ILPC Annual Conference 2021

Data in a Pandemic: Rights and Responsibilities


We are pleased to announce this call for papers for the Information Law and Policy Centre’s 6th Annual Conference on 18-19 November 2021 hosted online by the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (IALS), this year supported by Bloomsbury’s Communications Law journal. You can read about our previous annual events here.

We are looking for high quality contributions that consider the impact of the global pandemic on society and the increased use of data-driven systems, particularly the implications of these changes for the rights and responsibilities of individuals and organisations. Whether based on doctrinal analysis, or empirical research, papers should offer an original perspective on the implications posed by this transition for regulation and policy within the UK or internationally. Interdisciplinary papers are encouraged.

This year’s ILPC Annual Conference welcomes submissions by Early Career Researchers to its Spotlight Session. This involves a short video recording (maximum 5 minutes) where the researcher(s) provides a focused overview of work-in-progress relevant to the conference theme. A selection of the best videos will be published and promoted on the IALS website and will feature as part of a dedicated conference panel. Early Career Researchers include PhD candidates and post-doctoral researchers who have been awarded their PhD within the past five years.


Topics of interest include:

  • Borders and safeguarding public health
  • Digital remote working
  • Online access/delivery of public services
  • A cashless society
  • Emergency powers and the rule of law
  • Health monitoring systems (certification/passports)
  • Algorithmic discrimination and vulnerable groups
  • Digital policing tools and quarantine
  • Rebuilding local and global communities
  • Trustworthy institutions and disinformation


The ILPC Annual Conference will also include the Information Law and Policy Centre’s Annual Lecture and the ILPC is delighted to announce that Professor Diane Coyle CBE will deliver this year’s ILPC Annual Lecture. Professor Coyle is Bennett Professor of Public Policy at the University of Cambridge. She is also a Director of the Productivity Institute, a Fellow of the Office for National Statistics, and previously served as advisor to the UK Treasury, and Vice-Chairman of the BBC Trust.


Other key speakers include:

  • Diamond Ashiagbor, Professor of Labour Law & Public Law (University of Kent)
  • Emily Jarratt, Senior Policy Advisor (Centre for Data Ethics & Innovation, DCMS)
  • Gillian Philips, Director of Editorial Legal Services (Guardian News and Media Ltd)
  • Christopher Millard, Professor of Privacy & Information Law (Queen Mary University of London)
  • Fraser Sampson, Biometrics and Surveillance Camera Commissioner
  • John Sheridan, Digital Director (The National Archives)
  • Graham Smith, Of Counsel (Bird & Bird)
  • Caroline Waters OBE, Deputy Chair (Equality and Human Rights Commission)


Attendance is free thanks to the support of the IALS and our sponsors, although registration is required as places are limited. The best papers will feature in a special issue of Bloomsbury’s Communications Law journal, following a peer-review process. Those giving papers will be invited to submit full draft papers to the journal by 1 November 2021 for consideration by the journal’s editorial team.

How to apply:

Please send an abstract of between 250-300 words/Spotlight Session recording and some brief biographical information to Eliza Boudier, Fellowships and Administrative Officer, IALS: by Friday 6 August, 2021 (5pm, BST).

Abstracts will be considered by the Information Law and Policy Centre’s academic staff and advisors, and the Communications Law journal editorial team.

About Communications Law:

Communications Law is a well-respected quarterly journal published by Bloomsbury Professional covering the broad spectrum of legal issues arising in the telecoms, IT, and media industries. Dr Peter Coe, Lecturer in Law at the University of Reading, is the journal’s Editor-in-Chief.