Future-Proofing Legislation for the Digital Age

S. Ranchordas and Y. Roznai (Eds), Time, Law, and Change (Hart, 2020, Forthcoming)

University of Groningen Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 36/2019

23 Pages Posted: 9 Oct 2019 Last revised: 16 Oct 2019

See all articles by Sofia Ranchordas

Sofia Ranchordas

Tilburg University; Libera Universita Internazionale degli Studi Sociali

Mattis van 't Schip

University of Groningen - Faculty of Law

Date Written: August 8, 2019

Abstract

For the past decades, scholars from varied scientific fields have insisted on the need to develop ‘future-proof solutions’. Future proofing science, design, architecture, and technology entails the creation of solutions that are forward-looking, sustainable, resilient, and can adapt to complex challenges. In the last years, lawmakers have also become intrigued by the question whether laws and policies could also be future-proof. This question has become particularly relevant considering the rapid changes that characterize the digital age. The implementation of a future-proof approach to legislation has nonetheless remained overlooked in the legal literature. This paper aims to fill this gap with an interdisciplinary analysis of future proofing and a discussion of the challenges of implementing this approach to lawmaking. We contend that future proofing law is a challenging task for legislators but a cautious forward-looking approach could ensure that legislation becomes more adaptable and flexible to innovation. Drawing on the interdisciplinary literature on future proofing, we suggest the broader employment of experimental legislation and regulatory impact assessments.

Keywords: future-proof; innovation principle; regulation; impact assessment; experimental legislation; sunset clauses

JEL Classification: K2; K23

Suggested Citation

Ranchordas, Sofia and van 't Schip, Mattis, Future-Proofing Legislation for the Digital Age (August 8, 2019). S. Ranchordas and Y. Roznai (Eds), Time, Law, and Change (Hart, 2020, Forthcoming), University of Groningen Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 36/2019, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3466161 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3466161

Sofia Ranchordas (Contact Author)

Tilburg University ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, DC Noord-Brabant 5000 LE
Netherlands

Libera Universita Internazionale degli Studi Sociali ( email )

Rome
Italy

Mattis Van 't Schip

University of Groningen - Faculty of Law ( email )

9700 AS Groningen
Netherlands

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