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The Death of Law, Another Obituary

Lucy, William

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This essay argues that a defining characteristic of modern law – the distinctive way in which it judges its addressees – will disappear. After sketching the distinctive nature of modern law's judgment, I show that it is part of a broader regulatory paradigm (rule or East Coast regulation) which is itself being superseded. Technological management is the alternative regulatory paradigm and I examine its rise and salience, showing how it might, in combination with the advent of ubiquitous computing, machine learning and artificial intelligence, cure a range of alleged pathologies that mark contemporary legal systems. The essay also demonstrates why technological management is now our regulatory default, its salience flowing from changes in the nature of our thinking about, and deployment of, power. The essay combines the work of Roger Brownsword, a leading contemporary jurist of technological management, with that of the world-renowned social theorist Michel Foucault.


Lucy, W. (2022). The Death of Law, Another Obituary. Cambridge Law Journal, 81(1), 109-138.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 14, 2021
Online Publication Date Feb 18, 2022
Publication Date 2022-03
Deposit Date Sep 29, 2021
Publicly Available Date Sep 29, 2021
Journal Cambridge Law Review
Print ISSN 0008-1973
Electronic ISSN 1469-2139
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 81
Issue 1
Pages 109-138
Public URL


Accepted Journal Article (392 Kb)

Copyright Statement
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (, which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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