Lawyer and Developer – Rules as Code Lab, Public Sector Experimentation, Canada School of Public Service
Martin Perron is a lawyer-turned-developer experimenting with Rules as Code (RaC) tools and approaches at the Canada School of Public Service (CSPS). He has an Hon BsSocSc in Economics and Public Policy, and started learning some basic programming while acquiring his Juris Doctor at the University of Ottawa. Prior to joining CSPS, Martin articled and served as legal counsel at the Department of Justice.
While not formally trained in computer science, Martin first started exploring the intersection of law and technology as a means to compensate for being a slow and distracted reader. Among other things, he unsuccessfully tried to parse his study materials using Natural Language Processing tools in preparation for his bar exams. Through these initial experiences, he discovered that law-as-data was a severely underdeveloped resource, largely due to current limitations in the way that legal information is diffused. However, if laws were also available in a trustworthy machine-consumable format, the data could be used to power a variety of legal automation, verification, and simulation tools.
Martin believes rules are best encoded by rule-makers in the drafting room, where it helps reveal gaps, loopholes, and ambiguities that often go unnoticed when reading and writing the natural language of the law on its own. As such, he is currently experimenting with a user-friendly and open-source RaC prototype called Blawx, which he believes could one day make the act of writing laws into code accessible and practical for legal drafters.
Participating in: Virtual lightning round