Timetable information in the Course Catalogue may be subject to change.

University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Postgraduate Course: Legal Technology and the Justice System (LAWS11463)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Law CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryArtificial 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.
Course description 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)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
Reading List
Susskind, Richard. Transforming the law: essays on technology, justice and the legal marketplace. OUP 2000.
Additional Information
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
KeywordsInnovation,Technology,LLM,Level 11,Postgraduate,Law,Legal Technology,Justice System
Course organiserProf Burkhard Schafer
Tel: (0131 6)50 2035
Course secretaryMiss Bethan Walters
Tel: (0131 6)50 2386
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information