Address to SCL Members

September 7, 2014

Dear Member,

When I became Chair of SCL nearly two years ago, one of my aims for the SCL was to build on the community aspects of the SCL, with a view to hearing more from you and letting you know more about what SCL is doing. That is an essential foundation for the SCL as the IT Law Community. I will be writing to you each month to keep you aware of SCL developments and hope to hear from you with your thoughts and suggestions for SCL involvement.

SCL Annual Conference
Of course nothing can improve upon the opportunity that face-to-face contact gives us. We already have over 100 delegates attending the Annual Conference on 9 October 2014 which will give plenty of opportunities for discussions, especially at the drinks reception in the famous Hunterian Museum. Our thanks go to IT Group for sponsoring the drinks reception.

It is a really positive feature of SCL that such a high proportion of the membership attends our events. This year’s Annual Conference has a very strong programme that will provide important insights for IT law practitioners on issues that will affect them over the next year or so. There is still time to book a place for the Conference.

One of the features of this year’s Conference is that we have a number of speakers who are in-house lawyers and this emphasises our continuing focus on practical solutions to complex problems.

SCL IT Law Foundations Programme
The second year of the IT Law Foundations Programme will commence with a seminar on Cloud Computing Legal Issues on Wednesday. The IT Law Foundations Programme is designed to give junior practitioners a good understanding of all of the key issues that are faced by IT Law Practitioners. Don’t worry if you missed Modules 1 to 5 as each of the sessions are designed to be self-standing, and the programme will be repeated in a year’s time once all 10 Modules have been completed.

Last year’s Foundation seminars were very well received and attendance at all of the seminars (either in person or through the podcasts) counts towards SCL Accreditation as an IT Lawyer. We look forward to more people coming forward with applications for SCL Accreditation.

Technology Law Futures Group
One group of SCL members which has a good understanding of the important issues that will face us is the newly formed SCL Technology Law Futures Group. It will pose wider questions about the industry and look at the changes in both practice and technology that will most affect today’s IT lawyers. This is an exciting new development and I hope that you will attend the Group’s events. It has taken on the task of responding to the Department of Transport’s consultation on a regulatory framework for the testing of self-driving cars on UK roads. It will also be greatly involved in the organisation of the 2015 SCL Technology Law Futures Conference. The 2014 event was a huge success and the barrier is set high if we are to improve on it. I am sure that, with the extra input from the Group, we can do even better.

IFCLA Conference 2016
It’s some way off but the 2016 Annual Conference will be different. SCL has been chosen to host the IFCLA Conference that year. IFCLA is the International Federation of Computer Law Associations and so the 2016 conference will have a much more international focus. I am delighted that we have been given the opportunity to host the conference I am very pleased to have been elected as IFCLA President during the term of the conference.

I would greatly welcome suggestions from SCL members for topics that have an appropriate international feel, though I appreciate that it is difficult now to assess which topics will deserve to be centre-stage in 2016. I want the 2016 IFCLA Conference to be a huge success and I am confident that we can deliver something special that will reward our international colleagues.

I started this email expressing the hope of improving contact with members. But the really crucial part is hearing back from you. We are very dependent on your ideas and your enthusiasm. If you have suggestions for future events or spot consultations that you feel SCL should be responding then let Caroline Gould at SCL HQ know.

Our excellent programme of masterclasses, update seminars and the Foundations of IT Law modules are, of course, listed on the SCL web site but you may be aware of gaps that need to be addressed. As a general rule, if there is a topic that you would really like to see addressed to help improve your practice of IT law, it is a topic we would like to cover!

I look forward to hearing from you and seeing you at the Annual Conference.