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Do C&IT Facilitate the Wrong Things?

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There is a simple view of the role of C&IT (computers and information technology) in the legal academy that states, 'C&IT is just a tool. Use it or abuse it as you will. It has no ideology. It can no more be a bad thing than can a car or a chisel.' It is an additional resource on top of whatever we had before. I want to link that claim to a set of analogous claims about the relationship between law and science and law and mathematics, and subject them to scrutiny. I shall call these claims (that science, mathematics and computers are 'just' tools) collectively the 'neutrality claim'. So far as concerns computers, I shall suggest that C&IT in law has a tendency either towards reaction or towards reductionism in how we understand law in the academy. I will finish by considering an area in which computers have been relatively more successful-chess-and trying to work through the similarities and distinctions.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Cardiff Law School

Publication date: June 1, 2000

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