Formal Methods as a Link between Software Code and Legal Rules

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7041)


The rapid evolution of the technological landscape and the impact of information technologies on our everyday life raise new challenges which cannot be tackled by a purely technological approach. Generally speaking, legal and technical means should complement each other to reduce risks for citizens and consumers : on one side, laws (or contracts) can provide assurances which are out of reach of technical means (or cope with situations where technical means would be defeated); on the other side, technology can help enforce legal and contractual commitments. This synergy should not be taken for granted however, and if legal issues are not considered from the outset, technological decisions made during the design phase may very well hamper or make impossible the enforcement of legal rights. But the consideration of legal constraints in the design phase is a challenge in itself, not least because of the gap between the legal and technical communities and the difficulties to establish a common understanding of the concepts at hand. In this paper, we advocate the use of formal methods to reduce this gap, taking examples in areas such as privacy, liability and compliance.


regulation law legal liability accountability privacy compliance formal model causality 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.INRIA Grenoble Rhône-AlpesFrance

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