Edited by Alexander Orakhelashvili
Edited by Deborah Healey, Michael Jacobs and Rhonda L. Smith
The Promise and Challenge of Data-Driven Research
Edited by Ryan Whalen
This volume arrives at an important inflection point in the relationship between law and computation. Technological, scientific, and methodological developments are increasingly allowing computation to provide not just efficiencies in the traditional ways we practice or study the law, but new perspectives on the law and potential paradigmatic shifts in how we think about and understand it. These developments have already been major factors in the recent evolution of many other academic fields, as evidenced for example by the rise of computational social science, computational biology, the digital humanities, and many more emerged and still-emerging subdisciplines. Although law has perhaps lagged somewhat behind its peer disciplines in adopting and adapting computational research methods, that has begun to change in recent years as more and more legal scholars have begun applying computational methods in the course of their research. This volume explores this emergence of computational legal studies by presenting a variety of research that is either representative of, or in conversation with, the field. Before setting out to explore the state of computational legal studies, it is important first to provide at least a general delineation of what it might include and exclude. Computers and the law intersect in a variety of ways, none of which is entirely independent of one another, but all of which benefit from being independently identified in a discussion about computational legal studies. Perhaps the most common association between computers and the law is the substantive law that is increasingly faced with questions that arise as society becomes more and more digitally mediated. This area of study and practice is sometimes referred to as cyberlaw, and extends to a diverse set of legal areas including free expression, cybersecurity, privacy, and more. Although cyberlaw is broad in the legal areas it extends to, its scholarship is united by the central relevance of technology and technologically mediated social behavior to the questions it explores.