Legislation as code in new zealand


A new investigation into the potential and risks of machine-readable legislation is now underway, with the generous support of the New Zealand Law Foundation.

This project will examine the legal, social, constitutional and democratic implications of converting, drafting and consuming legislation in machine-readable computer languages, commonly known as code. From a theoretical perspective, the task of drafting legislation as code is largely one of language and logic. However, regardless of whether the English language can be translated into code without any change in meaning, there are secondary questions to consider about how the role and function of law will change when it is constituted in machine-readable form. A constitutionally appropriate approach means that, while Government is a crucial partner in a wider social discussion about legislation as code, it cannot be the only decision-maker to investigate, implement and advocate for law as code.

For more information, please contact the researchers directly via contact information available on their profile pages, or via the online form here.

principle investigators:

Tom Barraclough, Curtis Barnes, Hamish Fraser

supported by the new zealand law foundation, information law and policy project:

Research grant awarded: up to $101,521
Anticipated completion: 1 June 2020