Brexit: in the balance

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16 June 2016


Saunderson House200Next week’s referendum on the UK’s continued membership of the European Union hangs in the balance. Recently, opinion polls have begun to suggest that an ‘out’ verdict from UK voters is a genuine possibility.

Adding to the uncertainty however, bookmakers’ odds continue to show ‘remain’ as the most likely outcome. While the task of gauging what the electorate will do is proving hugely challenging, it is crystal clear what financial markets think. Since 9th June, when an opinion poll from research group ORB gave the Leave campaign a 10-point lead*, beginning a run of surveys showing Leave ahead by varying degrees, investors have voted with their feet.

The FTSE 100 index of the UK’s largest companies has dropped by 6% in just four trading days, sterling’s effective exchange rate has lurched lower and the yield on 10-year gilts has reached a record low, as investors have preferred the traditional safe haven of UK government backed bonds.

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Algorithms and the law

Jeremy Barnett

Our aim is to start a discussion in the legal profession on the legal impact of algorithms on firms, software developers, insurers, and lawyers. In a longer paper, we consider whether algorithms should have a legal personality, an issue which will likely provoke an intense debate between those who believe in regulation and those who believe that ‘code is law’. In law, companies have the rights and obligations of a person. Algorithms are rapidly emerging as artificial persons: a legal entity that is not a human being but for certain purposes is legally considered to be a natural person. Intelligent algorithms will increasingly require formal training, testing, verification, certification, regulation, insurance, and status in law.

August 22nd, 2017