Human Rights in the Digital Era

Our speakers


It is our privileged honour to have two exquisite keynote speakers confirmed for our conference:  Professor Viktor Mayer-Schönberger from the University of Oxford & Professor Andrew Murray from the London School of Economics. The sheer total of their published work has left a great imprint on the field of IT law and has received ravishing reviews. Our invited speakers list includes four distinguished academics from the University of Leeds that have contributed greatly with their published work to their research field; Professor Ian Cram and Dr Subhajit Basu from the School of Law and Dr Giles Moss from the ICS at PVAC. We will also have the pleasure to have with us the Executive Director for the Open Rights Group, Jim Killock; his presentation will certainly provide us with a new perspective as will raise awareness on the current digital activist campaigns. James Firth, CEO for the Open Digital Policy Organisation, will present on the conflict of IP and innovation; his experience from working for the software industry will provide valuable insight on the concerns of the manufacturers, creators and publishers.  


We are delighted to have as participants in our panels junior academics from a wide range of top ranking UK and EU Universities, such as the LSE, the University of Edinburgh, the University of East Anglia, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Université du Luxembourg, European University Institute in Italy and Tilburg University in the Netherlands. Also, it is our pleasure to announce that Professor Paul de Hert, an expert in international fundamental rights from Vrije Universiteit in Brussels will be participating as a discussant in our event.


Professor Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, University of Oxford

Viktor Mayer- Schönberger is the Professor of Internet Governance and Regulation at Oxford. His research focuses on the role of information in a networked economy. Earlier he spent ten years on the faculty of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Professor Mayer-Schönberger has published seven books, as well as over a hundred articles (including in Science) and book chapters. His most recent book, the awards-winning ‘Delete: The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age’ (Princeton University Press 2009) has received favourable reviews by academic (Nature, Science, New Scientist) and mainstream media (New York Times, Guardian, Le Monde, NPR, BBC, Wired) and has been published in four languages. Ideas proposed in the book have now become official policy, e.g. of the European Union.

A native Austrian, Professor Mayer-Schönberger founded Ikarus Software in 1986, a company focusing on data security, and developed Virus Utilities, which became the best-selling Austrian software product. He was voted Top-5 Software Entrepreneur in Austria in 1991 and Person-of-the-Year for the State of Salzburg in 2000.He chaired the Rueschlikon Conference on Information Policy, is the cofounder of the SubTech conference series, and served on the ABA/AALS National Conference of Lawyers and Scientists. He is on the advisory boards of corporations and organizations around the world, including Microsoft and the World Economic Forum. He is a personal adviser to the Austrian Finance Minister on innovation policy. He holds a number of law degrees, including one from Harvard and an MS(Econ) from the London School of Economics, and while in high school won national awards for his programming and the Physics Olympics of his home state. In his spare time, he likes to travel, go to the movies, and learn about architecture.


Professor Andrew Murray, London School of Economics (         

Andrew Murray is Professor of Law at the London School of Economics. He is a Fellow of Gray’s Inn, a Visiting Fellow of the University of Gothenburg and Legal Project Lead of Creative Commons England & Wales. He specialises in Cyber-regulation and Governance and New Media & Communications Regulation. Andrew advises on e-commerce and Web 2.0 projects and has contributed to the New Oxford Companion to Law and the International Encyclopaedia of Communication.

Andrew is author of over forty books, articles and commentaries on Cyberlaw issues, including the books Information Technology Law: The Law and Society, OUP, 2010 and The Regulation of Cyberspace: Control in the Online Environment, Routledge-Cavendish, 2007. He is also co-editor of Human Rights in the Digital Age, Glasshouse Press, 2006. His most recent papers include ‘The Reclassification of Extreme Pornographic Images’ Modern Law Review and ‘Symbiotic Regulation’ John Marshall Journal of Computers and Information Law. Autumn 2011 will see the publication of his most recent papers ‘Nodes and Gravity in Virtual Space’ Legisprudence and ‘Transparency, Scrutiny and Responsiveness: Fashioning a Private Space within the Information Society’ Political Quarterly. He is currently working on books chapters on international informational governance for the Handbook on the Politics of Regulation (ed. David Levi-Faur) and The Future of International Law: Towards a Realistic Utopia (ed. Antonio Cassese).



Professor Ian Cram, University of Leeds


Ian Cram is a Professor of Comparative Constitutional Law at the University of Leeds (School of Law).

He is a comparative constitutional lawyer currently working in the area of constitutional responses to extreme speech and emergencies. His monograph entitled ‘Terror and the War on Dissent – Freedom of Expression in the Age of Al-Qaeda’ was published by Springer in the summer of 2009.

Recently he acted as General Editor for the new edition of Borrie & Lowe The Law of Contempt that was published in 2010.




Giles Moss, University of Leeds


Dr Giles Moss is a Lecturer in Media Policy in the Institute of Communications Studies, University of Leeds. His research focuses on media policy and citizenship, especially as it relates to digital media. He is currently a co-investigator on the ESRC-funded project Communicating Copyright: An Exploration of Copyright Discourses in the Digital Age (RES-062-23-3027).


Subhajit Basu, University of Leeds


 Subhajit Basu is Associate Professor in CyberLaw at the School of Law, University of Leeds and Programme Director of LLM CyberLaw. He has written extensively on different issues related to information and technology of law in general and specifically on E-Commerce law, including a monograph “Global Perspectives on E-Commerce Taxation Law”. He is currently writing “Beyond Agenda in the Digital Divide” for Ashgate.

He is a member of the editorial and advisory boards of several international journals and Co-editor of European Journal of Law and Technology (EJLT).



James Firth, CEO Open Digital Policy Organisation


 James Firth is an accomplished software engineer, digital rights blogger and digital policy advisor. Credited as sole inventor of a patent used in secure radio systems, he’s seen how the system works from within companies small, medium and multi-national.  But he’s spent the last few years writing and blogging about the conflict between the needs of creators, manufacturers, publishers and society. He recently co-founded the Open Digital Policy Organisation, where he’s CEO, to look at this and wider conflicts between digital rights, public interest and the advancement of technology; especially in the fields of privacy and data protection.



  Jim Killock, Executive Director for Open Rights Group (ORG)  – London

Before joining the Open Rights Group in January 2009, Jim worked as External Communications Co-ordinator of the Green Party. At the Green Party, he promoted campaigns on open source, intellectual property, digital rights and campaigned against the arms and espionage technologist Lockheed Martin’s bid for the UK Census. Lockheed Martin have since been prevented from handling UK Census data as part of their contract. He was also a leading figure in the campaign to elect their first party leader, Caroline Lucas MP.

He has a blog at (For press photos, see here)


PANEL PARTICIPANTS (speakers/ discussants)

Professor Paul De Hert, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

At Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Paul De Hert holds the chair of ‘Criminal Law & International and European Criminal Law’ and ‘Historical introduction to eight major constitutional systems’. In the past he has held the chair of ‘Human Rights’, ‘Legal theory’ and ‘Constitutional criminal law’. He is Director of the Research Group on Fundamental Rights and Constitutionalism (FRC), Director of the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies of Law (Metajuridics) and a core member of the Research Group Law Science Technology & Society (LSTS).  He is an associated-professor at Tilburg University where he teaches Privacy and Data Protection in a Law and Technology Master set up by the Tilburg Institute of Law, Technology, and Society (TILT).

He is member of the editorial boards of several national and international scientific journals such as the Inter-American and European Human Rights Journal (Intersentia), Criminal Law & Philosophy (Springer) and The Computer Law & Security Review (Elsevier). He is co-editor in chief of the Supranational Criminal Law Series (Intersentia) and the New Journal of European Criminal Law (Intersentia). He is editor in chief of the Flemish human rights journal Tijdschrift voor Mensenrechten.

Contact: or


Dariusz Kloza, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Dariusz (Darek) Kloza is a doctoral researcher at the Research Group on Law, Science, Technology, and Society (LSTS) at Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). He holds both an LL.M. in Law and Technology (2010) from the Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society (TILT) at Tilburg University and a master degree in law from University of Białystok (2008). He was also an exchange student at University of Copenhagen (2007-2008). Prior to coming to Brussels he completed a traineeship at European Commission (Directorate-General for Information Society and Media) in Luxembourg, where he worked predominantly on the Safer Internet Programme.

His research is focused on fundamental rights in the digital era (especially privacy and data protection), liability of intermediary service providers and private international law. Currently, his main research project is the Privacy Impact Assessment Framework (PIAF) for data protection and privacy rights. Besides, he has participated in the Smart Grids Task Force set up by European Commission (Directorate-General for Energy).



Jasper P. Sluijs, University of Tilburg (TILEC)

Jasper P. Sluijs is a media and telecommunications analyst. He currently is a PhD candidate at the Tilburg Law and Economics Center, where he works on a dissertation on network neutrality and EU law. Previously, Jasper worked as a visiting scholar at the University of Pennsylvania, and was a research fellow with America’s leading media reform organization Free Press in Washington, DC. He also was a Fulbright fellow at Georgia Institute of Technology’s Digital Media department. His research interests include cyberlaw, media and telecoms policy, experimental legal research and freedom of expression. Jasper’s work has been published in Federal Communications Law Journal and Telecommunications Policy.


Emily Laidlaw, University of East Anglia/LSE

Emily is a Lecturer in IT, IP and Media Law at the University of East Anglia Law School.  She has a BA in Communication from Linfield College, an LLB (Distinction) from the University of Saskatchewan, and an LLM (Distinction) in Information Technology and Communications Law from the London School of Economics.  She is currently completing her PhD at the London School of Economics on “Corporate Governance on the Internet: The Human Rights Responsibilities of Information Gatekeepers”.  Before undertaking postgraduate studies, she practised for several years in Canada as a litigator, with particular experience in complex corporate and constitutional matters.  Emily’s research interests are in the areas of digital human rights, Internet regulation, and corporate governance.  She is a Managing Editor of the European Journal of Law and Technology and a member of media@uea.  Emily writes a blog on the regulation of new technologies and human rights at  She can also be followed on Twitter at


Paul Bernal, University of East Anglia/LSE

Paul Bernal is a Lecturer in Information Technology, Intellectual Property and Media Law at the University of East Anglia.  His background is unusual for a legal academic – his first degree was in mathematics, at Cambridge University, 20 years ago, and he is a qualified Chartered Accountant. Over the last 20 years he has worked as an auditor, in finance for big companies in the City, done pioneering work in the early days of the internet, including setting up and running the first online real-time education system for children to operate in the UK, and been finance director of a charity dealing with mental health and criminal justice. That last work led him to an interest first in human rights (leading to a Masters in Human Rights at the LSE in 2006) and then to the law. He is in the final stages of his PhD, researching into internet privacy, and in particular into the commercial gathering and use of personal data – particularly by organisations like Google and Facebook – and how that use affects our lives, and will increasingly affect our lives in the future.
His teaching has included information technology law, intellectual property law and human rights law and practice, and his research interests include all aspects of IT law and human rights Law, and in particular how the two overlap and interact. Particularly current topics include privacy and data protection – including the right to be forgotten – and social networking and online identity.


Nicholas Gervassis, University of Edinburgh

Nicholas Gervassis has recently completed his Ph.D. studies at the University of Edinburgh, from where he also holds an LL.M. degree in Innovation, Technology & the law. He is associated to the AHRC/SCRIPT Research Centre for Studies in Intellectual Property and Technology Law in Edinburgh. He is a member of the recently launched Corporate Responsibility and Governance Network of the University of Edinburgh. His research interests include IP law, Internet regulation, legal and constitutional theory, civil liberties and cultural studies. His publications include: N. Gervassis (2007), “The 20 Questions Game: The Journey to Personhood”, Masaryk University Journal of Law and Technology, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 155 – 185, N. Gervassis (2004), “In Search of the Value of Online Electronic Personae: Commercial MMORPGs and the Terms of Participation in Virtual Communities”, Journal of Information Law and Technology N. Gervassis and B. Schäfer (2005), “How to Derive an ‘Ought’ from a ‘Can not’: Virtual Laws, Artificial Societies and the Idea of Designing out Crime in Cyberspace”, Proceedings of the Cyberspace 2004 Conference, Brno, Czech Republic, N. Gervassis (2004), “From Laws for Cyberspace to Cyber Laws (literally): Integration of Legal Norms into Internet Protocols & Law for Closed Digital Management Communities”, SCRIPT-ed, Vol. 1, Issue 2, 2004, pp. 307 – 318, online at

Dr Franziska Boehm (Université du Luxembourg)

Franziska Boehm is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Luxembourg where she completed her PhD thesis on the information sharing in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice in 2011. She also holds a Master in public international law (with a specialization in data protection law), the French Licence en Droit and the German state exam in law.  Her research focuses on the data protection rights of individuals, in particular in a law enforcement context. Currently, she is working in a more interdisciplinary context at the Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust at the University of Luxembourg where she conducts research within the fields of the technical and legal issues raised by new technologies.

Angela Daly (European University Institute)

Angela Daly is a PhD researcher at the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence, Italy, working on a thesis entitled ‘corporate dominance of the Internet’. She holds an LLM in Comparative, European and International Laws from the EUI (2010), an LLM in French and European Law from the Universite de Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne (2007) and a BA(Hons) in Jurisprudence from Balliol College, Univerity of Oxford (2006). Prior to starting her PhD, she worked for two years for the British communications regulator, Ofcom, mainly in competition policy. She also collaborates with transnational civil society organisation European Alternatives with a particular focus on media issues.

Shara Monteleone (European University Institute)

Shara Monteleone has graduated from the Law Faculty of Florence (Italy), and after a Master degree in Communications Law, she held a PhD in Law and Technologies of the Media Integration and Communication Centre (MICC) from the University of Florence in 2007. Shara Monteleone has been working as post-doc researcher at INRIA (Grenoble, France) being in particular involved in the PRIAM project (Privacy Issues in Ambient Intelligence). As university lecturer, she has conducted researches in Information and Media Law (under constitutional and comparative law perspective), with special attention to privacy and data protection issues. She has taken part in several European projects including a project for a “Support to the reform of Serbian media legislation towards UE standards and strengthening of legal and technical skills of media professionals” under the Cards Programme 2004/2005 (in which she assisted in the Serbian legislation draft on Data Protection and in the drafting for the Code of conduct for Journalists) and a project on the European legislation and praxis on electronic evidence (“Admissibility of electronic evidence before Court”, 2006).As for previous experiences, she has worked for the Italian National Research Centre (CNR, ITTIG) and for the Chamber of commerce in Florence.Recently she obtained a LLM degree in Comparative, European and International Law from the European University Institute of Florence (EUI), focusing on Ambient Intelligence and the right to privacy – the case of detection technologies.She recently joined the IS Unit of the JRC-IPTS, as scientific officer and will work focusing on legal- economic issues related to e-ID.Shara Monteleone has published various articles and participated as speaker in several conferences and workshop (among which: e-Privacy, Florence 2007; LSPI, Prague 2008; La disciplina delle varie forme di comunicazione, Rome 2008; ICIL, Thessaloniki, 2011).


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