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The Law and Technology Institute is busy with policy work, publishing, and event planning for the upcoming school year

Posted by Jane Doucet on August 9, 2016 in News
LATI Director Professor Robert Currie (Photo: Rachael Kelly)
LATI Director Professor Robert Currie (Photo: Rachael Kelly)

Professor Robert Currie, the director of the Law and Technology Institute since 2011, has spent part of his summer planning speaker events for LATI for the upcoming year, including a Sessions@Schulich on electronic evidence and a symposium on privacy and surveillance.

LATI was established in 2001 and developed from the realization that lawmakers, legal scholars, and policymakers face a host of challenging and complex questions as the use of new information technologies grows in all sectors of society. The Institute has interdisciplinary links with the Faculty of Computer Science and the Faculty of Management at Dalhousie, as well as with other external institutions and IT-related professional associations.

LATI’s full-time faculty includes Currie, Associate Director Professor Stephen Coughlan, Founding Director Professor Michael DeturbideProfessor Jonathon Penney, and, most recently, Professor Wayne MacKay, the Yogis and Keddy Chair in Human Rights Law and the former chair of the Nova Scotia Task Force on Bullying and Cyberbullying. “We’re pleased that Wayne has joined LATI formally,” says Currie. “He’s a leading Canadian expert on cyberbullying, so he’s right on top of this cutting-edge work.”

There’s a real wealth of interdisciplinary work that can happen within LATI faculties, for example in criminal, corporate, and human rights law. — Professor Wayne MacKay

MacKay sees myriad research-based opportunities for collaborating with LATI, given that so many of his areas of expertise intersect technology, such as his work in legal responses to cyberbullying and sexual violence on university campuses. “I bring human rights and constitutional knowledge on many issues around law and technology,” he says. “There’s a real wealth of interdisciplinary work that can happen within LATI faculties, for example in criminal, corporate, and human rights law.”

In addition to continuing his research and co-authoring papers with LATI faculty members, MacKay will be sharing his expertise at events. For example, at the International Society for the Reform of Criminal Law Conference at Halifax’s World Trade and Convention Centre in late July, he was part of two panels: Cyberbullies and Cyberstalking and Young Justice Professionals Program: Sexual Assault Reform. Currie also presented at the conference, and Coughlan chaired a panel.

Public lectures, policy work, and publishing

Each year, the Institute organizes an IT law-related public lecture series on topical issues given by a pool of national and international experts. April 2016 saw a standing-room-only event co-hosted with the European Union Center of Excellence on the topic of the Right to Be Forgotten, which emerged from a case against Google in the European Court of Human Rights. The event, which was organized by Professor Penney, saw a spirited debate between leading international experts drawn from government, private industry, and academia.

LATI also offers opportunities for students to conduct advanced research under the supervision of faculty on diverse cutting-edge issues at the intersection of IT, law, and policy. Institute faculty and associates are involved in law and technology-related applied research and policy work.

Twice a year since 2002, LATI has been producing the Canadian Journal of Law and Technology. Currie and Coughlan co-edit the Journal, which is published by Carswell and features articles, comments, and book reviews on law and technology issues from both Canadian and international perspectives.

Also since 2002, LATI has been collaborating with IT.Can, the Canadian IT Law Association, a national organization of practitioners of information technology law that fosters the development of this growing field of legal practice. Currie, Coughlan, and LATI Associate member (and prominent Canadian tech law specialist) David Fraser write IT.Can’s internal newsletter, which is sent to its members every two weeks.

This year, Currie will also be helping revamp Dalhousie’s Master of Electronic Commerce degree program, which offers specialized courses from the faculties of Computer Science, Management, and Law. LATI faculty members will continue to teach Schulich Law courses in Intellectual Property Law, Evidence, Privacy Law, Internet and Media Law, and Law and Technology.

“It’s a propitious time for the Institute, with lots going on,” says Currie, adding that a position has been posted for a full-time faculty member who works in the area of law, technology, and innovation. Check LATI’s website for more information about its programs and research.