Could Science advance the Law?
In a time of technological development, could the fundamental principles of science allow for the foundational understanding of Law to adapt to the changing world in times to come?
The ‘Laws’ and principles found in the study of Scientific knowledge is usually kept exempt from the consideration of governing laws applicable to nations worldwide. However, as the world becomes increasingly globalised through the ongoing development of technology, whether through the internet or mobile phones as a basic necessity of human functioning, could the foundations of science as a global understanding, become a bridge between two worlds – The Law and Technology?
The foundations of Law as we know it are predominately based upon the divide between ‘positive’ and ‘natural’ law, in which law becomes more of a ‘will’ of the nation-state as a means to regulate the functional behaviour of citizens, which then becomes a ‘will’ of the citizens who are susceptible to it.
However, it is evident that outside national laws that are ‘willed’ by both the government and its citizens, another ‘will’ continues to arise and take over the will’s of individuals with rapid speed, regardless of which nation the individual is susceptible to, and that global ‘will’ is Technology, specifically the Internet.
Therefore, although the legal sector across the world continues to adapt and create new laws so to keep afloat in relevancy amongst the ongoing technological development of today, could the implementation of the fundamental principles of science into Law alternatively provide a bridge between two worlds – Technology and Law – as well?
For instance, Law can be seen as a mediator between people, yet the principles of science such as physics or chemistry, can also be determined as a mediator between a person and its external reality, in which the scientist is ultimately seeking to regulate the external reality through science, so as to understand its nature to a greater extent. In which, likewise, the ‘Science of Justice’, as seen within the foundations of the understanding of law, can also be demonstrated as having this same trait, when seeking to regulate an external reality, such as the nation state and its citizens.
Although mathematics may be determined as the key means of regulation within science, certain scientific theories can also be applied to the regulation of society, as seen in the theory of ‘Social Atomism’ which extended from Democritus’ Ancient Greek understanding of Atoms to the Political Realm of John Locke and Thomas Hobbes.
From this, by implementing more scientific theories into the political realm as a means of regulation, the arguably foreseeable globalisation of the world in light of technological advances, may allow Law upon an international scale to keep its relevancy by keeping to the foundational principles of science, especially as technology is likewise based upon these principles.
Therefore, by synchronising more with the technological laws of today, in which continue to create new algorithmic structures and so forth as a means of regulating human behaviour, International Law as a means of regulating governmental societies of the future may have a stronger chance of maintaining its power as a vehicle of regulation, if it is to implement the same foundational laws found within technological as its own.
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Author: Portia Vincent-Kirby