Law as Engineering, a recent publication by English legal academic (and former MP) Professor David Howarth of Cambridge University, documents a major change in legal philosophy.
Professor Howarth notes that these days, approximately 80% of lawyers don’t litigate. Rather, they design social constructs such as contracts, companies and wills to facilitate their clients’ social needs. This is similar to how engineers design physical constructs to satisfy their clients.
As a consequence, he observes that lawyers have a lot to learn from engineers, both in practice and academia. Arguably, engineers utilising design processes have been doing so for a lot longer than lawyers.
Professor Howarth’s ten-minute presentation on Law as Engineering is available here.
These points are demonstrated in the first section of R2A’s Engineering Due Diligence textbook, shown in the table below.
|Formal Philosophy (Logic)||Natural Philosophy (Science)||Moral Philosophy (Design & Ethics)|
|The universal and necessary laws of reason.||Knowledge about the natural material time space universe acquired using rational principles (logic).||Consideration of what ought to be and how this can best be achieved. It results in:
The implementation of an ethic that modifies our social institutions and conventions.
The implementation of a design that changes the natural material time space universe.
R2A have invited Professor Howarth to present at R2A’s 2017 event. Given the value and insight of Professor Howarth’s research this will be a larger event than we have held to date at Engineers Australia in Melbourne. Details below:
7 February 2017.
Engineers Australia – Innovation Hub
Level 31, 600 Bourke Street
Melbourne, VIC, 3000
11am for 11.30am start.