CFP – Machine Lawyering Conference: Human Sovereignty and Machine Efficiency in the Law

Call For Papers
Machine Lawyering Conference: Human Sovereignty and Machine Efficiency in the Law

14 Jan 2021 – 16 Jan 2021, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong (or virtual)

Automation is efficient: data is gathered, processed and used to do things people cannot. Yet we have lived in a world run by and for humans, in which human sovereignty has seemed to be more important than efficiency of performance. Sovereignty and efficiency are beginning to show strong potential for conflict. For the law, this presents questions at every stage: the nature and protection of data, the manner in which it is communicated and stored, the models and algorithms according to which it is processed, the authority it is given to act, and the people whose labor it replaces. Conceptually, this evolution presents legal academics with questions ranging from the nature of society (human centered or efficiency centered?) and data to the shape of technical rules for the construction of algorithms and the supervision of automated execution.

The CUHK Law Faculty’s Centre for Financial Regulation and Economic Development (CFRED) created Machine Lawyering in 2017 to offer an umbrella under which all of the above issues can be explored. Participants in the first Machine Lawyering conference, January 2020, presented papers on issues from the consciousness of artificial intelligence to the ability of fintech applications to manipulate market prices and the use of automation in the practice of law. It created a very effective cross-pollination of ideas for all participants. Machine Lawyering’s second conference in 2021 will be equally broad.

We hope to hold the conference physically in Hong Kong, but will also work through virtual presentations, so please do not let uncertainty regarding travel dissuade you from submitting a paper. A number of best paper prizes (round trip economy to Hong Kong and three nights’ accommodation) will be offered.

These are the RELEVANT DATES:
Abstract (max 350 words) submission: 14 September 2020
Notification of acceptance: 16 October 2020
Paper submission for best paper prize 2 November 2020
Registration deadline for accepted authors: 7 December 2020
Draft paper submission for all authors: 8 January 2021

TOPICS: For the avoidance of doubt, papers on the following topics are within the conference scope:
– Algorithms and profiling (from KYC to oppression)
– Big Data and data analytics in finance, regulation, scholarship and society
– Competition law in the big data industries
– Cybersecurity
– Emerging alternative finance
– Facial recognition: special problems
– Intellectual property in automated systems
– Legal treatment of AI-driven operations and services
– Nature and regulation of payment systems (cryptoassets, stored value, mobile payment, non-bank systems)
– Personal data, including nature, collection, processing and use
– Social consequences of automation for the workforce
– Special problems of distributed ledger technology

SUBMISSION PROCEDURE: Please submit abstracts via email to Bonnie Leung at Please provide an attached file with an anonymous, blind copy of your abstract, but indicate your name, contact details, and the proposed paper title in your cover email. The subject line of the email should state “Submission for Machine Lawyering Conference.” Further information is available on the Machine Lawyering website.

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