Regulatory Technology – Replacing Law with Computer Code

28 Pages Posted: 23 Jul 2018

See all articles by Eva Micheler

Eva Micheler

London School of Economics - Law School

Anna Whaley


Date Written: July 9, 2018


Recently both the Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority have carried out experiments using new digital technology for regulatory purposes. The idea is to replace rules written in natural legal language with computer code and to use artificial intelligence for regulatory purposes. This new way of designing public law is in line with the government’s vision for the UK to become a global leader in digital technology. It is also reflected in the FCA’s business plan. The article reviews the technology and the advantages and disadvantages of combining the technology with regulatory law. It then informs the discussion from a broader public law perspective. It analyses regulatory technology through criteria developed in the mainstream regulatory discourse. It contributes to that discourse by anticipating problems that will arise as the technology evolves. In addition, the hope is to assist the government in avoiding mistakes that have occurred in the past and creating a better system from the start.

Suggested Citation

Micheler, Eva and Whaley, Anna, Regulatory Technology – Replacing Law with Computer Code (July 9, 2018). LSE Legal Studies Working Paper No. 14/2018, Available at SSRN: or

Eva Micheler (Contact Author)

London School of Economics - Law School ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Anna Whaley

Independent ( email )

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