Digitalised Legal Information: Towards a New Publication Model

  • Václav JanečekEmail author
Part of the Digital Ethics Lab Yearbook book series (DELY)


This chapter outlines key developments regarding publication and communication of legal rules and standards (i.e. legal information) to show that dissemination of legal information is reliant on how we design the entire model of its publication. In doing so, it analyses paradigmatic models of publication as they appeared in the prehistorical, historical, and hyperhistorical stages of human evolution. These models demonstrate how legal information was delivered to its intended addressees, i.e. to those who were expected to obey the published laws. It also demonstrates that the progress regarding these publication models was driven by efficiency and sustainability considerations. The currently prevailing model of publication is, however, inefficient and unsustainable due to an unnecessary multiplication of intermediaries facilitating communication of legal information. This problem is even more apparent in the context of increasing digitalisation of legal information and emerging information and communication technologies (ICTs). The chapter argues that, in this light, it is appropriate to consider revising the entire publication model and not only some aspects of it. An addressee-centric publication model is outlined as a potential solution to the problem. The proposed model requires active delivery of a relevant subset of digitalised legal information to its intended addressee in a similar way as targeted online advertising. Unlike the existing research that promotes personalisation of law (personalised legal information), this chapter advocates personalisation of the publication model.


Legal information Digitalised legal information Digital law Publication models Prehistory History Hyperhistory Hyperlaw Dissemination Access Internet Printing press Search engines Digital ethics Personalisation 


  1. Bench-Capon, T., et al. 2012. A history of AI and law in 50 papers: 25 years of the international conference on AI and law. Artificial Intelligence and Law 20 (3): 215–319. Scholar
  2. Ben-Shahar, O., and A. Porat. 2016. Personalizing negligence law. New York University Law Review 91 (3): 627–688.Google Scholar
  3. Biasiotti, M.A., and S. Faro. 2011. From information to knowledge: Online access to legal information-methodologies, trends and perspectives. Amsterdam: IOS Press.Google Scholar
  4. Buringh, E., and J.L. Van Zanden. 2009. Charting the “Rise of the West”: Manuscripts and printed books in Europe, a long-term perspective from the sixth through eighteenth centuries. The Journal of Economic History 69 (2): 409–445. Scholar
  5. Casey, A.J., and A. Niblett. 2016. Self-driving laws. University of Toronto Law Journal 66 (4): 429–442. Scholar
  6. Charpin, D. 2010. Writing, Law, and Kingship in Old Babylonian Mesopotamia. Trans. J.M. Todd. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  7. Cuccuru, P. 2017. Beyond bitcoin: An early overview on smart contracts. International Journal of Law and Information Technology 25 (3): 179–195. Scholar
  8. Eisenstein, E.L. 2012. The printing revolution in early modern Europe. 2nd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Floridi, L. 2012. Hyperhistory and the philosophy of information policies. Philosophy & Technology 25 (2): 129–131. Scholar
  10. Janeček, V. 2017. Kritika právní odpovědnosti. Prague: Wolters Kluwer.Google Scholar
  11. ———. 2018. Ownership of personal data in the internet of things. Computer Law and Security Review 34 (5): 1039–1052. Scholar
  12. Kramer, S.N. 1958. History begins at Sumer. London: Thames & Hudson.Google Scholar
  13. Leith, P. 2016. The rise and fall of the legal expert system. International Review of Law, Computers & Technology 30 (3): 94–106. Scholar
  14. Lepri, B., et al. 2017. Fair, transparent, and accountable algorithmic decision-making processes. Philosophy & Technology. 31: 611–627. Scholar
  15. Porat, A., and L.J. Strahilevitz. 2014. Personalizing default rules and disclosure with big data. Michigan Law Review 112: 1417–1478.Google Scholar
  16. Ruhl, J.B. 2018. Expanding the AI & Law Matrix. In: Law 2050. [].
  17. Wachter, S., B. Mittelstadt, and L. Floridi. 2017. Transparent, explainable, and accountable AI for robotics. Science robotics 2 (6): 1–2. Scholar
  18. Yang, G.-Z., et al. 2018. The grand challenges of science robotics. Science robotics 3 (14): 1–14. Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Law and St Edmund HallUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK

Personalised recommendations