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Law Law, technology & regulation

This research area looks at issues of regulation within the context of existing and emerging technologies. The academics working within this research area take radically different approaches to the study of law as a regulatory instrument, taking into account a wide variety of legal disciplines such as intellectual property law, competition law, privacy law, and internet law. This research area is typified by research-led teaching as well as academic publication and knowledge exchange. It also feeds into the work of the Centre for Internet Law & Policy.

Our research considers the different ways in which law, politics, society and economics interact in order to address the changing nature of relations between public and private organisations as regulators in a range of different sectors.  This research includes studies of the governance of the Internet, assessing the increasing role and capacity of private organisations such as Internet Service Providers as regulators of content, ranging from the enforcement of copyright online to the takedown of obscene or illegal images. Our research considers not only the practicalities of such actions, but also their legitimacy. The internet dimension of this research area also considers regulation of privacy and data protection and the increasing international focus on cybercrime and ‘cyberterrorism’.

Our research does not only focus on the internet. It also considers:

  • the regulation of offline technologies, e.g. in the field of access to medicines and the governance of human enhancement technologies
  • the interplay between law, ethics, politics and economics in emerging fields of health and medicine-related research, focusing on issues such as the development of ‘neuroprosthetics’ and the use of ‘smart drugs’

We also look at larger macro issues, such as the relationship between the ‘public’ and ‘private’ in the enforcement of laws and policies, including whether contemporary systems of national and international governance blur the lines between these traditional divides, particularly in light of economic approaches to regulation. Issues covered include:

  • the role of private actors in the enforcement of competition law
  • the role of public authorities in technology transfer and state aid
  • the role of industrial representatives lobbying for change within national and European systems

Key staff