From Rules as Code to Mindset Strategies and Aligned Interpretive Approaches


  • Mark Burdon Queensland University of Technology
  • Anna Huggins Queensland University of Technology
  • Nic Godfrey Queensland University of Technology
  • Rhyle Simcock
  • Josh Buckley Queensland University of Technology
  • Siobhaine Slevin Relata Logic
  • Stephen McGowan Relata Logic


Rules as Code; design and distribution obligations; Deontic Defeasible Logic; interpretive approaches; mindsets; legal coding


‘Rules as Code’ is a broad heuristic that encompasses different conceptual and practical aspects regarding the presentation of legal instruments as machine executable code, especially for use in automated business systems. The presentation of law as code was historically considered a largely isomorphic exercise that could be achieved through a literal translation of law into code. Contemporary research is questioning the value of a literal approach to legal coding and is adopting different interpretive strategies that seek enhanced alignment between law and code. In this article, we report on research findings involving the coding of an Australian Commonwealth statute – the Treasury Laws Amendment (Design and Distribution Obligations and Product Intervention Powers) Act 2019 (Cth) (the ‘DDO Act’), and the Act’s concomitant regulatory guidance – the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) Regulatory Guide 274 (‘RG 274’). We adapt and apply Brownsword’s mindsets to develop different interpretive approaches that were necessary to resolve the coding issues encountered. The mindset strategies enabled us to outline and delineate distinct computational, legal and regulatory interpretive approaches that highlight the different cultural contexts and rationales which are embedded in legal instruments, like legislation and regulatory guidance. In conclusion, we contend that different types of mindset strategies better highlight the interpretive choices involved in the coding of legal and regulatory instruments.    



7 February 2024
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How to Cite

Burdon, Mark, Anna Huggins, Nic Godfrey, Rhyle Simcock, Josh Buckley, Siobhaine Slevin, and Stephen McGowan. 2024. “From Rules As Code to Mindset Strategies and Aligned Interpretive Approaches”. Journal of Cross-Disciplinary Research in Computational Law 2 (1).