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What we're working on at Syncopate

We think the world can and must do better at using computers to implement law and regulation. There’s endless theoretical and descriptive explanations for why this is important and how it might be done, but there aren’t enough real world examples. There’s desperate demand, as well as appalling failures.

In all our time thinking about this topic, we’ve never come across the perfect tools for the job. We’ve developed our own workflows, workarounds and procedures blending various off the shelf tools, proprietary services, and open source systems. We’ve also seen others develop tools, languages, digital assets and enterprise systems, but none of those have really become popular. The ones that have been adopted by large institutions – like governments, businesses and law firms – don’t incorporate the values and design features we need from digital legal infrastructure. People building digital legal systems need to get it right: they need tools that promote focus, create frictionless experiences, and support efficient collaboration.

We’re going to demonstrate what’s possible by developing our own systems and using them to complete digital legal projects for others, as well using them in our own projects and initiatives. Eventually, we’ll make those products available to others.

Here are some projects we’re working on:

  • An open public comparison of the zero draft and version 1 of the United Nations’ draft Global Digital Compact, and an annotated copy of the zero draft.

  • An annotated machine-referenceable version of the EU Artificial Intelligence Act.

  • Publishing, versioning, analysing and implementing social welfare legislation in digital systems using OpenFisca.

  • Digital legal frameworks for digital identity systems.

  • A cross-jurisdictional repository of platform governance laws.

  • Systems and processes for responsible governance of digital legal systems

  • Analysing transparency information flows under a digitised Digital Services Act.

  • Creating and using digital systems to make submissions and comments on draft legal instruments in public consultation processes and private negotiations.

Here are some tools we’re using to complete them:

  • Document creation, conversion, import and export tools for dealing with documents as data.

  • Document analysis tools, supporting annotation, linking, reference to secondary materials, artificial intelligence, and computational versioning.

  • Collaboration tools for teams working in private, or organisations and communities seeking to collaborate in the open.

  • Publishing tools that support publishing the full components and governance frameworks for digital legal systems.

  • Digital implementation systems for transparently and reliably taking law and regulation from creation through to computational deployment.

We’re not just building tools for lawyers – we’re thinking about full stack legal design all the way through to digital implementation, incorporating the importance of data portability and fundamental constitutional principles. This is only the beginning.

We’d love to hear what you think about these tools and projects. How might they be useful for you? Perhaps there’s something we can work on together. Find out more here, sign up for our mailing list here, or get in touch using this form.


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