Proyecto RTC-2017-6740-7 financiado por MCIN/AEI/ 10.13039/501100011033 y por FEDER Una manera de hacer Europa
Proyecto 2019PIDPID-107667GB-I00: Worlds and Truth Values: Challenges to Formal Semantics (MUNVAL) financiado por



When: From Thursday, April 28 until Friday, April 29, 2022.

Venue: Faculty of Philosophy, University of Barcelona: Montalegre, 6. 08001, Barcelona.

  • April, 28: Aula Magna (4th floor)
  • April, 29: Aula Magna (morning) | Room 222 (evening) (4th and 2nd floor)


While the benefit of using software tools in the public (e.g, customization of public services and good governance) and private sector is clear, several scenarios arising from the interaction between law and software raise a variety of interesting considerations and, at times, potentially troubling issues related to the failure or misuse of legal software.

For example, misinterpretations of the law and inadequate translations into computer code can cause the software to function correctly with respect to its specifications, but disastrously with respect to the rule passed by the legislature or the executive branch. This can open the door to biased automated decisions, whether due to cognitive biases of the programmers, the data used or statistical biases, resulting in mismanagement and discrimination on various grounds.

Another example is the use of behavioral insights in the digital domain, which has become extremely relevant during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this area, the possible use by the public and private sector of the so-called dark patterns, on which the European Parliament has recently proposed to include a ban in the future Digital Services Act, and the so-called hyper nudging, raise legal issues regarding a possible manipulation that violates the freedom of thought, as indicated by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe in a recent statement of 2019.

Moreover, it is a statistical truth that programs will occasionally contain a non-negligible error rate per thousand lines of code, even when they follow strict protocols such as those in aeronautical software development. Although no computer program operates with zero risk of failure, its output can result in legally binding decisions, posing a potential legal threat to the rights of individuals.

Possible solutions to these problems raise, in turn, questions about the linguistic nature of legal texts and about the extent to which they can be adequately translated into mathematical or formal language. This may have implications for the role that computer science could play in the drafting of certain legal texts.

These challenges pertain to both the legal and software engineering communities, and contributions from, among others, formal logic can help design a framework for reasoning accurately about algorithms and rules at the same time. In this sense, the digital literacy of jurists and public and private managers and the legal literacy of software programmers are goals that Algorithmic Law and Software Design aims to work towards.

The main questions of the conference include but are not limited to:

  • Can legal texts be written in a semi-formal language?
  • How to translate legal texts into unambiguous instructions for programmers?
  • What are the challenges posed by algorithmic legal texts that grant discretionary powers to be exercised by public administrations?
  • How to make sure that software complies with its specifications and is faithful to the legal text in natural language?
  • What programming techniques can warrant zero-error software?
  • What could the software homologation landscape look like?
  • What legal and technical apparatus do we have at our disposal to impose programming rules?
  • From a legal and technical point of view: is source code transparency compatible with existing regulations on software trade secrets and proprietary source code?
  • Would the formal specification of the code of laws be acceptable for the spirit and philosophy of law?
  • What can be expected from formal methods, such as proof assistants, model checkers, formal logics, etc., when applied to the field of law?

We aim to address these challenges from the combined perspective of academia, industry and public administration.


In order to register, please, fill the Registration Form (*)


  • Regular fee (90 €)
  • Reduced fee (60 €)
  • Minimum fee (30 €)

Students can also apply for a waiver fee.

(*) If you have already registered, but haven't yet proceeded with the fee payment, please click here.


Keynote Speakers:

  • Grant Olney Passmore (Imandra, USA)
  • Bart Verheij (Bernoulli Institute of Mathematics, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence, University of Groningen, The Netherlands)

Invited Speakers:

  • Marlies van Eck (Hooghiemstra & Partners | Radboud University, The Netherlands)
  • David Fernández-Duque (Ghent University, Belgium)
  • Yannick Forster (Inria, Project Team Gallinette, France)
  • Mireia González Bedmar (Formal Vindications, Spain)
  • Liane Huttner (Université Paris 1 Pantéon-Sorbonne, France)
  • Julius Lyk-Jensen (Agency for Digitalization, Ministry of Finance, Denmark)
  • Christine Holmgreen Mejling (Agency for Digitalization, Ministry of Finance, Denmark)
  • Denis Merigoux (Inria, Project Team Prosecco, France)
  • Moritz Müller (Universitat de Barcelona, Spain)
  • Fernando Nubla Durango (LEOS Project, European Commission)
  • Monica Palmirani (University of Bologna, Italy)
  • Willy van Puymbroeck (LEOS Project, European Commission)
  • Mette Eigaard Rasmussen (Agency for Digitalization, Ministry of Finance, Denmark)
  • Susana de la Sierra (Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Spain)


TimeApril 28TimeApril 29
9:45Opening Session by Begoña Román Maestre / Pompeu Casanovas9:30Julius Lyk-Jensen / Christine Holmgreen Mejling / Mette Eigaard Rasmussen
10:00Joost J. Joosten10:15Moritz Müller
10:15Mireia González Bedmar11:00Denis Merigoux
11:00Coffee break11:45Coffee break [Change to Room 222]
11:30Yannick Forster12:15Liane Huttner
12:15David Fernández Duque13:00Mid-day break
13:00Mid-day break15:00Susana de la Sierra
15:00Marlies van Eck15:45Keynote: Bart Verheij
15:45Fernando Nubla Durango / Monica Palmirani / Willy van Puymbroeck16:30Break
16:30Break16:45Closing: Juli Ponce Solé / Agustí Cerrillo Martínez
16:45Keynote: Grant Olney Passmore



Booklet of Abstracts.

Conference Poster:

Poster of the Conference.
  • Poster design by Eric Sancho Adamson, April 2022.

Social Events

There will be a social dinner which will take place Thursday evening. The details have been sent to the participants of the dinner. In case you haven't received it please contact


Program CommitteeOrganizing Committee
Joost J. JoostenJoost J. Joosten (Co-Chair)
Julio Ponce SoléJulio Ponce Solé (Co-Chair)
Petia Guintchev (Secretary)
Gabriel Andrés Molero
Eric Sancho Adamson
Isabel Serra Domènech
Aleix Solé Sánchez

Poster Presentations

Contact & Travel Info

Via email:

Faculty of Philosophy, University of Barcelona: Montalegre, 6. 08001, Barcelona.

Useful phone numers:

  • Citizen inquiries: 012
  • Emergency: 112
  • Health related issues: 061