Programming Languages and Law

2nd ACM Symposium on Computer Science and Law (Nov. 1-2, 2022) (Forthcoming)

11 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2022 Last revised: 3 Nov 2022

Date Written: June 29, 2022


If code is law, then the language of law is a programming language. Lawyers and legal scholars can learn about law by studying programming-language theory, and programming-language tools can be usefully applied to legal problems. This article surveys the history of research on programming languages and law and presents ten promising avenues for future efforts. Its goals are to explain how the combination of programming languages and law is distinctive within the broader field of computer science and law, and to demonstrate with concrete examples the remarkable power of programming-language concepts in this new domain.

Keywords: programming languages, law

JEL Classification: K00

Suggested Citation

Grimmelmann, James and Grimmelmann, James, Programming Languages and Law (June 29, 2022). 2nd ACM Symposium on Computer Science and Law (Nov. 1-2, 2022) (Forthcoming), Available at SSRN:

James Grimmelmann (Contact Author)

Cornell Tech ( email )

2 West Loop Road
New York, NY 10044
United States

Cornell Law School ( email )

Myron Taylor Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853-4901
United States

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