Formalizing Rights and Duties
Conceptions handled in law can be approached from (1) the direction of normative content: these are the modalities we usually deal with in deontic logics (obligation, prohibition, permission, etc.) and (2) from the direction of normative positions: the different rights and duties one can have.
The systematic theory of these latter comes from Wesley Newcomb Hohfeld from the beginning of the 20th century. The structure he drew on rights and duties is not just highly influential in analytic legal theory but also considered as a fundamental theory of AI&Law. Yet a century later, the formalization of this theory remains, in various ways, unresolved. The theory of Hohfeld and its possible formal approaches have been commented on by many logicians and legal theorists since then.
At the University of Luxembourg, we work on a comprehensive formal account together with the automated support tools necessary for its practical use, just as it is described in the state-of-the-art paper on normative positions by M. Sergot in 2013. The aim is to develop a formalism which properly handles the different rights and duties providing the inherent structure of law and other normative systems: the distinctness and the similarity between the different types and their legal/logical consequences, just like that of their interaction with the different types of actions one can take in law.
Main contributor(s): Réka Markovich