De iure De-iure - Page 16

Page 16 / De iure September 2018 What If Justice Wasn’t Blind? While number crunching has always been an important part of the legal profession, there has been little innovation in the way it uses Big Data. All that is about to change however, as more advanced analytics are finding their ways into the legal world. We speak to Prof. Ariel Porat about personalizing default rules and disclosure with Big Data and the impact of one of the greatest technological revolutions of our time. Where did the idea for personalizing the law come from? “From me, by way of inheritance law. When a person dies without leaving a will, the default for the division of the estate is drawn in inheritance law. The laws pertaining to these cases vary across jurisdictions, but each country follows a similar pattern. In Israel, the default is usually 50% of the estate goes to the spouse while the rest is divided equally between the children. Then I heard something interesting in a lecture given by Prof. Daphna Hacker; she mentioned a study carried out in the United States showing that when women leave a will, 80% of the estate is given to the children and 20% to the husband. However, when the man leaves a will, the children receive 40% while 60% goes to the wife. You could ask why that is, and a possible explanation is that at least from a certain age, the husband knows that after his death his wife probably won’t have other biological children with another partner. It stands to reason that the woman will eventually inherit to his children, and he would therefore have no qualms about leaving her the lion’s share of his estate. In contrast, the woman knows that in the event of her death, her husband can have children from other women at almost any age. She might therefore be hesitant about leaving the majority of the estate to him. The point here is that there is an average difference in the way men and women behave when it comes to bequeathing their property. So, why is the default uniform for us all? If we believe the law of