Criteria for Normative Technology: An Essay on the Acceptability of 'Code as Law' in Light of Democratic and Constitutional Values

REGULATING TECHNOLOGIES, Brownsword & Yeung, eds., p. 157-174, Oxford, Hart Publishing

TILT Law & Technology Working Paper Series No. 005/2007

12 Pages Posted: 16 Dec 2007 Last revised: 28 Sep 2010

See all articles by Bert-Jaap Koops

Bert-Jaap Koops

Tilburg University - Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society (TILT)

Date Written: December 7, 2007

Abstract

Technology influences people's behaviour in significant ways. Increasingly, norms are intentionally being built-in in technology to steer behaviour, for example, by making it impossible to copy a dvd or to filter websites with undesirable material. These norms are generally not developed and designed according to the accepted procedures for law-making, but are made by a variety of private and public actors and translated into "code". Since normative technology can influence people's behaviour equally significantly as laws, this development raises questions about the acceptability of normative technology. In order to be able to assess the acceptability of normative technology in light of democratic and constitutional values, in this essay, a systematic set of criteria is proposed that can be applied to "code as law".

Keywords: code as law, technology, legal theory, legitimacy

JEL Classification: K10, K40

Suggested Citation

Koops, Bert-Jaap, Criteria for Normative Technology: An Essay on the Acceptability of 'Code as Law' in Light of Democratic and Constitutional Values (December 7, 2007). REGULATING TECHNOLOGIES, Brownsword & Yeung, eds., p. 157-174, Oxford, Hart Publishing; TILT Law & Technology Working Paper Series No. 005/2007 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1071745 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1071745

Bert-Jaap Koops (Contact Author)

Tilburg University - Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society (TILT) ( email )

P.O.Box 90153
Prof. Cobbenhagenlaan 221
Tilburg, 5037
Netherlands

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