The SSCL Annual Lecture, in association with SCRIPT - Storming Kafka’s Castle? Algorithmic governance and the Data Protection Regulation - Thursday 22 June 2017, Edinburgh

When: 22/06/2017

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Date:  Thursday 22 June 2017
Time:  6 pm to 7 pm (Registration from 5.30 pm)
Venue: Seminar Room 1, Chrystal MacMillan Building, University of Edinburgh, George Square, Edinburgh Map

Free to attend (members and non-members welcome)
 1 hour (for Scottish Solicitors and Advocates) 

Burckhard Schafer
, Director of the SCRIPT Centre for IT and IP law 

As concerns about the powers of computers and the cold rule by algorithms reaches the public mainstream, proposals have been made to use the General  Data Protection Regulation as a means to empower citizens  that are subjected to  automated decision making. The talk will aim to put current concerns about the use of big data by governments and industry in a historical context, and explore the opportunities, but also inherent limitations, that the GDPR offers to limit the rise of the “algocracy”.

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Speaker Details:
Burckhard Schafer
is the Director of the SCRIPT Centre for IT and IP law,  working mainly on issues such as privacy compliant software architecture and more generally the scope and limits of representing legal concepts directly  in the internet infrastructure.

Burckhard studied Theory of Science, Logic, Theoretical Linguistics, Philosophy and Law at the Universities of Mainz, Munich, Florence and Lancaster. His main field of interest is the interaction between law, science and computer technology, especially computer linguistics. How can law, understood as a system, communicate with systems external to it, be it the law of other countries (comparative law and its methodology) or science (evidence, proof and trial process). As a co-founder and co-director of the Joseph Bell Centre for Legal Reasoning and Forensic Statistics, Burckhard helped to develop new approaches to assist lawyers in evaluating scientific evidence and develop computer models which embody these techniques. He has a special interest in the development of computer systems that help law enforcement agencies to co-operate more efficiently across jurisdictions, assisting them in the interpretation of the legal environment within which evidence in other jurisdictions is collected. This research is linked to his wider interest in comparative law and its methodology, the idea of a "Chomsky turn in comparative law", and the project of a "computational legal theory".

Burckhard is involved with a number of organisations that promote the exchange between computer science and law, including the German Association for Informatics, BILETA, and the Evidence and Investigation network of the Scottish Institute for Policing Research. He is also on the Nomination Committee of the International Association for Artificial Intelligence and Law.

Administration notes
To join SSCL you must first join SCL.  SCL membership includes at least 6 copies of the SCL magazine “Computers & Law” plus notification of future SSCL meetings.  The cost of annual SCL membership including SSCL membership is £125.00.
If you would like more information about the SSCL please email the Society at

Scottish Society for Computers and Law. A company limited by guarantee, Registered No. SC210310, Registered Charity No. SC030577, Registered in Scotland, Registered office: 1 Rutland Square, Edinburgh EH1 2AS.

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