One can count on the expertise of the Leibniz Institute if one has to deal with the impact of norms, laws and societal values on digital infrastructures – and vice versa. This expertise is called “normative systems” and the field is crucial for organisations that provide on-line services, collaborate digitally or have to be compliant with rules, regulations, contracts and other norms. 

The knowledge of the Leibniz Institute covers the essence of a digital transforming society that cares about how computers affect ever more intricately all aspects of life, business and the use of physical and digital infrastructures.  In this society the implementation and integration of digital systems has to be  compliant with laws and values. 

The Leibniz Institute conducts normative systems research to anticipate on how future laws and business models are enabled by digital technologies. Such research is imminently relevant in case digital infrastructures are introduced that are either disruptive or have a massive scale. Hence, the Leibniz expertise is typically relevant for development of autonomous cars, 5G-slice attribution, PSD2 services, the exploitation of AI-technologies and digitally governed collaborations of organisations.

Being founded by TNO and The University of Amsterdam, the Leibniz Institute conducts applied and academic in the normative aspects of collaborating systems.

The Law and online systems

Via the act of digital data exchange the owners of online systems become engaged in complex issues where technology and law are entangled. Furthermore, digital collaborations can enlarge to include other organisations even without knowledge and consent of all partners. In such situations new liabilities emerge. As an academic partner, the Leibniz Center provides advice on change management in legal-knowledge-intensive processes and on improvement of legal knowledge productivity in organisations.

We apply Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques to problems in legal theory, legal knowledge management, and the field of law in general. In this capacity, we participate in (inter)national research initiatives and maintain strong ties to the international research community and government agencies. We have longstanding experience in the development of legal ontologies, automated legal reasoning and legal knowledge-based systems, languages for representing legal knowledge and information, user-friendly disclosure of legal data, application of data science and machine learning techniques in the field of law, and the application of information technology in education and legal practice.

In the field of AI, the R&D activities of the Leibniz institute shifts to the normative aspects of AI. As the workings of some relevant and popular AI techniques are best described as the operation of a well trained black box, there is no reasoning known to explain their output. Furthermore, there is no guarantee that the output is acceptable in the legal sense and that it adheres to norms and values. The Leibniz institute conducts R&D here and invites others institutions as well as students to join.

The Leibniz Institute

The Leibniz Institute has its roots in the former department of Computer Science & Law (est. 1989) of the Faculty of Law of the University of Amsterdam. The Institute is  a collaboration between the Faculty of Law and the Computer Science Department of the University of Amsterdam and TNO.

As an interdisciplinary research institute, we develop intelligent technology to support legal practice  in both the private and public sector.  We facilitate PhD, master and bachelor students with research assignments into the realms of IT, law, mobility, finance, AI, infrastructure control  and industrial automation. Dissemination activities range from the transfer of knowledge, to project development  and the organisation of multi company, multi institute problem solving teams .


Het Leibniz Instituut informeert de wetenschap, bedrijven en andere geïnteresseerden met wetenschappelijke publicaties en rapporten over actuele kwesties.

The Role of Normware in Trustworthy and Explainable AI, G Sileno, A Boer, T van Engers, arXiv preprint arXiv:1812.02471, 2018

Social Computational Trust Model (SCTM): A Framework to Facilitate Selection of Partners, A Deljoo, T van Engers, L Gommans, C de Laat, 2018 IEEE/ACM Innovating the Network for Data-Intensive Science (INDIS), 45-54,               2018

Towards trustworthy information sharing by creating cyber security alliances, A Deljoo, T van Engers, R Koning, L Gommans, C de Laat, 2018 17th IEEE International Conference On Trust, Security And Privacy In, 2018

The impact of competence and benevolence in a computational model of trust, A Deljoo, T van Engers, L Gommans, C de Laat, IFIP International Conference on Trust Management, 45-57 1, 2018

Facilitators in silico, look before you leap: Kennisgebaseerde scenario’s voor interventies gericht op facilitators in criminale samenwerkeringsverbanden, TM van Engers, ME de Meijer, AI Barros, Strafblad, tijdschrift voor Wetenschap en Praktijk, juli, 3, 16, 5, 2018

A Normative Agent-based Model for Sharing Data in Secure Trustworthy Digital Market Places, A Deljoo, TM van Engers, R van Doesburg, L Gommans, C de Laat, … , ICAART (1), 290-296 1, 2018

Institutional Metaphors for Designing Large-Scale Distributed AI versus AI Techniques for Running Institutions A Boer, G Sileno, arXiv preprint arXiv:1803.03407 2018

Computing Contrast on Conceptual Spaces, G Sileno, I Bloch, J Atif, JL Dessalles AIC 2018: Workshop on Artificial Intelligence and Cognition 2018

Qualifying Causes as Pertinent, G Sileno, JL Dessalles, CogSCI 2018: Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, 2018

Analysing the Impact of Legal Change Through Case Classification, R Slingerland, A BOER, R WINKELS

Legal Knowledge and Information Systems: JURIX 2018: The Thirty-first Annual … 2018

The Role of Normware in Trustworthy and Explainable AI, G Sileno, A Boer, T van Engers, arXiv preprint arXiv:1812.02471 2018

Wouter van Haaften, Tom van Engers, Robert Meijer “A Normative Systems Perspective on Autonomous Systems; the future of driving”, Internationales Rechtsinformatik Sympo-sion IRIS 2018, 22. bis 24. Februari Salzburg 2018, 2nd best paper award

Measuring the efficiency of SDN mitigations against attacks on computer infrastructures, R Koning, B de Graaff, G Polevoy, R Meijer, C de Laat, P Grosso, Future Generation Computer Systems 91, 144-156


Prof. dr.  T.M. van Engers
T:  +31 646001393

dr. L.L. Meijer
T: +31 653720517