The objective of DIGILAW is to train and work with law students to find concrete solutions to a practical problem:
- How can the values and rights needed to sustain democracies and the common good be upheld and ensured in our digital world?
- What is the role of the law in this environment where technologies, infrastructures, big players and users themselves construct normativities beyond the law itself?
Indeed, from the early decentralized infrastructure of the Internet, that held the promise of a space independent of the tyrannies of the Governments of the Industrial world, the Internet is now largely dominated by seven technology companies whose business practices, and AI intermediated decision-making, can be harmful for society and democracy. It has also become a tool that can facilitate discrimination, reinforce inequalities, unleash hate speech and disinformation, and allow for censorship and increased surveillance by governments.
Awareness is hence growing that in cyberspace, as in real space, safeguarding rights and sustaining order to protect the common good is crucial.
DIGILAW will involve teams of students and researchers working on action-research projects addressing these issues, designed in collaboration with a range of partners from civil society, public institutions and private actors.
The DIGILAW clinic is funded as part of the New Digital Rule of Law project with the McCourt Institute.
The DIGILAW clinic programme is taught in English and is coordinated by :
- Lucas Costa Dos Anjos, teacher and coordinator of the DIGILAW clinic
- Ayse Gizem Yasar, teacher
- Raphaëlle Xenidis, teacher
- Beatriz Botero Arcila, academic supervisor and lecturer of the required DIGILAW clinic course
- Marta Arisi, tutor
- Anamaria Munoz, tutor
Digital identity and the right to opacity
The project aims at identifying existing regulation regarding digital identity within Europe, but always in dialogue with other geographical and epistemological spaces. Drawing on this initial diagnosis, the project moves on to suggesting potential power imbalances created and/or sustained by these regulations, paying particular attention to the ways in which it allows for policing of certain communities in their everyday life.
In doing so, the project draws important connections between the mandate to identify oneself digitally - which has grown exponentially since the pandemic - and fundamental rights and freedoms in the context of democratic governance.
- Partner: Institute for technology in the public interest
- Tutor: Anamaria Munoz
French tech worker & whistleblower handbook
Drawing on the existing resources created by partner, the project aims to draft a Tech Worker Handbook applicable to the French legal context. In order to do so, the team will review the legal framework for whistleblowers in France, based on the most recent amendments, and will provide an overview on legal as well as practical information.
More broadly, the project hopes to shed light on the public interest role played by whistleblowers, with peculiar regard to the tech landscape, where the pervasive use of data across the private and public sectors raises important questions for freedom and democracy.
- Partner: The signals network
- Tutor: Marta Arisi