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Social, linguistic and cognitive theories of law


Law intersects with many cognate fields. Among these are philosophy, economics political theory, epistemology, neuroscience, logic, and computing and cognitive science. Theorizing the connections between law and related fields is the subject of intense research and reflection on the part of members of the department. We are engaged in projects as varied as law and neuroscience, the intersection of law and political theory, digital technologies and law as well as the language and structure of EU law. The members of the department approach their research with a broad range of methodological tools.

In particular, research addressing the connection between law and human cognition is developed under the perspective of neuroscience (prof. Patterson) as well as from the viewpoint of logics and cognitive science (prof. Sartor), and its developed taking into account philosophical accounts of language, rationality and argumentation.

Research addressing the intersection between law and computing is developed with regard to document models, formal ontologies and models of legal content, reasoning and argumentation. Moreover, legal issues in the information society are addressed, in domains such as data protection, liability, IP and access to knowledge (prof. Giovanni Sartor).

Research on the intersection between law and language is investigated in studies on legal reasoning and legal concepts (prof. Patterson and Sartor), as well as in inquires concerning the linguistic and argumentative structures of EU law (prof. Azoulai).

At the intersection of law and economics, the legal application of decision theory and game theory have been addressed and applied to modelling litigation, trust, and judicial decision-making (prof. Sartor).

Research Projects:

  • Law and Logic in the work of G.W. Leibniz (Prof. Giovanni Sartor)
  • ALIAS (Addressing Liability Impact of Automated Systems) (Prof. Giovanni Sartor)
  • Law and Neuroscience (Prof. Dennis Patterson)
  • A Cognitive Approach to the Law (an integrated model of legal reasoning, based on the idea of cognition) (Prof. Giovanni Sartor)
  • Digital Agents and Electronic Societies (legal regulation of autonomous agents, norm-based governance of agents' societies) (Prof. Giovanni Sartor
  • Game Theory and the Law (game-theoretical analysis of legally relevant interactions) (Prof. Giovanni Sartor)
  • Models of Legal Rationality (rationality and reasonabless in legal problem-solving, logical models of legal arguments, dialogues, concepts and systems) (Prof. Giovanni Sartor)
  • Ontologies for European Laws in Executable Format (legal ontologies, legal concepts, standards for representing legal texts and legal knowledge) (Prof. Giovanni Sartor)
  • Sharing Knowledge in the Information Society (the interaction between the discipline of intellectual property and the production and communication of knowledge) (Prof. Giovanni Sartor)
  • The Protection of Trust in the Information Society (the idea of trust, its interactions with legal regulations, its protection and promotion in the digital word) (Prof. Giovanni Sartor)
  • What is a Legal Case? (Prof. Loïc Azoulai)
  • The Textual Structure of EU Law (Prof. Loïc Azoulai)
  • Development of a New Regime for the Regulation of e-commerce (Prof. Hans-W. Micklitz)

Page last updated on 18 August 2017