Research Themes

The Centre’s research looks at both civil and criminal law as well as governmental and organisational policy as they relate to information and communications technology. The Centre has a broad remit and is interested in topics such as:

  • data protection, intellectual property and freedom of information
  • misuse of private information and breach of confidence and privacy
  • defamation and malicious falsehood
  • open justice and access to justice
  • internet regulation and governance

Since launching in 2015, the Centre has focused its research work and event activities on the following themes:

Data Protection & Privacy Law and Data Ethics

The Centre has addressed the legal and policy developments and challenges in the areas of data protection and privacy law and data ethics. Our most recent work on this area includes the hosting of an expert roundtable on the UK Data Protection Bill in October 2017 which included legal academic experts, practitioners, civil servants, and civil society.

Intellectual Property Law

The Centre has been particularly interested in the relationship between human rights and copyright, the issue of intermediary liability for copyright infringement and the need to re-evaluate the position of copyright in the modern economic and technological landscape.

Investigatory Powers

In 2015-16 the Investigatory Powers Bill, passed by Parliament in November 2016, caused much debate around balancing the needs of the police and intelligence agencies to access communications data in the interest of national security with the potential harm to citizens’ privacy and freedom from these data collection activities.

‘Prevent’ and Freedom of Expression

The Centre’s research interest in the Prevent counter-terrorism strategy lies in the potential impact on freedom of expression and academic freedom brought about by the enforcement of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015. The potential clash between these civil liberties and the Act’s intended aim of safeguarding national security speaks to much broader ethical and legal issues facing liberal democracies.

The Humanity of Law

The Centre is exploring two interrelated aspects of the humanity of law: the place of law as a discipline in the arts and humanities and the humanity of those partaking in legal processes.