Law and Emerging Technologies

A special issue of Laws (ISSN 2075-471X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 December 2023) | Viewed by 3821

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
University of Bristol Law School, Bristol BS8 1RJ, UK
Interests: regulation of emerging technologies; law and reproductive/genetic technologies; artificial intelligence, robotics and law; law and digital technologies; end of life law and ethics; neurolaw

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Guest Editor
Faculty of Law, University of Otago, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand
Interests: health law; regulation of reproduction (assisted and unassisted); law and biomedical technologies; criminal law

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Guest Editor
Faculty of Law, University of Canterbury, Canterbury 8041, New Zealand
Interests: medical and criminal law; the regulation of assisted reproductive technologies and issues in relation to the ability of a parent/guardian to consent to medical treatment for a child

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The exponential growth in technology-based research, development, and deployment, particularly the convergence of existing technologies with that of Big Data and Artificial Intelligence, has caused disruptive and transformative affects globally.  Technologies such as artificial intelligence, biotechnology, virtual and augmented reality, blockchain technology, and nanotechnology are changing the ways in which we live, learn, work and engage with one another. Yet, the development and implementation of technology is rarely neutral: technologies have the capacity to impact the way that societies develop and evolve. At the same time, societies also have choices about how those technologies develop and evolve, not least in terms of the rules we choose to set around them.

Law is an important mediator in facilitating the technological imperative, whilst mitigating its adverse effects and promoting technological prudence.  However, this is no small task given widely divergent ethical, social, and cultural perspectives and highly variable appetites for different kinds of risks.

The aim of this Special Issue is to provide a forum for considering some of the regulatory challenges, and regulatory strategies that are or may be adopted with respect to new and emerging, as well as evolving, technologies.

Research areas may include (but are not limited to):

  • Medical law (reproductive technology genomics, AI)
  • Criminal law (neurotechnology, facial recognition technology, biometric data, AI)
  • Commercial law (block chain and distributed ledger technologies, AI)
  • Internet law (digital privacy, cyber security, harmful online conduct)
  • Human Rights (AI, discrimination, inequality)
  • Indigenous peoples (data sovereignty, intellectual property, bioprospecting, biopiracy)

Prof. Dr. Colin Gavaghan
Dr. Jeanne Snelling
Dr. Debra Wilson
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Laws is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • artificial intelligence
  • biotechnology
  • digital technology
  • reproductive technology
  • blockchain
  • genomics
  • neurotechnology

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

14 pages, 234 KiB  
Article
Law, Technology, and Our Governance Dilemma
by Roger Brownsword
Laws 2024, 13(3), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws13030030 - 10 May 2024
Viewed by 570
Abstract
This article highlights a dilemma that we face when we turn to new tools that promise to improve on law’s imperfect governance. On the one hand, our discontent with law’s governance is both broad and deep, and much of it is rooted in [...] Read more.
This article highlights a dilemma that we face when we turn to new tools that promise to improve on law’s imperfect governance. On the one hand, our discontent with law’s governance is both broad and deep, and much of it is rooted in the human nature of the legal enterprise. Yet, we remain attached to the essentially human nature of law’s governance. On the other hand, we recognise the potential benefits in technological governance but not without some displacement of the human element. Caught on the horns of this dilemma, we attempt to limit the loss of the human element by insisting that governance must be compatible with human rights or human dignity, or, more directly, that governance must limit the applications of technology so that they remain human-centric. Given a demand for human-centric applications of technologies, we consider how far humans might, and should, go in deploying new tools with a view to improving law’s imperfect governance. Should these tools be limited to assisting humans? Or, might they replace humans? Or might we even govern by technological management of places, products, and processes so that reliance on both humans and rules is reduced? It is concluded that, in all spheres of governance and in all human communities, the one thing that is essential is that the applications of new technologies are controlled so that they do not undermine the generic conditions which are presupposed by viable groups of human agents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Law and Emerging Technologies)
15 pages, 275 KiB  
Article
Implications of Law’s Response to Mitochondrial Donation
by Karinne Ludlow
Laws 2024, 13(2), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws13020020 - 25 Mar 2024
Viewed by 994
Abstract
Changes to Australian law in 2022 made Australia the second country to expressly permit the clinical use of mitochondrial donation (MD), a technology that makes heritable changes to the human genome. This paper considers these changes in the context of Australia’s broader controls [...] Read more.
Changes to Australian law in 2022 made Australia the second country to expressly permit the clinical use of mitochondrial donation (MD), a technology that makes heritable changes to the human genome. This paper considers these changes in the context of Australia’s broader controls on human embryo use to provide insights into future regulatory responses to other emerging genetic technologies, which could be used in reproduction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Law and Emerging Technologies)
15 pages, 303 KiB  
Article
Resh(AI)ping Good Administration: Addressing the Mass Effects of Public Sector Digitalisation
by Albert Sanchez-Graells
Laws 2024, 13(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws13010009 - 16 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1553
Abstract
Public sector digitalisation is transforming public governance at an accelerating rate. Digitalisation is outpacing the evolution of the legal framework. Despite several strands of international efforts to adjust good administration guarantees to new modes of digital public governance, progress has so far been [...] Read more.
Public sector digitalisation is transforming public governance at an accelerating rate. Digitalisation is outpacing the evolution of the legal framework. Despite several strands of international efforts to adjust good administration guarantees to new modes of digital public governance, progress has so far been slow and tepid. The increasing automation of decision-making processes puts significant pressure on traditional good administration guarantees, jeopardises individual due process rights, and risks eroding public trust. Automated decision-making has, so far, attracted the bulk of scholarly attention, especially in the European context. However, most analyses seek to reconcile existing duties towards individuals under the right to good administration with the challenges arising from digitalisation. Taking a critical and technology-centred doctrinal approach to developments under the law of the European Union and the Council of Europe, this paper goes beyond current debates to challenge the sufficiency of existing good administration duties. By stressing the mass effects that can derive from automated decision-making by the public sector, the paper advances the need to adapt good administration guarantees to a collective dimension through an extension and a broadening of the public sector’s good administration duties: that is, through an extended ex ante control of organisational risk-taking, and a broader ex post duty of automated redress. These legal modifications should be urgently implemented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Law and Emerging Technologies)
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