Postgraduate Course: Legal Technology and the Justice System (LAWS11463)
|School||School of Law
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
||Availability||Not available to visiting students
|Summary||Artificial Intelligence has the potential to change the way law operates - and with that also the future of the law firm Some commentators, prominent amongst them Richard Susskind, have anticipated for decades major changes in the 'value chain' that law firms produce. This course introduces key technologies that have the potential to impact on the way lawyers operate in practice, with a focus on the issue of digital evidence and computer forensics.
The purpose of the course is thus also to provide an introduction to the legal aspects of forensic computing investigations, and to offer an overview of legislation and the main legal issues related to cyber-crime and computer forensics.
Digital forensics is not just a problem for IT law. In most criminal investigations, some pieces of evidence will be in a digital format ¿ photos from smartphones, geo-location data from a car's satnav or simply CCTV footage. Despite its importance for practice however, the distinctive features of evidence in digital form are often poorly understood by defence lawyers, prosecutors and judges alike. This can obviously create problems for the administration of justice. Party advocates struggle to transform the evidence collected by the computer forensic experts into a 'narrative' that convinces the jury, or fail to scrutinise sufficiently the evidence submitted by the opposing party. Judges in turn sometimes struggle to 'quality control' the way in which the evidence enters the court, evaluate its weight when sitting as single decision makers, or oversee, where the jurisdiction provides such, the issuing of warrants in the investigative process.
This course will equip students with a grounding in the technical aspects of forensic computing that will enable them to perform these roles better, and also introduce them to the main legal issues that this technology raises. Prior knowledge of computer science is not required, and the course will not make students into computer forensic investigators. Rather, it introduces, in a co-ordinated way, both computer science and legal issues regarding electronic evidence, to better prepare lawyers in their dealing with evidence in digital form.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2020/21, Not available to visiting students (SS1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||This course is assessed by 2 components of assessment:«br /»
1) A poster or a Wikipedia entry of no more than 1500 words (20%)«br /»
2) A 4000 word essay (80%)
||Feedback on the formative assessment may be provided in various formats, for example, to include written, oral, video, face-to-face, whole class, or individual. The course organiser will decide which format is most appropriate in relation to the nature of the assessment.
Feedback on both formative and summative in-course assessed work will be provided in time to be of use in subsequent assessments within the course.
Feedback on the summative assessment will be provided in written form via Learn, the University of Edinburgh's Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Gain an understanding of the potential of AI in the justice system, its limitations and also its danger for traditional ways to generate income as a lawyer.
- Gain a broad understanding of the legal issues created by advanced computer technology, in particular AI based approaches, for the law firm and legal practice and a rigorous understanding of the interaction between economic, psychological, political , societal and ethical issues that regulators face now and in the near future when dealing with these developments.
- Demonstrate an understanding the different modes of regulation that are available for regulators tackling the use of AI in legal contexts, from investigation to pre-trial discovery to trial, so that they can evaluated efficiency, proportionality and necessity of existing or suggested regulation, and develop their own proposals for the regulation of future challenges.
- Acquire the skill to carry out independent research in the intersection between law and technology, including an ability to work in multidisciplinary groups with disciplines and legal cultures other than their own, and to communicate their findings to audiences from a range of disciplinary and jurisdictional backgrounds.
- Acquire the skill to from and defend with arguments opinions in fields where the law is not yet settled, develop creative solutions to current social and legal problems and mediate between conflicting interests and value commitments, using computer enhanced communication tools such as wikis and other social media tools.
|Susskind, Richard. Transforming the law: essays on technology, justice and the legal marketplace. OUP 2000.|
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||- Identify, conceptualise and define new and abstract problems and issues.
- Develop original and creative responses to problems
- Work in heterogeneous teams to tight deadlines and co-ordinate efforts towards a joint task
- Communicate with other students (including students from different cultures, academic and otherwise) , policy makers, scientific experts and advisors
|Keywords||Innovation,Technology,LLM,Level 11,Postgraduate,Law,Legal Technology,Justice System
|Course organiser||Prof Burkhard Schafer
Tel: (0131 6)50 2035
|Course secretary||Ms Ruth Johnston
Tel: (0131 6)50 9094