Perhaps the most interesting part of the first day of ICAIL 2021 proper is a presentation by Dr. Alice Witt, entitled Converting Copyright Legislation into Machine-Executable Code: Interpretation, Coding Validation and Legal Alignment. The presentation is available on YouTube here.

Let me first say that this is the first time that I have seen a paper on Rules as Code at ICAIL, and it is nice to see it getting the attention that it deserves in that forum.

Second, I really appreciate the approach that the researchers have taken, here, which is to put technology into the hands of domain…


ICAIL is the International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Law. It is held bi-annually, and it is currently being “hosted” virtually in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

You can “attend” it virtually by going to the Associação Lawgorithm youtube channel and following along with the live presentations today, tomorrow, and Thursday.

On the Monday and Friday of the conference there are typically a number of parallel workshops. Yesterday I followed along with the Explainable and Responsible AI in Law workshop, which was very interesting. Trevor Bench Capon did a presentation on how using issues-based case based reasoning approaches can allow you to…


The International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Law is a renowned international academic conference on law and artificial intelligence. It is held every two years.

In 2019, I had the pleasure of attending in order to present a demonstration of work that was part of my LLM in Computational Law at the University of Alberta.

I’m happy to share that I will be “attending” again this year. ICAIL ’21 will be publishing an extended abstract of mine, which is one level above a demonstration. …


Today at SMU CCLaw we had a seminar from Dr. Joaquín Arias Herrero of the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos in Spain. Dr. Arias is one of the researchers responsible for s(CASP), which is my new favourite programming language for Rules as Code.

I was delighted to learn about the existence of s(CASP) late last year. I have been spending a lot of time working in it in the first half of 2021, and that delight has not diminished.

I needed to introduce Dr. Arias to my colleagues, and so took a look at his CV. There I learned that like…


Drafting the Rock Paper Scissors Act in s(CASP)

I want to give you an intuition for why Rules as Code in logical tools like s(CASP) makes laws better.

Let’s imagine that you are the legal knowledge engineer assigned to the Rules as Code process for drafting the Rock Paper Scissors Act of 2021. The purpose of the Rock Paper Scissors Act is to set out the official rules of who is the winner of a game of Rock Paper Scissors.

The Draft

We need to start with a proposed natural language draft of the law. So here is a first attempt that we can play with.

1. The winner of…


The International Law Lab Showcase is an online meetup of innovation and technology labs at law schools around the world. It is an opportunity for the members of these labs to meet one another, and for people interested in how these innovative institutions operate to come ask questions.

If you are interested in attending a law school with an innovation and technology lab, or if you are a law school interested in starting one, this is where you should be.

Eight of the labs are located in the US, with one each from Singapore, Hong Kong, and Australia. …


See L4-Docassemble, our first-of-it’s kind legal expert system tool, in action.


SMU CClaw brings logic-based legal encodings, defaults and exceptions, reusable rules and data structures, explanations, rapid prototyping, and deeper legal reasoning to open source legal expert systems.

At SMU’s Centre for Computational Law we are working on an open source domain specific language for law, called L4. The idea is that you should be able to write legal rules, like laws or contracts, in L4, and other applications should be able to translate that encoding into other forms to do useful things.

One of the useful things that we want people to be able to do with L4 is to build expert systems. An expert system is an application that is given a question to answer, collects relevant information from a user, and then provides the answer…


Dot in Ancient Egypt world at Universal Studios Singapore

My birthday was last week, and everyone chipped in to get me a trip to Universal Studios and the Singapore Flyer.

Dot kept asking why we weren’t at “Warner Brothers Studios”, and I told her I don’t even know if that’s a thing, but they definitely don’t have one in Singapore.

A blog post didn’t even cover it, so here’s a YouTube video of the trip!

Thank to everyone who pitched in for the cool experience. It was a good time.

My new favourite roller-coaster of all time is Battlestar Galactica: Human vs Cylon (Cylon). …


I was working on an s(CASP) encoding last week, and learned something that gave me a better intuition for how to encode things well.

I needed to encode what counted as a business, and there were two things. I needed to encode what counted as a business entity, and there were 7 things, each of which required a business, which meant there were 14 possibilities total. Then I needed to encode what counted as an executive appointment, and there were three. One of them required a business, which meant that branch had two options. One of them required a business…

Jason Morris

Lawyer, Round Table Law; 2018/2019 ABA Innovation Fellow; Sessional Instructor, University of Alberta; Computational Law (Symbolic AI) Researcher, CCLaw @ SMU

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