Call for Abstracts - Symposium Algorithmic Law and Society

Call for Abstracts

Deadline February 1, 2020

Conveners & Editors
David Restrepo Amariles
Pedro Rubim Borges Fortes

HEC Paris, the Law and Society Review, and the Law and Society Association— CRN Law and Development (CRN 52), are issuing a call for original research papers to be presented at the Symposium Algorithmic Law and Society, and to be eventually published in a special issue of the Law and Society Review. The symposium will be held at HEC Paris (France) on Friday, September 10-11, 2020.

The organizers welcome applications of technical, conceptual and empirical papers in relation to any field of law (e.g. tax, corporate, compliance, constitutional, administrative, dispute resolution, etc.) analyzing the use of algorithms, machine learning, automation, and other artificial intelligence tools and methods in the legal domain and discussing their impact on society. It covers a broad range of issues such as predictive justice, legal professions, algorithmic decision systems, LegalTech, Online Dispute Resolution aided by AI (ODRAI) , data mining, AI for democracy, data sharing, accountability of algorithms, civil and criminal liability, computation law, and privacy, among others.

The symposium will be organized as a combination of panel discussion, invited talks, and selected submitted works. For non-speakers, registration details will be made available at the website of HEC Paris in March.

Importantly, the Law and Society Review typically publishes original socio-legal research and only occasionally publishes theory articles (in this case, with a complete reframe of some part of the field that resolves an important puzzle or opens up a new, fruitful line of inquiry). The Law and Society Review does not publish literature reviews, doctrinal research or essays. Special issues normally consist of 5 original articles approved through double blind peer review. Because of the competitive and independent nature of the publishing process, the conveners cannot guarantee that paper(s) presented at the Symposium will be published as part of the special issue. Finally, even if this call is co-sponsored by the CRN 52 Law and Development, papers do not need to be related to this particular field of socio-legal research. Authors will find below a list of potential topics for their papers, but it is merely exemplificative and far from exhaustive.


  • Social trust in AI-driven legal systems
  • B2G data sharing and data philanthropy
  • AI, democracy, development and the rule of law
  • LegalTech for law firms and corporations
  • Legal data mining
  • Algorithmic decisions systems
  • Automation in law
  • Machine learning applied to legal tasks
  • Visualization and legal design
  • Responsible AI in law
  • Accountability and ethics of AI
  • Computational law
  • Liability of autonomous machines
  • Technology standards
  • Blockchain and smart contracts
  • AI methods as empirical research methods
  • Discrimination-related implications of algorithms and AI
  • Bias and stereotypical thinking in algorithms and AI
  • Discriminatory decision-making and machine learning
  • Digital justice, electronic arbitration and Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) Algorithmic law and the transformation of legal education
  • Algorithmic law and the transformation of the legal profession

Submission Procedure

February 1, 2020: Deadline for Submission of abstracts

Authors must submit their abstracts to the following email address:, and cc. co-organizers at and

Only abstracts ranging from 500 to 1000 words will be accepted. They should clearly identify the type of paper (technical, conceptual, empirical), the main contribution to the symposium theme, and the key methodological considerations.

February 15, 2020: Notification of acceptance

Authors of selected abstracts will be notified by February 15, 2020. They will be invited to submit an intermediary paper by June 1, 2020.

June 1, 2020: Submission of intermediary draft

Submission of an intermediary draft of at least 5000 words. This draft paper should outline the key research findings. Draft papers will be reviewed by the scientific board of the conference as a preliminary assessment for the peer-review evaluation of the final submission.

June 30, 2020: Feedback and confirmation of the invitation to the symposium

Authors will be provided with intermediary feedback by the scientific board. We expect to confirm the participation of all the authors to the symposium. Nonetheless, should the scientific board consider a paper is not ready for public discussion or does not meet the academic standards of the Law and Society Review, the author(s) will receive a notification of withdrawal from the program.

August 28, 2020: Submission and circulation of full drafts

Authors should send the full paper to following the submission guidelines of the Law and Society Review. The paper will be circulated among the participants to the symposium.

For more information, click here!

September 10-11, 2020: Symposium at HEC Paris

October 30, 2020: Submission of final draft for peer-review
Following the symposium, authors must submit the final paper to the organizers on October 30, 2020. The papers will be first assessed by the editors of the special issue, David Restrepo Amariles and Pedro Rubim Borges Fortes, and will then be subject to peer-review following the strict rules of the Law and Society Review.

We expect the special issue to be published in 2021.

Travel Funding

The organizers will reserve and pay for hotel accommodations for attending authors and discussants for two nights (10-11 of September). The organizers may offer financial support for travel expenses on individual basis and upon request of the participant. Please let us know if you require financial support for your transportation at the moment of notification of acceptance of your abstract. Participants are expected to attend and participate in the full duration of the symposium.

More about Algorithmic Law and Society

Our daily lives are currently impacted by decisions made by algorithms, which are ubiquitous. Mathematical formulas establish instructions that shape the outcomes of markets, state, and society. Because orders embedded in computer programs command how reality ought to be, algorithms are normative. Eventually, algorithmic decisions systems implementing legal rules, mathematical formulas and computer code are triggering the emergence of hybrid norms and arguably of an algorithmic law.

The initial prospects of using big data and algorithms for legal design and regulation were positive, because of its potential for improvement of the quality of law and decisions making by using quantitative empirical methods, measuring the impact of the law through metrics, and enforcing the law automatically. In this context, the idea of a SMART - acronym for Scientific, Mathematical, Algorithmic, Risk, and Technology driven - Law emerged as a perspective for analysis of new regulatory techniques already applied for taxation, fintech, and banking, among other fields. The potential of an optimally designed regulation led to the expectation that big data could provide us with hyper-nudges and alternative reality models for governance by algorithms.

However, critical analysis of select algorithmic systems reveals that they may also be opaque, discriminatory, fraudulent, and unfair. Particular case studies show, for instance, that computer programs are used to cut social security benefits from the vulnerable poor, to facilitate anticompetitive practices and collusion that harms consumers in digital markets, and to provide justification for incarceration of individuals in the criminal justice systems. Artificial intelligence methods, and machine learning in particular, bring another layer of complexity to this brave new world of algorithmic law, especially for criminal and civil liability of conduct performed by computer devices, drones and autonomous machines. In this setting, demands for more transparency, the right for an explanation, and for algorithmic auditing are becoming more frequently among academics, policymakers and the public in general. Hence, the analytical and empirical review of algorithms and the assessment of their impact on contemporary societies are essential for understanding the future of the law jobs, the role of the justice system in solving disputes, the transformations of the legal profession, and most importantly, the means to uphold democracy and the rule of law in this new setting.

Why a Symposium on Algorithmic Law and Society?

This symposium on 'Algorithmic Law and Society' seeks to bring a socio-legal, interdisciplinary and critical scrutiny to legal decision systems relying on mathematical rationality, computer programs, and automation. Our digital experience is monitored, controlled, and systematized in a way that news, adds, prices, and offers are tailored according to the selected data about our previous actions and future expected patterns of behavior. These designed digital ecosystems are a significant part of our virtual existence. Likewise, courts are already experimenting with digital justice, by moving from Alternative Dispute Resolution to AI-driven Online Dispute Resolution. In terms of case management, computer software may identify similar claims, repetitive appeals, and analogous cases for purposes of unifying these files and providing a single coherent decision applicable for all of them. Moreover, algorithms are already trained to substitute repetitive. Finally, the theme is relevant, because it is at the forefront of the law, lawyering, and legal education - Academic institutes for the study of law, technology, and society proliferate; courses on digital justice are extremely popular at law schools nowadays; governments, tribunals, and law firms are investing in IT; and a growing academic literature on 'algorithmic law and society' is being published with the clear concrete significance and importance of this theme.

For any questions regarding the submission process, please contact

David Restrepo Amariles, Associate Professor of Data Law & AI, HEC Paris. Member of DATA IA.

Pedro Rubim Borges Fortes, Visiting Professor of Law at the Doctorate of the National Law School at UFRJ,

Scientific Board and Intermediary Paper Reviewers

  • Karim Benyeklef, Professor of Law, Director of Cyberjustice, Université de Montreal
  • Carlos Bolonha, Dean and Professor of Law, National Law School, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro
  • Anupam Chander, Professor of Law, Georgetown University
  • David Erdos, Senior Lecturer in Law, Deputy Director of Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Law (CIPIL), University of Cambridge
  • David Freeman Engstrom, Professor of Law, Associate Dean, Stanford University
  • Benoit Frydman, Professor of Law, Perelman Centre, Université Libre de Bruxelles
  • Fabien Gélinas, Professor of Law, Sir William C. Macdonald Chair, McGill University
  • Sabine Gless, Professor of Law, Universität Basel
  • Mireille Hildebrandt, Professor of Law and Technology, Co-Director Law, Science and Technology, Vrij Universiteit Brussel
  • Guilherme Magalhães Martins, Professor of Law at the National Law School, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, and Director of IBERC
  • Rebecca L. Sandefur, Professor of Sociology, Arizona State University, Chief editor of the Law and Society Review, and Faculty Fellow at the American Bar Foundation
  • Susan Sterett, Professor and Director of Public Policy, UMBC
  • Michalis Vazirgiannis, Professor of Data Science, Ecole Polytechnique.

This content has been updated on 06/09/2020 at 13 h 25 min.