Category Archives: Resources

ILPC launches new report: ‘Protecting Sources and Whistleblowers in the Digital Age’

front-page-snippet-download-the-reportThe emergence of an everyday digital culture and the increasing use of legal instruments by state actors to collect and access communications data has led to growing concern about the protection of journalistic sources and whistleblowers.

With the support of Guardian News and Media, the Information Law and Policy Centre has published a new report to consider these developments entitled ‘Protecting Sources and Whistleblowers in the Digital Age’. The report is open access and available for download.

Authored by Dr Judith Townend and Dr Richard Danbury, the report analyses how technological advances expose journalists and their sources to interference by state actors, corporate entities or individuals.

The report also looks at how journalists can reduce threats to whistleblowing; examines the rights and responsibilities of journalists, whistleblowers and lawmakers; and makes a number of positive recommendations for policymakers, journalists, NGOs and researchers.

The report’s findings are based on discussions with 25 investigative journalists, representatives from relevant NGOs and media organisations, media lawyers and specialist researchers in September 2016.

Protecting Sources and Whistleblowers in the Digital Age was officially launched on 22 February 2017 at the House of Lords.

Alongside the report, the Information Policy Law and Policy Centre has also published a range of open access resources on journalistic sources and whistleblowing which are available here.

Briefing: How Brexit might affect EU audio-visual media services policy-making

This brief by Professor Alison Harcourt, University of Exeter, discusses the current issues affecting UK stakeholders in the cross-border audio-visual services sector.

It is written in light of the replies to the public consultation on Directive 2010/13/EU on Audio-visual Media Services (AVMSD), the Commission’s Regulatory Fitness (REFIT) exercise, the public consultation on the EU Satellite and Cable Directive, national consultations and a possible exit of the UK from the EU. The paper also draws on anonymised responses to an online survey run by the author.

The paper’s findings are considered in the context of current market trends: the increase in high definition channels, decrease in television watching (e.g. DTT, cable, satellite, IPTV) particularly amongst the younger populations, the move towards on-line and on-demand services and changes in content investment.

If the UK were to withdraw from the EU, companies would still be able to broadcast to Europe from the UK under an EEA or possible bi-lateral agreement. However, the UK would no longer have a vote on Single Market decision-making within the Council of Ministers and no representation in the European Parliament. It would cease to have formal representation in soft governance fora such as BEREC and ERGA. Future changes to EU communications policy could affect UK interests and UK-based stakeholders might change their preferences accordingly.

Many in the industry have expressed concerns over Brexit. A survey conducted by Pact found that 85 per cent of its members were in favour of the UK remaining in EU. Enders reports that the advertising market, which is a growth area for the UK, will suffer as “a post-Brexit recession will cause a hyper-cyclical decline in the advertising revenues of broadcasters and publishers”.

This article will look at current European Commission proposals that affect cross-border broadcasting to understand why stakeholders are so concerned about Brexit and tease out different scenarios. The section focuses on European Commission proposals to revise the Audio-visual Media Services and SatCab Directives (AVMSD). The AVMSD proposal is expected in the summer of 2016.

Most UK concerns over Directive revisions relate to a possible change in the definition of the country of origin (COO) principle. The European Commission concluded that there should be no changes to AVMSD for measures on accessibility, the listing of events or the right of reply. However, it stated that there was no consensus on commercial communications, protection of minors and changes to European works quotas.

From its consultation, the EC found that there is no appetite for changing the country of origin principle within AVMSD. However, it does not rule out a change to the definition of the principle as occurred in 1997. The 2015 AVMSD consultation queried whether there should be a derogation to the country of origin principle in the areas of 1) incitement to hatred 2) ‘where editorial decisions on an audio-visual media service are taken’ 3) where broadcasters try to circumvent stricter rules in specific Member States and 4) protection of minors.

The DCMS response the European Commission AVSMD consultation stated that “the country of origin principle (COO) is a fundamental and critical precondition for the generation of a Digital Single Market in content; it is the core of the directive and must not be lost or eroded”. ITV states “we are therefore not convinced that an extension or adaptation of country of origin principle, for example to online VOD, would result in the creation of an internal market for audio-visual content”.

A 2016 COBA report states that “under current proposals for changing the principle, many VoD services would almost certainly cease to be viable”. The lack of appetite for a change in AVMSD may lead to a change to the principle in other Directives. Indeed, the European Commission queried to a possible change in the country of origin principle within the SatCab Directive. In response in the SatCab Directive, Sky responded that “Sky is concerned that the SatCab Directive review, which did not originally form part of the DSM strategy, was included in the strategy at the very last minute, with no prior impact assessment”.

AVMSD is expected to be revised within the next two years before the UK officially would leave the UK if Brexit occurs and might possibly be decided during the UK Presidency of the Council of the EU. However, if Directive revision is delayed, and the UK was to leave the EU and not contribute to AVMSD final revisions, there could be a change to the Directive, which might not be favourable to UK interests. Or the Directive could be updated again after the UK leaves. This could potentially make the UK less attractive as a base for companies’ operation.

Regarding derogation to the COO based on hate speech, this could be interpreted in many ways by Member States particularly in Central and Eastern Europe which have historically had stricter interpretations of hate speech than the UK. Regarding, a change to the definition of COO in relation to editorial control, this could affect operators like MTG which takes editorial decisions on programming in Stockholm. For example, if the COO was redefined based upon editorial decision-making, licensing for MTG would be changed to Italy and Germany respectively and Sweden.

Regarding derogation to the COO based on the protection of minors, this could affect UK operators that provide children’s channels to Nordic states. The Nordic states have long lobbied for an opt-out for jurisdiction over children’s programming on the grounds of the protection of minors. There are many UK operators that provide children’s programming from the BBC to Disney and Discovery whose channels might no longer be licensed in the UK. Another effect could be a loosened of advertising restrictions to channels broadcasting to the UK. The UK has concerns about looser advertising restrictions particularly in regard to protecting minors against  the advertising of foods high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) and watersheds for linear content (or parental controls for non-linear services).

On other advertising issues, UK stakeholders are divided. Some want looser advertising restrictions on advertising techniques and electronic programme guides (EPGs) e.g. the UK has prioritised public service broadcasters and people with disabilities. Others want tighter restrictions. There is also mixed response to whether there should be access obligations for all delivery platforms.

The European Commission also queried whether it should apply a “dominance test” for content providers and distributors. Although this proposal has been framed in the context of media pluralism, ultimately, this could potentially move competition decisions on media markets to the European level. What this could eventually mean is that the subsidiarity opt-out, long supported by the UK, which permits Member States to apply lowered thresholds and public-interest tests in national competition decisions on media mergers and acquisitions could be lost. A potential change to competition law has potential implications for BBC provision of public service broadcasting under state aid rules.

Lastly, there is mixed UK stakeholder response to the extension of AVMSD rules to on-demand content provision. The Commission has proposed that AVMSD should be extended to online content (e.g. audio-visual user-generated content or audio-visual content within social media), including non-audio-visual content (e.g. still images). For example, Youtube or Facebook increasingly provide streaming services and existing providers view them as direct competitors.

What is clear is that the European Commission is most likely going to propose that on-line services based in non-EU states are blocked and must establish an EU base e.g. from services such as Google Play, Microsoft Store, Youtube and Vimeo registered in the United States and other channels broadcasting into Europe (e.g. from Russia and the Middle East). The feasibility of these proposals must be considered in the context of on-going TTIP negotiations and (more widely) general bilateral relations between non-EU and EU Member States.

About the author

Professor Alison Harcourt (University of Exeter) specialises in regulatory change in communications markets.  Currently, among other roles, Alison is an ESRC Senior Fellow on the ESRC UK in a Changing Europe programme with the project “The impact of a proposed UK Brexit from the EU: the UK communications industries“.

This post originally appeared on the Oxford University Politics Blog and it is re-published here with permission and thanks.

Please note: This site provides general information only and does not contain legal advice. It is not responsible for the content of third party sites. Posts reflect the views of individual authors.

Upcoming event: Workshop on a Draft Convention on Electronic Evidence – 20 May 2016

The Information Law and Policy Centre is pleased to be supporting this upcoming event at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies on a ‘Draft Convention on Electronic Evidence’, due to take place during the afternoon of 20 May 2016.

Stephen Mason, an expert in this area, has recognised that there is a lack of internationally recognized guidelines or convention on electronic evidence, and is co-ordinating this event and the wider project to address this issue.

Event details

Workshop Leader: Stephen Mason, BA (Hons) (History and Educational Philosophy), MA, LLM, PGCE (FE), Barrister and IALS Associate Research Fellow

This workshop, continuing work launched at a conference in Zagreb in April 2016, aims to support a private initiative to draw up a Convention on Electronic Evidence.

  • “I have spoken so many times (especially in Europe) about electronic evidence, and spoken to so many people, and the same questions keeps on being raised: why is there no Convention on Electronic Evidence being devised by the Council of Europe or the UN?” Stephen Mason

This workshop is a free event for all interested parties to exchange ideas and contribute to the development of a draft international Convention text.

The draft will be further developed online: www.conventiononelectronicevidence.org and appear in Digital Evidence and Electronic Signature Law Review 2016. Each person attending the meeting will be listed as having attended the workshop in the formal minutes of the Convention.

REGISTRATION:  This workshop is FREE but advance booking is requested.  To book your place please click here

For additional information please contact sas.events@sas.ac.uk.

New Edition: Concise European Copyright Law

A second edition of the Concise European Copyright Law has been released. The book, edited by Prof. Thomas Dreier and Prof. Bernt Hugenholtz and published by Kluwer Law International in January 2016, provides a compact commentary on the modern EU-level copyright framework, covering both the EU directives adopted in the field, as well as the main international conventions that have had an impact on it. It thus constitutes an invaluable resource for anybody interested in the area.

As the publisher describes:

Concise European Copyright Law aims to offer the reader a rapid understanding of all the provisions of copyright law in force in Europe that have been enacted at the European and international levels. This volume takes the form of an article-by-article commentary on the relevant European directives and international treaties in the field of copyright and neighbouring rights. It is intended to provide the reader with a short and straightforward explanation of the principles of law to be drawn from each provision. Editors and authors are prominent specialists (academics and practitioners) in the field of international and European copyright law.

Concise European Copyright Law is part of ‘Concise IP’, a series of five volumes of commentary on European intellectual property legislation. The five volumes cover: Patents and related matters, Trademarks and designs, Copyrights and neighbouring rights, IT and a general volume including jurisdictional issues.

The book has been comprehensively updated since the first edition was published in 2006. The new edition features a chapter on the 2006 consolidated Term Directive, as amended by the 2011 Term Extension Directive, by Christina Angelopoulos, researcher at IALS Information Law and Policy Centre. The chapter was written while the author was based at the Institute for Information Law (IViR) of the University of Amsterdam.

Steve Goodrich: FOI is under attack when it should be strengthened

stevegoodrichIn this guest post, Transparency International UK’s Steve Goodrich considers UK citizens’ right to access information, arguing that public money should be put towards examining how the Freedom of Information regime can be improved, not weakened

The right to access information held by the state, public officers and providers of state services is an essential part of a functioning democracy. It provides citizen-led checks and balances on concentrations of power, without which corruption would be allowed to thrive; allows citizens to make informed judgements about the efficacy of governments and elected representatives; and helps hold institutions and officials to account for their actions. It is, therefore, perplexing why the UK Government – with its welcome and newfound interest in tackling corruption – appears intent on watering down the Freedom of Information Act.

In July this year, Lord Hodges announced that the UK Government was establishing an ‘independent Commission’ to review whether the Act provided ‘safe space’ for Ministers and civil servants to develop and discuss policy. This might sound very well and reasonable – why shouldn’t a law be reviewed after it’s been in operation for a decade – however, the announcement missed out some important pieces of detail.

Firstly, there has already been post-legislative scrutiny of the Act. The Justice Select Committee did a thorough job back in 2012, which involved taking 140 pieces of written evidence and oral evidence from 37 witnesses during 7 evidence sessions. After talking to a range of individuals and organisations, the Committee concluded that there are sufficient protections for deliberation within public bodies. The Information Commissioner and Information Tribunal are both mindful of the need to ensure this ‘safe space’ exists – which is already provided for in the Act – and Cabinet minutes are not routinely outed. Considering this, it’s slightly baffling why the government wants this looking at again, and so soon after the last review.

Secondly, one of the reasons cited for re-examining the Act is the Supreme Court’s recent decision in the case of the Prince Charles ‘spider memos’. After the Upper Tribunal had ordered the government to disclose these documents the Attorney General, Dominic Grieve, tried to issue the Ministerial veto – something intended for rare and limited circumstances. However, on appeal the Supreme Court ruled that the veto could not apply because it was never intended to be an executive override for a judgment of the judiciary. As the Supreme Court’s judgment notes, it is a long-standing principle of the rule of law that the executive should only be allowed to do this in very specific circumstances where the power to do so is clear and explicit. This is not the case within the FOI Act.

Essentially, the review seems to be partly inspired by sour grapes. The government lost in a disagreement with the courts and its solution is to make the case for re-writing the law so it can ignore them in the future when it suits them. The public interest is noticeably absent from its motivations.

Thirdly, the composition and conduct of the Commission has raised some eyebrows. Members include Jack Straw, who has publicly criticised the Act, and Michael Howard whose expenses for gardening services were revealed through FOI. There are no major advocates of the Act on the panel.

The Commission has also adopted some opaque practices during the initial stages of its inquiry, including providing anonymous briefings to members of the press and considering anonymising evidence. Until civil society expressed concerns about the Commission in September, it wasn’t even planning to take external evidence and had the suspiciously ambitious deadline of November 2015 to report to government. Since then, it has opened itself up to submissions and its deadline for reporting appears to have disappeared. However, the damage has already been done – Transparency International UK has no confidence in the impartiality and independence of the Commission.

The saddest thing about this whole episode is that it’s been a missed opportunity. If public money is going to be spent on reviewing the Act it should be put towards examining how it can be improved, not weakened. For example, there are growing transparency gaps in our public institutions, with the private sector providing an increasing amount of goods and services. Although there are some circumstances where these companies can be subject to information requests, these are limited. This is why the Act should be extended to the private sector where they are providing public services.

Recently, Labour has announced that it intends to set-up its own Commission on FOI that will look at the Act as a whole, including how it can be strengthened. This is a welcome development. However, as with the government’s Commission, its members and their actions must gain the confidence of civil society and government if its findings are ever to be realised.

Steve Goodrich is  Transparency International UK’s (TI-UK) Senior Research Officer. He is responsible for leading on TI-UK’s research into lobbying open data and state accountability. He spoke at ‘Freedom of Information: Extending Transparency to the Private Sector‘ on 28 September 2015, an event co-organised by the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law and the IALS Information Law and Policy Centre.

  • For other resources on FOI and the private sector please follow this link
  • Our blog posts give the view of the author, and do not represent the position of the Information Law and Policy Centre or the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies.

Ben Worthy: How much can we know about the private sector – and what next for future transparency?

This post originally appeared on Dr Ben Worthy’s blog, OpenDataStudy. It is based on his contribution to an event on 28th September 2015 co-presented by the Information Law and Policy Centre and the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law and hosted by Baker and McKenzie LLP, which looked at Freedom of Information and Extending Transparency to the Private Sector (resources here).

The focus of transparency is almost always on government and public bodies. However, over the past ten years, often outside of the headlines, a growing collection of laws, regulations and technological innovations have gradually shone a light on the private sector too. So what can we know and how far does it go, asks Ben Worthy.

Freedom of Information

One of the principle legal routes to accessing information about private bodies is the FOI Act, at least for those companies working on behalf of public bodies. Although it remains a ‘complex’ legal grey area, an FOI can obtain information material ‘held by a private company “on behalf of” a public authority with which it has a contract’. Public sector contracts in the UK are currently worth around £93 billion per year according to the ICO.

Section 5 of the Act also allows government to extend the law to actually cover companies within the scope of the Act itself, something the Public Accounts Committee has urged use of in the past. The last Labour government gave some thought to it in a rather long running consultation between 2007 and 2009. This led to some minor extension to cover ACPO [now called the National Police Chiefs’ Council] and exam bodies. The Coalition and new government took a different approach. Rather than extending the Act under section 5, they have championed the use of new FOI clauses in public sector contracts. It’s not exactly clear how far this is working.

The Scottish government has also consulted on extending its separate FOISA legislation in 2009, and in 2013 local trusts involved in leisure activities were covered. This year they have had a new consultation looking into whether other bodies such as private prisons can now come under FOISA (though this did not include Housing Associations as some hoped).

Alongside government attempts there has been some gradual natural ‘creeping’ outwards of FOI. Network Rail became subject to the Act in March 2015 (see some requests here) and new bodies such as the UK’s Police and Crime Commissioners are also covered (though this report was ‘deeply’ worried about how transparent they were-see page 11-12). The Police Federation is now set to follow. More significant than this ‘creep’ is the influence of decisions from appeal bodies and the courts. An important legal ruling in Fish Legal v Information Commissioner and others [2015] over FOI’s sister Environmental Information Regulations appeared to extend the law to water companies-and this may potentially include other utilities too.

The issue of extension remains a political one. All the major parties remain, at least in principle, supportive of pushing FOI further. The new Labour leadership has also committed [or actually re-committed] itself to extending the Act to private bodies doing public work as well as closing up ‘gaps’ in coverage caused by education and health reform.

Polling by the Scottish Information Commissioner showed that this is a policy that definitely gets the support of the public. A full 76% of Scots asked felt private prisons should be covered with 79% believing that housing associations should be as well. A UK tracker found that 75% of respondents saw extension as an ‘important’ issue and the Information Commissioner has recently offered a range of options to fill the ‘transparency gap’ caused by outsourcing.

Other Laws

It’s not only FOI. A succession of other laws have opened up different parts of the private sector. One recent headline grabbing reform, launched by the Prime Minister in 2013, has been the promise to create a Beneficial Ownership Register under the Small Business and Enterprise Act 2015. What this means is that as of April 2016 Companies House will publish, as Open Data, a list of the ‘Person[s] With Significant Control’ of all UK registered companies. Another eye catching reform has been over Extractives Transparency covering companies involved in natural mineral extraction such as oil or gas. The transposing of EU laws and joining of the International EITI network (see this paper) means all UK registered companies involved in this area will report tax payments, licences and contracts as of next year. Similar small pieces of transparency can be found across many other new laws and regulations. The recent Consumer Rights Act 2015, for example, ‘imposes a duty on letting agents to publish their fees and other information’.

The government has also pushed British dependencies and overseas territories to follow suit and publish Beneficial Ownership information. David Cameron sent a letter in 2014 on the subject to various tax havens. Although Grant Schapps appeared a little cooler on it during a visit to the Caymans, Cameron then pushed the issue again recently in Jamaica as did the new anti-corruption champion Eric Pickles, who appeared to threaten legislation.

Technology

Alongside legal mechanisms, there has been a growing use of online tools to open up companies. The government recently rebooted its Contracts Finder site that details its tenders and contracts with the private sector while other innovators, such as spendnetwork, have created new apps.

There have also been specific ‘transparency’ pushes after problems or controversies. This year David Cameron committed to publish data on property ownership following claims of large amounts of ‘dirty money’ swilling around the London property market and promised new data on gender pay gaps in all companies employing over 250 workers (this one is a bit of a sleight of hand as it was mandatory under the Equalities Act 2010 but was never implemented). These moves, as Jo Bates points out, may have all sorts of political implications. Nor is it clear what effect they may have. Despite hopes publishing salaries online will help lower inflated pay packets evidence indicates that disclosure makes them go up rather than down.

The Politics of Private Sector Transparency

Opening up is often piecemeal. Any politician pushing for any large scale opening up, such as using section 5 of the FOI Act, faces three main problems.

First, there is a potential reluctance to publish and it may be a struggle to get companies to cooperate. Our study of FOI and local government found that most companies do comply with FOI requests. However, any sceptical business can argue it is (i) unnecessary as so much information is published anyway (ii) a costly burden-see this analysis here.

Second, added to this may be the complexity of any change, that will take time and energy. Any large scale opening up only works with international cooperation. So, for example, UK Beneficial Ownership is slightly stymied by the fact that the EU equivalent will only be partially open. The devil, as someone warned of extractives, is in the detail.

Third, given these problems there needs to be a lot of political will, energy and attention to follow through. Any politician or party pushing large scale openness needs either a very good reason or very strong principles. Most likely it will only happen when there is a very obvious problem to solve or a very obvious political benefit (or both if possible).

What Next?

Accident and change will open up different areas. Legal changes, designations or rulings will continually shift the boundaries. Network Rail was re-designated for accounting purposes and FOI coverage was, in that sense, a ‘side product’. The laws in place will already keep opening up new areas through use and Martin Rosenbaum has shown how FOI has opened up not just MPs’ expenses but also restaurant hygiene ratings and MOT tests.

It is often pushed by scandal or concern in a specific area such as over tax avoidance (Beneficial Ownership), gender pay or corruption. It was the poor performance of G4S, for example, that led to recent calls to extend the FOI Act.

 

opencorporates

Finally, experimentation with open data and technology may move openness across the private sector. Chris Taggart, designer of Open Corporates, has created a prototype site Who Controls It? to use the new Beneficial Ownership data. As he points out, apps and websites alone won’t bring change but benefits may ‘be revealed when the beneficial ownership data is combined with other datasets, including government procurement, licences, environmental citations, and other public data.’

It’s unlikely there will be a clear ‘big’ opening up of the private sector comparable to FOI across government. It will probably happen, as many things do, gradually, through a mixture of accident, law, politics and experiment.

To find out more you can read the full IRM report of the UK’s Open Government Partnership commitments here see especially commitments 7 (Beneficial Ownership), 12 (Contracts) and 21 (Extractives).

Ben Worthy is Lecturer in Politics, Birkbeck College, University of London and blogs at OpenDataStudy.

Five ways to keep up to date with @infolawcentre

It’s now some time since we launched the Information Law and Policy Centre at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies and we wanted to share some ways to keep in touch.

  1. Join the Information Law & Policy Centre mailing list to receive occasional updates about our activities, plus the work and events of colleagues in the wider research field.
  2. Join the Information Law & Policy Research Discussion list on Jisc: this is a discussion list hosted by Jisc for members to discuss information and communication regulation issues, advertise events and opportunities etc. Anyone can join.
  3. Subscribe to our blog by email or RSS
  4. Follow us on Twitter: @infolawcentre
  5. Email me directly to let me know your ideas for the Centre as we develop our 2015/16 programme and to keep me updated with relevant events, publications and news: judith.townend@sas.ac.uk

Upcoming activities at the Information Law and Policy Centre

25 September 2015, 2-3.30pm: The Right to be Forgotten: Removal Criteria and Procedures with Professor Bernd Holznagel, Director, University of Münster Institute for Information, Telecommunications and Media Law. Hosted by the Information Law and Policy Centre at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies. Book your free place here.

28 September 2015, 17:30: Freedom of Information: Extending Transparency to the Private Sector at Baker & McKenzie LLP – presented by the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law jointly with the Information Law and Policy Centre at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, and hosted by Law Firm, Baker & McKenzie (Pricing/registration).

19 October 2015, 18:30: Whose Investigatory Power Is It Anyway? Security, Source Protection and Surveillance debate at Reed Smith LLP. The Media Society and the Information Law and Policy Centre, IALS.  Pricing/registration here.

27 October, 09:30 to 17:00: Universities and the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act. Organised by the School of Advanced Study, University of London, and hosted by the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies.

19 November, 6pm: The Humanity of Lawyers, Parliament Chamber, Inner Temple, part of the Being Human festival 2015 (booking details to follow)

4 December, 09:00-17:00: Law & ethics for humanities and social science researchers – all day training, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (details to follow)

Past events

Resources from Data of our Lives: Global Privacy, Reputation and Freedom of Expression – with Frank LaRue

Videos and slides from the Information Law and Policy Centre’s half-day discussion seminar on 25th June, supported by Article 19 and with special guest Frank LaRue, former UN special rapporteur on freedom of expression,  are now available:

Video

Frank LaRue, Executive Director of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Europe and former UN Special Rapporteur for the promotion and protection of the right to the freedom of opinion and expression (2008-14)
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VjrN8xgYAg&w=560&h=315]

Anya Proops, barrister, 11KBW
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAioiQUOkaw&w=560&h=315]

David Banisar, senior legal counsel, Article 19
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0Q4PIaVFP0&w=560&h=315]

Slides

Ray Corrigan, senior lecturer in technology, Open University – Technology & regulation post CJEU Google Spain

Upcoming event, 10 June 2015: Digital Humanities Panel at the SAS Open Day

Here’s the programme for the Digital Humanities Panel, part of the School of Advanced Study Humanities Open Day on 10th June, which includes a presentation by the Centre on law and information and data. The open day will showcase the School’s resources and share information about postgraduate courses, research training, libraries, archives and digital tools – aimed at undergraduates as well as postgraduate and early career researchers. We hope to see you there – and please drop by the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies’ stand at the event! Booking details here.

4 – 4:05: Welcome and Introduction to Digital Humanities Panel 

Lorna Hughes, Chair in Digital Humanities for SAS (via pre-recorded video)

4:05 – 4:15: Introduction of Panel Members and Themes

Panel chair: Matt Phillpott, Manager of SAS-Space, SAS Open Journals, and the PORT training suite

4:15 – 4:20     Information and Data: A Legal Perspective

Judith Townend, Director, Centre for Law and Information Policy, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies

4:20 – 4:25     Digitally Mapping Historical and Archaeological Evidence

Matthew Davies, Professor of Urban History, and Director of the Centre for Metropolitan History, Institute of Historical Research

4:25-4:30: Increasing Access through Digital Methods

Henry Irving, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Ministry of Information Project, Institute of English Studies

4:30 – 4:50: Questions and Answers

Moderated by Matt Phillpott

4:50 – 5: Concluding summary

Matt Phillpott

IALS website re-development: user feedback needed

The IALS is redeveloping its website and is seeking users’ help …

Since the advent of the web, the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, part of the School of Advanced Study, University of London, has been actively involved in innovative legal information delivery – developing and promoting public access to materials capable of supporting legal research on the Internet.

IALS is committed to extending the reach of digital provision of legal information by delivering specialist legal research tools and niche web services – maximising access to key or hard to find information to facilitate legal research, public understanding, and promote justice and the rule of law. The IALS website includes a portfolio of award-winning national online services for law and research tools that have resulted from IALS projects and are made freely available to all.

The Institute is now working on a redevelopment of the IALS website and web databases.

We would like to understand what you think about the current design, content, and functionality of our website and databases. This will help us to ensure that we deliver the best possible experience for visitors in the future.

The survey includes 11 questions and should take approximately 10 minutes to complete.

Please do share your feedback and help us improve our website and databases: http://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/IALS-redesign/