alan Turing Institute
14:00
10m
Talk
Prevalence of Expression Types in Legislative TextRemote
ProLaLa
Jason Morris Service Canada, Lexpedite Legal Technology
14:10 - 14:50
Long talks #3ProLaLa at Salon III
Chair(s): Jonathan Protzenko Microsoft Research, Redmond
14:10
20m
Talk
Law Smells: Defining and Detecting Problematic Patterns in Legal DraftingRemote
ProLaLa
Corinna Coupette Max Planck Institute for Informatics, Saarbrücken, Germany, Dirk Hartung Center for Legal Technology and Data Science, Bucerius Law School, Hamburg, Germany, Janis Beckedorf Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany, Maximilian Böther Hasso Plattner Institute, University of Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany, Daniel Martin Katz Illinois Tech – Chicago Kent College of Law, Chicago, IL, USA
Pre-print File Attached
14:30
20m
Talk
Cod(e)ifying The LawInPerson
ProLaLa
Nel Escher University of Michigan, Jeffrey Bilik University of Michigan, Alexander Miller University of Michigan, Jennifer Jiyoung Huseby University of Michigan, Divya Ramesh University of Michigan, Alice Liu University of Michigan, Sam Mikell University of Michigan, Nina Cahill University of Michigan, Ben Green University of Michigan, Nikola Banovic University of Michigan
File Attached
15:05 - 15:25
Long talks #4ProLaLa at Salon III
Chair(s): Jonathan Protzenko Microsoft Research, Redmond
15:05
20m
Talk
Stipula: a domain specific language for legal contractsRemote
ProLaLa
Silvia Crafa University of Padova, Cosimo Laneve University of Bologna, Giovanni Sartor University of Bologna
Pre-print File Attached
15:25 - 16:10
Industry keynoteProLaLa at Salon III
Chair(s): Jonathan Protzenko Microsoft Research, Redmond
15:25
45m
Industry talk
Industry keynote -- What does a toolchain for legislation eventually become?Remote
ProLaLa
Davin Fifield Oracle, Surend Dayal Australian National University, Don Syme Microsoft
Link to publication
16:10 - 16:30
Long talks #5ProLaLa at Salon III
Chair(s): Jonathan Protzenko Microsoft Research, Redmond
16:10
20m
Talk
Ergo - a programming language for Smart Legal ContractsRemote
ProLaLa
Niall Roche Mishcon de Reya,University College London,Accord Project, Jerome Simeon Clause, Walter Hernandez Mishcon de Reya,Accord Project, Eason Chen Accord Project, Dan Selman Docusign,Accord Project
Pre-print File Attached
16:40 - 17:40
Long talks #6ProLaLa at Salon III
Chair(s): Shrutarshi Basu Harvard University
16:40
20m
Talk
A General Library of Legal ComponentsRemote
ProLaLa
Chris Bailey University of Illinois College of Law
Link to publication
17:00
20m
Talk
Overview of the CCLAW L4 projectRemote
ProLaLa
Avishkar Mahajan Singapore Management University, Martin Strecker Singapore Management University, Meng Weng Wong Singapore Management University
17:20
20m
Talk
Turning Catala into a Proof Platform for the LawRemote
ProLaLa
Alain Delaët INRIA, ENS Lyon, Denis Merigoux INRIA, Aymeric Fromherz Inria
Pre-print

Call for submissions

This will be an informal workshop without any proceedings. As such, presenting already published or ongoing work is encouraged. Two types of submissions will be considered: extended abstracts (up to 3 pages without references) and short talk proposals (up to 1 page without references).

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • language design for legal matters;
  • static analysis of legal texts;
  • program synthesis and repair for legal software components;
  • formal modeling of legal semantics;
  • program verification for legal expert systems.

Submissions should be sent via the ProLaLa HotCRP instance.

Extended abstracts

The default submission is an extended abstract, which, if accepted, will result in a 25 min. presentation slot during the workshop.

Short talks proposals

Alternatively, for work that is very speculative or brief previews of ongoing work, we also offer the option of submitting short talks proposal, whose length shall not exceed 10 min.

Important dates

  • Submission deadline: Thursday, October 28th 2021 AoE
  • Notification of acceptance: Thursday, November 11th 2021
  • Workshop: Sunday, Jan 16th 2021

Accepted presentations

Title
A General Library of Legal ComponentsRemote
ProLaLa
Link to publication
Cod(e)ifying The LawInPerson
ProLaLa
File Attached
DPCL: a Language Template for Normative SpecificationsRemote
ProLaLa
Pre-print
Ergo - a programming language for Smart Legal ContractsRemote
ProLaLa
Pre-print File Attached
Industry keynote -- What does a toolchain for legislation eventually become?Remote
ProLaLa
Link to publication
Introduction of PROLEG (PROlog-based LEGal reasoning support system)Remote
ProLaLa
File Attached
Law Smells: Defining and Detecting Problematic Patterns in Legal DraftingRemote
ProLaLa
Pre-print File Attached
Legal CalculiInPerson
ProLaLa
File Attached
Littleton: An Educational Environment for Property LawRemote
ProLaLa
File Attached
Logical English as a Programming Language for the LawRemote
ProLaLa
File Attached
Modeling Administrative Discretion Using Goal-Directed Answer Set ProgrammingRemote
ProLaLa
Pre-print Media Attached File Attached
Overview of the CCLAW L4 projectRemote
ProLaLa
Position Paper: LLD is All You NeedRemote
ProLaLa
Pre-print
Prevalence of Expression Types in Legislative TextRemote
ProLaLa
Probabilistic programming for Employment Tribunal remediesRemote
ProLaLa
Reflections on the design and application of eFLINTRemote
ProLaLa
Pre-print File Attached
Research keynote -- Programming Languages and Law: A Research Agenda for a New FieldRemote
ProLaLa
File Attached
Stipula: a domain specific language for legal contractsRemote
ProLaLa
Pre-print File Attached
Turning Catala into a Proof Platform for the LawRemote
ProLaLa
Pre-print
Questions? Use the ProLaLa contact form.