IALS launches new Information Law and Policy Centre

To what extent do we want to police ordinary people’s use of the internet? How should drones (or ‘flying cameras’) be regulated?  Does responsibility for privacy management lie at an individual or societal level? What does ‘jurisdiction’ mean in the context of recent information and communication law developments? And what do the ‘coffee men’ of the 18th century have to do with modern day copyright and the news industry?

Dr Judith Townend

Panel at the IL&P launch

Audience at the IL&PC launch

These were some of the questions raised at the launch event of the Information Law & Policy Centre on 24 February 2015. The new Centre will explore the ways in which information and data is controlled, shared and disseminated. It will also examine the way specifically legal information is communicated: from the courts, through private practice and scholarship, for example.

Based at the IALS and part of the School of Advanced Study, which aims to facilitate and promote national and international research, the Centre intends to develop a research base that will help support, inspire and advance scholarship in the field of information law and policy.

To this end, its launch event brought together academics and practitioners from a variety of backgrounds to share their research and ideas. Among the speakers at an afternoon workshop titled ‘Information flows and dams’ were Daithí Mac Síthigh, Reader in Law at Newcastle University, on ‘computers and the Coalition’ - an impressive digest of the incumbent government’s record on communication law; Marion Oswald, Senior Fellow at University of Winchester, on privacy vigilantism and information warfare; and Ian Brown, Professor of Information Security and Privacy at University of Oxford, on ‘dimensions of cybersecurity’.

More guests joined us for an evening lecture delivered by Timothy Pitt-Payne QC, barrister at 11KBW and specialist in information rights, on ‘Does Privacy Matter?’, an eloquent and thoughtful talk on the regulation of privacy in the UK and beyond, exploring social expectations and identifying the areas in most need of further research. A video recording of Timothy Pitt-Payne's lecture is available on SAS itunesu and on the IALS channel on SAS YouTube.

A flavour of the tweets from the launch event: https://storify.com/infolawcentre/launch-of-infolawcentre-ials-law

Slides from the event 
Isobel Williams’ drawings from the event

For more information about the Centre, please contact: Judith Townend, Director, Information Law & Policy Centre, IALS judith.townend@sas.ac.uk / @jtownend. Blog: http://infolawcentre.blogs.sas.ac.uk/ Twitter: @infolawcentre.

Presentations in IALS Council Chamber

Timothy Pitt-Payne

Continuing discussion

Photographs of the launch event by Lloyd Sturdy