About the Journal

CRCL ('circle') invites excellence on the side of both law and computer science concerning 'computational law' or 'legal tech'. The Journal focuses on two types of ‘legal technologies’:

  1. those using machine learning, e.g. to predict judgements or engage in argumentation mining (data-driven ‘law’), and
  2. those translating legal norms into computer code to support decision-making or to self-execute as in smart contracts or smart regulation (code-driven ‘law’).

We aim to contribute to new understandings within legal scholarship and legal practice of the assumptions, operations and implications of legal technologies, and to new understandings within computer science of the assumptions, operations and implications of law, legal protection and the rule of law.

We have a keen interest in receiving foundational work in law, computer science and other relevant disciplines (within the humanities and social sciences), for instance regarding the political economy of ‘legal tech’, and we welcome relevant case law analysis, as well as in-depth assessments of ‘legal tech’ as developed, marketed or used in legal practice.

Please note that we use 'computational law' as a shortcut to refer to 'legal tech' and as a provocation - a wake-up call. The jury is still out on whether 'legal tech' could establish or constitute 'law'. We must, however, face the possibility that it will and address the consequences as this would change the way law exists. 

Cross-disciplinary approach

CRCL advocates a specific format of peer-reviewed cross-disciplinary research: after an article has been accepted following double blind peer review (6-8k words, excluding references) it will be replied to by a scholar or scientist of another discipline (1k words), followed by a brief response by the original author (500 words).

The idea for the reply is not necessarily to refute the argument of the main text, but to explain to what extent it makes sense from the perspective of the other discipline, potentially contributing to a new research agenda between law and computer science and/or other disciplines. 

Open access

CRCL is an open access journal (Platinum Open Access), licensed under the Creative Commons BY-NC license. Readers may read, download, copy, redistribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles, without charge and without prior permission from the publisher or the author. Redistribution is allowed on condition of crediting the author(s). Redistribution of remixed, transformed or built upon content is not allowed, and distribution for commercial purposes is not allowed.  

We do not charge authors for the publication of their work. 

Photo credits

Homepage Atomium photo by Laurence Diver.

CRCL affiliations

COHUBICOL project logo

CRCL was conceived within the context of COHUBICOL (Counting as a Human Being in the Era of Computational Law), a project based at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Radboud University Nijmegen, funded by the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Excellence of Science program (grant nr. 2017-ADG No 788734).

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