Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance

The Rule of Law in the Technological Age

Challenges and opportunities for the EU

04Nov2016 09:00 - 16:15

Conference

Law is often considered either as an obstacle to innovations or as unable to protect society from their risks. While law’s inability to keep up with technological progress has been extensively discussed, the implications of technology for law remains under-examined. ACELG's Sixth Annual Conference will explore the ways in which technology transforms the very nature of law as an institution including its key concepts of the rule of law, legal certainty and rights protection.

Attendance and registration

Attendance is free of charge, but subject to registration. Please not that registration has been closed (as of 31 October). Should you have a keen interest in attending, then please send an email to Angela Moisl (a.moisl@uva.nl).

Background

Technological innovations are crucial drivers of economic, social, and environmental progress. Law and regulation are expected to enable innovation while protecting society from unintended consequences, such as risks to public health and the environment, privacy, data protection and other protected interests. However, law is often considered either as an obstacle to innovations or as unable to protect society from their risks. While law’s inability to keep up with technological progress has been extensively discussed, the implications of technology for law remains under-examined.

This ACELG annual conference will explore the ways in which technology transforms the very nature of law as an institution including its key concepts of the rule of law, legal certainty and rights protection. In particular, it will engage with challenges and transformations triggered by technological progress in relation to the rule of law in the EU. In what way do new technologies change the nature of legal protection in the EU? How does the scientific complexity of technology regulation and the increasing reliance on both non-legal expertise and non-state actors affect the nature of law-making and enforcement including the task of judicial control and rights protection?

The relationship between law and technology is more complex than one-directional accounts are able to tell. By framing technology regulation in a certain way law itself is able to shape technological innovations thereby encouraging or discouraging different types of innovations. The EU often frames technology as a market commodity and innovation as a perspective for growth in the EU economy. Ethical and fundamental rights perspectives remain subsidiary. This raises questions about the nature of the EU legal intervention in technological progress. In contrast, EU data protection has recently witnessed an increasing importance of fundamental rights as well as the introduction of new legal concepts to ensure their protection in the digital age. In what ways does Big Data transform concepts of fundamental rights and their enforcement?

This ACELG annual conference will address these and related questions by bringing together leading experts from both academia and practice.

Speakers

  • Prof. Roger Brownsword, Centre for Technology, Ethics and Law in Society, King’s College, London - keynote speaker
  • Prof. Geert van Calster, KU Leuven; King’s College; Monash University
  • Prof. Ariel Ezrachi, University of Oxford
  • Prof. Tamara Hervey, University of Sheffield
  • Dr Orla Lynskey, London School of Economics
  • Prof. Indra Spiecker gen. Döhmann; Goethe University Frankfurt
  • Wojciech Wiewiórowski, European Data Protection Supervisor’s Office

PhD Workshop

The conference will be preceded by a PhD Workshop on 3 November. 

The previous ACELG Annual Conferences

Published by  ACELG