DCL7310: Technopolicy: Interplay between Technologies and Existing Legal Rules
DCL 7310: Technopolicy: Interplay between Technologies and Existing Legal Rules
Professor Elizabeth Judge (Fall 2008)
Compulsory course for those admitted to the LL.M. with concentration in Law and Technology.
A limited number of spaces are also reserved for other graduate students.
Active student participation is expected.
Method of evaluation:
The aim of this advanced course in law and technology is to apply tools of legal analysis to the many important and difficult policy questions arising from the advent of various technologies. The general objective is to give students the tools to analyse ways in which policy issues in law and technology are identified, defined and debated, and various policy options are developed, articulated, adopted and implemented. At the end of the seminar, students should be able to explain a legal policy issue related to a new technological development; analyze the various policy issues, their potential consequences and implications; and evaluate and defend a policy option.
In this seminar, we will explore a number of policy issues arising out of the emergence and use of new technologies. Students will study existing sets of legal rules with a view to recognizing and appreciating the challenges that are posed by technological innovation. Students will investigate various kinds of solutions to these challenges including traditional and modern legal approaches, technological solutions, and broader policy, reform and advocacy considerations.
The course examines potential frameworks for how law, technology and policy should be addressed and how those frameworks might be applied to particular issues. The class will consider whether there is a general framework that should be adopted with respect to legal policy on technology or a case-by-case decision-making process. What are the advantages and disadvantages of regulating through social norms, laws, and/or technology? When should the law be involved in new technologies? What means should be used to regulate technologies? Who should decide? What should the decision-making process be? What is the role of history? What is the role of experts? What technologies should be prohibited, restricted, accessible, or subsidized? Should approaches to technologies change over time? When should access to a technology be a (human) right? What are the roles of national governments, public interest groups, and international bodies? When is a global consensus on a technology important and when is it preferable to experiment with different approaches to a technology (among nations or within countries)?
The number of interesting, complex, and unresolved “technopolicy” issues is vast. The course begins by looking at particular issues, involving emerging technologies and legal rights related to property, intellectual property, torts, privacy, security, biotechnology, equity, criminal law, environmental law, and other laws, and considers national, international and comparative legal approaches. The course then looks at selected issues, with case studies chosen by the class. These issues will highlight questions about the relationship between the individual and the group, rights and duties, consent, identity, autonomy, access to knowledge, privacy, integrity, transparency and accountability of decision making, and equity issues. Examples of subjects for selected issues are: Spam, Digital Rights Management, Access to Knowledge, Internet Jurisdiction, Security, Domain Names, Lawful Access, Copyright Reform, Animal Rights and Technology, Nanotechnology, Electronic Evidence, Internet Treaties, E-Government, Electronic Voting, Creative Commons, Internet Filtering and Censoring, ISP liability, Net Neutrality, Online Gambling, Online Pornography, RFIDs, Online Privacy, Online Profiling, Spyware, VoIP, Patentable Subject Matter (higher life forms, business methods, etc.), Development Agenda, E-Waste, Environment and Technology (biofuels, etc.), Open Access, Citizen Journalism Online, Social Networking and Social Media online, Tele-medicine, Digital Divide, International Organizations, NGOs and Technologies, Patenting of Pharmaceuticals and Access to Medicines, Assisted Human Reproduction, Cloning, Cybertorts (cyber-libel, etc.).
Technopolicy Coursebook, ed.
Tuesday, 2:30 to 5:30