Jusletter IT

Dear Readers,

In this October issue of Jusletter IT, we mainly present the work of a pioneer of legal informatics, Dr. Lothar Philipps, professor emeritus of criminal justice, legal informatics and philosophy of law at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU Munich).

In the German-speaking countries, legal informatics (computers and law) is also characterized by the fact that from the very beginning since the 1960s the theoretical reflection of the law and the impact of information technology on government and society was – and is – a topic of intensified studies.

Lothar Philipps is one of the outstanding representatives of this research. I have known Philipps since 1991 when I was a participant in his workshop on legal informatics at the IVR World Congress in Göttingen in 1991. Since then, we are in contact. Philipps has drawn my interest to neural networks and also opened a door to the Italian community of legal informatics. Later, I regularly traveled to Munich for the fall meeting of the section legal informatics of the «Gesellschaft für Informatik» (German Society for Informatics). In the Robotics Project at the European Academy for Technology Assessment, Philipps has supported me as a commentator providing important impulses.

Since 1998, Philipps has been an almost regular participant of the International Legal Informatics Symposium IRIS. He enriched the discussions with his rhetorical brilliance and profound speeches and comments. As part of the IRIS 1994, a colloquium was organised in his honour. The results were published in the Festschrift Gerechtigkeitswissenschaft – Kolloquium aus Anlass des 70. Geburtstages von Lothar Philipps.

What is the significance of Lothar Philipps? I asked his longtime friend Friedrich Lachmayer and he greatly inspired the following lines. In addition to a variety of collaboration for many years, Philipps is a regular speaker at Lachmayer’s seminar in Innsbruck.

Philipps qualified as a docent at the University of Saarbrücken with the topic of ontologies. Then he accepted the offer of a professorship at the University of Munich, within the department of Arthur Kaufmann. Complying with German university practice, his focus as a university teacher had to be a major subject criminal law but «besides» this task he has worked extensively on legal theory and legal informatics. As a legal theorist, he has a worldwide reputation, and in this field he is among the «Top 10».

As a legal informatics expert, his concern was the formalisation and structuring of law; taking into account his background as criminal law teacher. According to the claim of Herbert Fiedler, he has consistently combined formalisation with sound legal doctrine and competence. This was scientifically very fruitful. As a logician, he moved from legal theory to computer science, first to logic-based knowledge systems, and to fuzzy logic and neural networks. His cases from the experience of a criminal law teacher and connoisseur of crime novels are not only entertaining, but give a profound insight into theoretical questions of law.

In the sense of Arthur Kaufmann’s «Gelehrtenrepublik» (republic of academics), Munich became a center of legal theory and legal informatics. In his «Thursday Seminar», many guest lecturers from abroad accepted his invitation.  His intensive contacts with Japanese colleagues are legendary – to name only Hajime Yoshino and Guido Tsuno.

Of his still unbroken abstract creativity prove the works published here for the first time. Earlier works of Philipps show that the issues of legal informatics are strongly motivated by information technology but it its core have a very long tradition. Philipps again and again refers back to formal thinkers in earlier times, to thinkers of the Enlightenment, especially to Leibniz, but he also goes back to antiquity – to Aristotle. It is a matter of formal structures in the thing universalia in re.

The works of Philipps are grouped according to topics. Four contributions deal with legal logic: Anschauliche Normlogik. Zugleich eine Erinnerung an Bindings Normentheorie (Descriptive Norm Logic – Also a Reminder to Binding’s Norm Theory), Anschauliche Rechtssatzlogik – Rechtssätze mit Ausnahmen (Descriptive Norm Logic – Legal Rules with Exceptions) (published in the proceedings IRIS2011, Jusletter IT of 24 February 2011), Dialogische Logik und juristische Beweislastverteilung (Dialogic Logic and Juridical Burden of Proof) and Rechtliche Regelung und formale Logik (Legal Rules and Formal Logic).

The next 11 contributions can be classified under structural analysis of law: Der Kampf um markierte und unmarkierte Ausdrücke in Sprache und Recht (The Fight for Marked and Unmarked Expressions in Language and Law), Von deontischen Quadraten – Kuben – Hyperkuben (Of Deontic Quadrats – Cubes – Hypercubs), Absolute und relative Rechte und verwandte Phänomene (Absolute and Relative Rights and Related Phonomena), Verhaltensvarianten – ihre kombinatorische Erfassung (Variations of Behaviour  and its Combinatoric Representation), Von Puppen aus Russland und einer Rechtslehre aus Wien. Der Rekursionsgedanke im Recht (Of Puppets from Russia and a Legal Theory of Vienna. The Recursive Thought in Law), Endliche Rechtsbegriffe mit unendlichen Grenzen (Finite Legal Concepts with Unfinite Borders), Jean-Jacques Rousseau, ein Memetiker avant la lettre (Jean-Jacques Rousseau, a Memetic avant la lettre), Das Abstimmungsparadoxon im juristischen Alltag Alltag (The Paradox of Voting in the Legal Daily Routine) (published in the proceedings of IRIS2010, Jusletter IT of 1 September 2010), Auf die Entsprechung kommt es an! Die Logik der je/desto-Sätze im Recht (The Equivalent is Relevant!, The Logic of je/desto (The/The) Sentences in Law), Judge Rosenbergs Werte – Wie ein niederrangiger Wert einen höherrangigen übertreffen kann (Judge Rosenberg’s Values – How a Low-ranking Value Can Outclass a High-ranking One) and Das Netz des Gesetzgebers. Eine aufgelockerte Verknüpfung von Tatbestandmerkmalen, um typische Fälle zu erfassen und Gesetzesumgehungen zu verhindern (The Net of the Lawmaker. A Loosened Combination of Elements of Offences to Catch Typical Cases and Prevent Evasions of the Law).

Six articles on legal theory close the collection: Tû-Tû 2. Von Rechtsbegriffen und neuronalen Netzen (Tû-Tû 2. Of Legal Concepts and Neural Networks), Die Vereinigung konkurrierender Prinzipien der Gerechtigkeit (The Consolidation of Competing Principles of Justice), Agatha Christie und Jehoshua Bar Hillel. Informationstheorie und Gerechtigkeit (Agatha Christie and Jehoshua Bar Hillel. Information Theory and Justice), Iustitia distributiva – ein Fall für die Experimentalphilosophie (Iustitia distributiva – A Case for Experimental Philosophy) (published in the collection Q-Justice 2011, Jusletter IT of 29 June 2011), Moralische Doppelwirkungen – die Wiederkehr einer naturrechtlichen Denkfigur aus dem Internet (Moral Dopple Effects – the Return of a Natural Law Theoretical Model from the Internet) and Strafrechtsprobleme in der Ästhetik des Kriminalromans (Problems of Criminal Law in the Aesthetics of the Crime Novel).

The contributions of Heide EbertKönnen moderne Redaktionssysteme die legistische Arbeit unterstützen? (Can Modern  Editing Systems  Support Legistic Work)  – and Antje DietrichITIL: Entscheidende Kennzahlen zur Optimierung von Geschäftsprozessen innerhalb der öffentlichen Verwaltung (ITIL: Decisive Operating Figures for the Optimisation of Business Processes within the Public Administration) – compliment the documentation of the IRIS2001 conference.

Orlan Lee addresses a very important issue: the extension of legal protection against the extensive collection and disclosure of personal information, often through credit bureaus in the U.S. – Human Resources Assessment and Digging Up Dirt: Getting Around the Libel Laws.

Guenther Sammer and Maximilian Schubert argue for a «tertium» between public and private space in the copyright in order to give enough space for «normal internet use»: Das «Tertium» als ersten Schritt zum internetfitten Urheberrecht (The «tertium»as the first step to internet-fit copyright laws).

Having said this, we hope you enjoy reading this issue!