Summer term 2018


LTS LunchTimeSeries on Law, Technology and Society enters into the Summer Term 2018!

For the fifth consecutive semester, Univ.-Prof. Dr. Iris Eisenberger, M.Sc. (LSE), Institute of Law at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, and Univ.-Prof. Dr. Konrad Lachmayer, Sigmund Freud University, Vienna, are organising the Lunch Time Series on Law, Technology and Society (LTS).

In the summer term 2018, the series will start with a lecture given by Prof. Sheila Jasanoff, Harvard University, on “Distributed Selves: Technology and Rights in the Digital Age” on 25 April 2018.

On 9 May 2018, Dr. Nicolas Lampach, Centre for Legal Theory and Empirical Jurisprudence, KU Leuven, will give a lecture on “Law meets Data Science: Findings from the EUTHORITY Project”.

In the third lecture on 15 June 2018, Prof. Jørn Øyrehagen Sunde, University of Bergen, will talk about “The Robot Judge: Law, Technology and Historical Patterns of Change”.

Prof. Melanie Dulong de Rosnay, French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), Sorbonne Université, will give the last lecture of the semester on 28 June 2018. She will present on “Peer-to-Peer Law and the Commons”.

After each lecture, there will be an opportunity for public discussion. Based on the Anglo-American model of the Lunch Time Series, the Institute of Law will provide catering. The event is open to all and participation is free of charge.

Please register in advance at: law(at)boku.ac.at.

You can find the complete programm of the semester here.

Distributed Selves: Technology and Rights in the Digital Age

25 April 2018

 

On 25 April 2018, the LunchTimeSeries on Law, Technology, and Society (LTS) began its fifth consecutive semester. The auditorium was filled to capacity and extra chairs were brought in to accommodate the large turnout. Professor Iris Eisenberger, Institute of Law, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, introduced the first LTS guest lecturer of summer term 2018: Professor Sheila Jasanoff, Pforzheimer Professor of Science and Technology Studies at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

In her lecture “Distributed Selves: Technology and Rights in the Digital Age”, Jasanoff advocated for a legal approach to protecting human values in a pervasively digitalised world.

One can address the question of how to protect human values in the digital age from different perspectives: either by focusing on the emerging technologies and their disruptive potential, or by focusing on what human values we would like to preserve.

If we take the latter perspective, as Jasanoff did in her lecture, we put human beings rather than machines at the centre of our attention. This allows us to take a closer look at our different selves: the self of observable individual characteristics (“phenotypic self”), the self of genetic and genomic information (“biological self”), and the self that consists of the digital traces we leave behind (“digital self”). In contrast to our phenotypic selves, our biological and digital selves are distributed, thus raising complex questions for the fate of human values in a digitalised world.

Jasanoff illustrated the dynamic nature of these questions with judgments of the United States Supreme Court concerning the Fourth Amendment to the US-Constitution: The Fourth Amendment was originally intended to protect citizens from warrantless searches in their homes. However, in the past fifty years the United States Supreme Court has faced the questions whether wiretapping a public phonebooth (Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347, 1967), searching through rubbish bags left on the street (California v. Greenwood, 486 U.S. 35, 1988), or accessing cell phones (Riley v. California, 573 U.S. ___ 2014) falls within the scope of the Fourth Amendment. The technological change over time has required the US Supreme Court to re-think the definitions of private space and public space. Although its interpretation has changed in the face of technological development, the Fourth Amendment has been continuously protecting the embedded human value.

To re-integrate the human values into our distributed selves, different artefacts of society such as markets, regulations, ethics, and the law come to mind. Jasanoff argued that the market could not grasp the complex issues of distributed selves due to the limited number of values it considers. Product-focused and reactive regulation, in turn, is embedded in existing social values. Therefore, it is an inadequate tool to protect such values. Ethics tend to privatise questions of value by turning public values into expertise, thus pulling them away from societal discourse prematurely.

The law, on the contrary, offers a basis to declare what human values we consider worth preserving. While these commitments might be reinterpreted over time, the core values, which are collectively enshrined in them, remain.

The right to be forgotten is, albeit controversial, an example for legal re-integration of such foundational values into our distributed selves in a digitalised world; a world that has the technological means to record our digital traces unforgivingly and permanently. In this light, the right to be forgotten is an attempt to prioritise what is societally desirable over what is technologically possible. It shows that it is the law that offers an appropriate place for such activism and construction of imaginaries.

The audience discussion addressed, among other aspects, the democratization of surveillance, the perception of General Data Protection Regulation in the US, and the developments of the different selves. Jasanoff wove these statements and questions together into her plea for the law as suitable means of re-integration: The law allows us to discuss and democratically decide on emergent values of society, it allows us to take account of temporal and socio-cultural dependencies and, most importantly, it offers a place to raise questions that are not being asked.

Thomas Buocz, April 2018

 

You can find the report in PDF-format here.

Law meets Data Science: Findings from the EUTHORITY Project

Law meets Data Science: Findings from the EUTHORITY Project

Date & Time: 9 May 2018, 12.00 - 1.30 pm

Location: Schwackhöferhaus, SR 10, ground floor, Peter-Jordan-Straße 82, 1190 Vienna.

Please register until 7 May 2018 via law@boku.ac.at.


Can algorithms, knowledge visualization and natural language processing techniques help us understand the law better? We apply data-mining, machine learning and natural language processing methods to collect, classify, visualize and analyse EU law materials. While offering new insights into the legal integration process, our research shows that these methods can greatly enhance the capacity of lawyers and legal practitioners to predict judicial outcomes and to navigate large collections of legal documents.

Dr. Nicolas Lampach, Centre for Legal Theory and Empirical Jurisprudence, KU Leuven:
Nicolas Lampach is Research Associate with the EUTHORITY project and Postdoc fellow at the Centre for Legal Theory and Empirical Jurisprudence at KU Leuven University. He works in the fields of Judicial Behaviour, Decision Making, Applied Econometrics and Agricultural Economics. Prior to joining the EUTHORITY research project, he worked as a PhD candidate (Excellence Initiative Fellowship) in Economic Sciences at the University of Strasbourg and his PhD thesis deals with the optimal technological risk management in the presence of ambiguity.  His current research work focuses on the empirical analysis of law and courts; automated content analysis techniques to legal texts and developing forecasting techniques to predict upcoming court cases.


The lecture will be followed by an open discussion. In Anglo-American tradition, catering will be provided during the lecture. The event is open for everyone and participation is free of charge.

You can find the announcement of Dr. Lampach's lecture as PDF-File here.

The LunchTimeSeries on Law, Technology & Society (LTS) is organized by Prof. Iris Eisenberger, in collaboration with Prof. Konrad Lachmayer. You can find the complete programm of the semester here.

Autonomous Cars: A technical introduction

Autonomous Cars: A technical introduction


Date & Time: Tuesday, 5 June 2018, 10:00 – 11:30

Please not that the lecture starts at 10:00!

Location: Oskar-Simony-Haus | room SR 19/2, top floor, Peter-Jordan-Straße 65, 1180 Wien.

Please register until 31 May 2018: law@boku.ac.at


The lecture will be followed by an open discussion. In Anglo-American tradition, catering will be provided during the lecture. The event is open for everyone and participation is free of charge.

The LunchTimeSeries on Law, Technology & Society (LTS) is organized by Prof. Iris Eisenberger, in collaboration with Prof. Konrad Lachmayer. You can find the complete programm of the semester here.

The Robot Judge: Law, Technology and Historical Patterns of Change

The Robot Judge: Law, Technology and Historical Patterns of Change

Date & Time: 15 June 2018, 12.00 - 1.30 pm

Location: Simony Haus SR 19/2, Peter-Jordan-Straße 65, 1180 Vienna

Please register until 12 June 2018 via law@boku.ac.at.


When will we see the first robot judge in action? Technology is a fundamental structure shaping society and hence law. Throughout history technological change has brought radical legal changes several times. By examining these periods of change, we can identify patterns that are helpful to understand the changes in law that technology is bringing about in our own time. We will then see that the robot judge is a rather old idea that still faces some serious obstacles.

Prof. Jørn Øyrehagen Sunde, University of Bergen:

CURRENT POSITIONS
2007‐ Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Bergen, Norway
2002‐ Head of Research at the Museum the Barony Rosendal, University of Oslo, Norway

EDUCATION
2007 PhD (Disputation date: 16 June 2007), Faculty of Law, University of Bergen, Norway
1999 Master, Faculty of Law, University of Bergen, Norway


The lecture will be followed by an open discussion. In Anglo-American tradition, catering will be provided during the lecture. The event is open for everyone and participation is free of charge.

Further information about Prof. Sunde and his lecture is available here.

The LunchTimeSeries on Law, Technology & Society (LTS) is organized by Prof. Iris Eisenberger, in collaboration with Prof. Konrad Lachmayer. You can find the complete programm of the semester here.

Peer-to-Peer Law and the Commons

Peer-to-Peer Law and the Commons

Date & Time: 28 June 2018, 12.00 - 1.30 pm

Location: Guttenberg Haus, SR 03, ground floor, Feistmantelstraße 4, 1180 Vienna.

Please register until 25 June 2018 via law@boku.ac.at.


The computing model of peer-to-peer, a type of architecture in which actions are distributed, can be a source of inspiration for a law of the commons. Both movements, as alternatives to the market and state, question the Western concept of individual agency. By attributing rights and responsibilities to collective persons, the commons movement can take inspiration from environmental law and the law applied to artificial intelligence, both of which have succeeded in surpassing the notion of individual person.

Prof. Melanie Dulong de Rosnay, French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), Sorbonne Université:
Melanie Dulong de Rosnay, PhD in law (University Paris 2, 2007) is an associate research professor (permanent researcher since 2010) at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS). Head of the Information and Commons Research Group at the Institute for Communication Sciences of CNRS/Paris Sorbonne/UPMC, she is also a visiting fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science Department of Media and Communications.


The lecture will be followed by an open discussion. In Anglo-American tradition, catering will be provided during the lecture. The event is open for everyone and participation is free of charge.

You can find the announcement of Dulong de Rosnay's lecture as PDF-File here.

The LunchTimeSeries on Law, Technology & Society (LTS) is organized by Prof. Iris Eisenberger, in collaboration with Prof. Konrad Lachmayer. You can find the complete programm of the semester here.