Digital Legalities Reading Group

Science and Information Technology
Society and economy

Professor Fleur Johns, Faculty of Law & Justice at UNSW Sydney and current Visiting Professor at Gothenburg University will host this seminar series aimed at investigating internal effects of digitality on law.

7 Sep 2021
12 Oct 2021
16 Nov 2021
14 Dec 2021
18 Jan 2022
1 Mar 2022
5 Apr 2022
3 May 2022
09:00 - 10:00
09:00 - 10:00
09:00 - 10:00
09:00 - 10:00
09:00 - 10:00
09:00 - 10:00
09:00 - 10:00
09:00 - 10:00

Fleur Johns
Gregor Noll
Department of Law

About the reading group

There has been much debate how to regulate digital phenomena presumed more or less external to law (data brokers, facial recognition systems, lethal autonomous weapons, sex robots, trading algorithms, and so on). Such questions remain pressing and challenging. Just as salient, however, are investigations that take account of digitality internal to law, recognizing just how digitized legal relations, artefacts, norms and practices already have become across a wide range of settings. We are yet to grasp the full significance and stakes of legality being rendered digital, to the extent that digitality is, and might yet be more so, a feature of legal work, infrastructure and thinking. What becomes of legality and its classical expressions – tort, contract, crime, property, money, statehood, territoriality, agency, family, subjectivity, employment and so on – when these are assembled, evaluated, authorized, represented, deployed, maintained or experienced digitally to some degree? This is the broad question that this reading group will tackle through reading a series of mutually agreed texts and, interspersed with these, by reading and discussing each other’s works in progress. It is intended to be open to all with an interest in this and related questions, not just those already deeply immersed in these themes. The following two short texts are proposed for the first session: Norbert Wiener, ‘Cybernetics’ Scientific American, 179(5): 14-19 (1948); Alan Turing, ‘Computing Machinery and Intelligence’ Mind, LIX(236): 433–460 (1950). At this initial meeting, we will gather and collate a list of questions or subthemes of particular interest to reading group members. This list will serve as the basis for assembling readings for later sessions (for which purpose Fleur will happily do the legwork of suggesting texts for group consideration). 

Please contact to express interest in participating. Please indicate, when doing so, whether you anticipate having a work in progress that you would like to have the group read and discuss.