Loupe: Policy Design Lab

In 2017, Mark Ferdinand launched a new venture, Loupe: Policy Design Lab, aimed at applying machine learning to constitutional and administrative law in Canada. Given the rich, publicly accessible data set involving a variety of cases touching on constitutional law, notably following the coming into force of s. 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1985, there is an opportunity to use this experiment as a foundation for applying evidence-based data analysis and predictive analytics to public policy decision-making.

In the medium-term, the novel application of machine learning to government policy options could

  • increase the ability of public decision-makers to preemptively consider the possible impact of new policies, actions or inaction on specific vulnerable groups;
  • increase the accessibility of information about constitutional rights to the general public; and
  • optimize the administration of the recently re-established Court Challenges Program (CCP).

The application of artificial intelligence to constitutional and administrative law questions will help public decision-makers dynamically consider peoples’ rights, as a complement to existing regulatory impact assessments and stakeholder dialogue.  We expect that the application of machine-based algorithms will also result in a more cost-efficient use of governmental funds on litigation. Finally, based on the current use of machine learning by private firms to analyze SEC filings in the U.S. and tax cases in Canada, we are confident that these new methods will greatly accelerate legal professionals’ research needs in all areas of law involving people’s rights and governments’ responsibilities.