Suggested elements of a study programme in the fiel of law and information technology
A. General outline
I. A presentation of information technology as it is related to law, in particular the interaction of law and information technology reflected in, for example, needs for new legal concepts, standards, procedures, law making strategies and system design and planning.
II. The computer as a personal working tool for the law student and for the legal professional, comprising matters such as personal computing, telecommunications, expert systems, data bases and working methods, for example organisation of systems and data.
III. Applications of information technology in the legal sector comprising matters such as:
- legal information storage and retrieval;
- administrative systems (for example court administration, criminal justice systems, land registration);
- decision support systems in public administration and law-making;
- electronic data interchange in trade, administration and transport;
- electronic funds transfer for banking and financial transactions.
IV. Legal issues related to the above applications and to other applications of information technology, such as:
- vulnerability and security, computer-related crime;B. Minimum standard
- data protection;
- regulation of telecommunications and the information market;
- automation of public administration;
- freedom of information;
- contracts, intellectual property rights.
The minimum standard of an introductory course should acquaint students with the basic principles of information technology, the legal issues related to the application of information technology and the applications of information technology in the legal field.
In implementing this minimum standard, attention should be paid to the availability of computing facilities for the students. In particular, there should be possibilities for:
- the use of national legal information retrieval services;C. Advanced topics
- the use of standard professional legal programmes;
- the illustration of various legal aspects of applications of information technology, for instance the problems of quality control of data in matching computer files.
Whilst recognising that topics specified within the general outline may be the subject of advanced treatment, certain other areas of study may be considered as particularly suitable for advanced research. These can be categorised as being within the broad areas of:
- theoretical issues of artificial intelligence (AI) involving representation and reasoning strategies for law (legal materials);
- technological developments within networking, personalised and integrated work stations, programmes;
- interdisciplinary issues relating to system design, system analysis and organisational analysis;
- normative issues concerning the proper scope and application of public and private law to the area of information technology.