Me on the summit of Stuchd an Lochain
On the summit of Stuchd an Lochain

Hello & thanks for visiting! I'm a cross-disciplinary researcher working at the intersection of law, design, and computer science.

Digisprudence book cover

I'm interested in how digital systems influence our agency, and what impact their designs have from the point of view of democracy and the Rule of Law. I call this perspective digisprudence, and have written about it in articles, my PhD, and my open access book Digisprudence: Code as Law Rebooted.

I'm based in Edinburgh in bonnie Scotland, where I'm currently a postdoctoral researcher in COHUBICOL (Counting as a Human Being in the Era of Computational Law), an ERC Advanced Grant project at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel headed by Mireille Hildebrandt.

We bring together legal philosophy and computer science to ask how the fundamental tenets of the rule of law can be retained (and if necessary adapted) when law is 'done' by and through code and data — specifically via different kinds of code- and data-driven 'legal tech'. See the project website for more details.

Alongside COHUBICOL, I'm co-founder and Managing Editor of the Journal of Cross-disciplinary Research in Computational Law (CRCL), and was for ten years Technical Editor of SCRIPTed: a Journal of Law, Technology & Society.

Beyond the academic world, I like to play the caixa and repinique in Brazilian samba bateria, and I've occasionally directed and composed too. I also take photos, climb Munros, and am interested in improving understanding of mental health and wellbeing both inside and outside academia.

I used to be a full stack web developer, and occasionally still dabble (including this site, COHUBICOL, CRCL, and SCRIPTed), and I contribute to the odd open source project. That technical experience has been an important impetus for my research: I've always been troubled by the power of developers, even those trying to do the right thing. The gap between what law requires and what actually goes on is quite startling, and is one of the many fundamental questions that will need to be addressed in the 21st century. That's the basis of my interest in this field.

Latest blog post