Why Personalized Law?

U. Chi. L. Rev. Online (Forthcoming)

11 Pages Posted: 7 Jan 2022

See all articles by Horst Eidenmueller

Horst Eidenmueller

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Date Written: November 23, 2021


Big data and advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI) have made it possible to personalize legal rules. In this essay, I investigate the question of whether laws should be personalized. Omri Ben-Shahar and Ariel Porat argue that personalized law could be a “precision tool” to achieve whatever goal the lawmaker wants to achieve. This argument is not convincing. The most “natural” fit and best normative justification for a personalized law program is welfarism/utilitarianism. This is because personalized law and welfarism/utilitarianism are both based on normative individualism. But welfarism/utilitarianism is a highly problematic social philosophy. Against this background, it becomes clear why personalized law should only have a limited role to play in lawmaking. The focus of state action should not be the design and running of a personalized law program. Rather, it should be on controlling “wild personalization” by powerful private actors.

Keywords: Personalized Law, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Welfarism, Utilitarianism, Efficiency

JEL Classification: K00

Suggested Citation

Eidenmueller, Horst G. M., Why Personalized Law? (November 23, 2021). U. Chi. L. Rev. Online (Forthcoming), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3969934 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3969934

Horst G. M. Eidenmueller (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law ( email )

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European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) ( email )

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