Monday, March 11, 2019
Sponsored by the Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Legislative Drafting program at Athabasca University.
Legislative drafters follow formalized conventions when crafting statutory and regulatory texts. Professor Wolfgang Alschner will explore how such conventions can facilitate rules-based information extraction. Using regulatory reform as a case study, he will show how to apply rules derived from legislative drafting to automatically measure prescriptivity—a relative concept of commands in relation to permissions—in federal Canadian regulations. We measured prescriptivity by counting associated signaling terms across a corpus of 2,300 Canadian regulations. The resulting prescriptivity scores meaningfully describe policy-relevant characteristics of regulatory texts. These scores provide a basic metric to inform regulatory reform and highlight the value of rules-based analytics derived from legislative drafting conventions. Professor Alschner will also discuss how to facilitate the review of regulations using a software prototype that helps regulators to tell a “good” regulation worth preserving from a “bad” one in need of amendment or repeal.
Professor Wolfgang Alschner, Faculty of Law – Common Law Section, University of Ottawa
Wolfgang Alschner is an empirical legal scholar specialized in international economic law and the computational analysis of law. He is a permanent faculty member of the Common Law Section with cross-appointment to the Faculty of Engineering, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He is also a faculty member of the Centre for Law, Technology and Society at the University of Ottawa. Wolfgang holds a PhD in International Law from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, a Master of Law from Stanford Law School, a Master in International Affairs from the Graduate Institute as well as an LLB from the University of London and a BA in International Relations from the University of Dresden, Germany.
Moderator: Professor John Mark Keyes, Faculty of Law – Common Law Section, University of Ottawa