Ninth International Workshop on
Requirements Engineering and Law

In conjunction with the
24th IEEE International Requirements Engineering Conference

Beijing, China Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

Workshop Overview

Over the past several decades, the software industry experienced tremendous growth in new infrastructure, business practices, products and services that use information to achieve stakeholder goals. Laws and regulations from governments impose compliance challenges for the requirements engineers seeking to build or maintain these information systems, including: balancing privacy and security, patient medical records, corporate governance, and ambiguity stemming from evolving regulations, technologies, and societies. Regulators, lawyers, engineers, and academics must address these challenges through a shared pursuit to understand the historical, social, and economic impact of laws and regulations on emerging technology. Importantly, these challenges are expensive, continuing, and rapidly changing. Regulatory compliance must be maintained, monitored, and measured throughout the life of regulated information systems.

The ninth RELAW workshop is a multi-disciplinary, one-day workshop that will bring together practitioners and researchers from two domains: Requirements Engineering and Law. Participants from government, industry, and academic sectors investigate challenges to ensure that information systems comply with policies and laws. The workshop will examine critical compliance concerns, including the processes for identifying relevant policies, laws, and jurisdictions; aligning system requirements with laws and regulations; managing changes in requirements or in the law; and demonstrating regulatory compliance through evidence-based mechanisms such as documentation, testing, and certification, even in the presence of uncertainty. This year, we will also explicitly focus on mechanisms for evaluating the social or economic value of efforts to ensure software systems are built to comply with the spirit as well as the letter of the law. To this end, we will accept short Vision papers describing how future work in requirements compliance achieves social or economic goals. These papers must be grounded in a particular system domain or legal domain. Although we will not expect final results or full validation of any research presented in Vision papers, we will expect submissions to be novel, feasible, and appropriate for submission at a conference within a year.To address emerging IT challenges in today's regulatory environment, RELAW will accept research papers submitted in two general categories: (1) research or experience papers up to ten pages in length and (2) vision papers up to six pages in length. More detailed information is available on our Call for Papers.

Theme: Delivering Value through Regulatory Compliance

The RELAW workshop fosters discussion related to requirements engineering resulting from the need to build software systems that comply with laws, regulations, and policy documents. The theme this year is ''Delivering Value through Regulatory Compliance''. This theme highlights the many ways that regulatory compliance is necessarily technical and requires involvement from engineers. What can requirements engineers do to demonstrate the need for and value of techniques, tools, and processes that improve regulatory compliance in requirements engineering? How should requirements engineers evaluate or measure the social or economic value of their efforts to craft implementable requirements that are demonstrably compliant with laws and regulations? The workshop will bring together practitioners and researchers from auditing, accounting, law, software and requirements engineering. The goals of this workshop include, but are not limited to:

  • Developing methods for monitoring regulatory compliance requirements;
  • Identifying and managing sources of uncertainty in legal compliance;
  • Standardizing vocabulary, terms and modeling concepts from multiple disciplines;
  • Developing measures or metrics to evaluate the return on investment of models, methods, tools, or techniques that improve requirements compliance;
  • Improving communication between and aligning processes within requirements engineering and law; and
  • Identifying unsolved research and industry challenges and validation objectives for proposed solutions.

Attendance and Format

The workshop will bring together practitioners and researchers from auditing, accounting, law, software and requirements engineering. This workshop is open to the public. The workshop format will consist of presentations of papers and breakout sessions.

Best Paper Award

Similar to RELAW 2015, we plan to award a Best Paper award as a result of the review process in RELAW 2016. This award will be announced at the workshop during the summary discussion.


The header image of Beijing's Forbidden City is taken personally by the organizers' of RELAW.