CHAPTER 6. SUMMARY AND DISCUSSION
22.214.171.124 Precisely Modeling Regulations with Logic
This section will examine problems in attempting to more precisely model regulations
than was done in this research work, which modeled regulations in an approximate form.
The treatment of ambiguity and contradictions are key issues when using logic to
represent the meaning of regulations, particularly when attempting to precisely represent
the meaning of a regulation. This is because both ambiguity and contradictions are
difficult to represent in logical form.
The issues of ambiguity and contradictions arise in regulation texts intentionally and
unintentionally. There are a number of reasons for why ambiguity and contradictions
come into existence in regulations.
Sometimes the ambiguity is intended to be built into a regulation. Ambiguity may result
from an inability of drafters developing the regulations to compromise on more detailed
provisions in a regulation. Therefore the details are not specified. Ambiguity may also
occur in regulations because it provides room for discretion on evolving issues. In
addition, ambiguity may be accidental or the result of changing technologies.
Contradictions in laws and regulations arise for a number of reasons. Contradictions may
result because some regulation provisions are written for some stakeholders, while other
provisions are written for other stakeholders. Contradictions may also result from the
structuring of laws, or regulations being issued by different governing bodies.
Watershed management in the U.S. Southwest provides an example of how laws
originating from different sources can end up conflicting. Kara Gillon, in a law review
article on watersheds, describes the situation in the Southwest :
“The United States has developed separate laws for clean water, clean air,
endangered species, irrigated agriculture, and land use management, for
implementation at the federal level. … E ach of the western states has developed
similar, yet diverse, laws governing the allocation and use of water rights,