Issue 2004 (3)
By Professor Abdul Paliwala
(Editor's note: The publishing of this issue of JILT has been significantly delayed due to technical changes being made to our website by IT services.)
This issue of the Journal of Information, Law and Technology (JILT) consists of 11 refereed articles presented at the last two BILETA Conferences on Legal Education. We are grateful to our guest editor Ronan Deazley for helping to bring about their efficient publication. Here, we would like to comment on some of the features of the material.
The articles submitted and published provide a reflection of trends in current scholarship on legal aspects of information and communications technology. The very fact that the papers are eclectic and not part of a special issue allows us to note the way in which the internet has begun to dominate scholarly discourse. Early issues of the journal in 1996 were characterised by concerns such as Data Protection, Intellectual Property, e-Learning, Legal Publications, Artificial Intelligence and other Computer Applications for law, and finally Legal Practice and Process. Recent issues do have similar themes but the new dominant theme is the Internet, its legal applications, character and regulation.
Thus in this issue, even an article such as Diane Rowland’s piece on ‘Data Retention and the War Against Terrorism’ deals mainly with the internet. Susan Schiavetta’s article on ‘Does the Internet Occasion New Directions in Consumer Arbitration in the EU?’ is about legal process and practice, but in relation to the internet. Nicholas Gervassis’ piece on ‘In Search of the Value of Online Electronic Personae:Commercial MMORPGs and the Terms of Participation in Virtual Communities’ on virtual communities is again about the operation and regulation of the internet. Ida Azmi’s, ‘Content Regulation in Malaysia:Unleashing Missiles on Dangerous Web Sites?’ also deals exclusively with the internet as does Camilla Baasch Andersen’s, ‘From Resource of Law to Source of Law ? The Internet as a Source of Law in Unifying the Jurisprudence of the CISG?’ In principle, the internet in all its variety has become the most significant sustaining concern of legal ICT literature.
The second significant theme in this issue is Intellectual Property. Again this was present in the 1996 Issues, but has become another crucial and controversial theme of legal literature with internet related intellectual property issues being of no small significance as can be seen from Ronan Deazley’s, ‘Articles, the Academy and Authorising Reproductions?’ and Alan Cunningham’s ‘The Management of Rights in the Digital Environment: Lessons from Legal Artificial Intelligence?’. Two articles by Luca Egitto and Istvan Erdos dealing with recent controversial EU proposals on ‘Computer-Implemented Inventions’ fit within concerns which are broader than the internet.
Safinaz Hussein’s ‘Service Provider Licensing System in the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Industry?’ deals with the growing new area of regulation of convergent communications and media. However, it should be noted that the internet has played a key role in this convergence. Gill Hague’s ‘Factors Affecting the Use of Information and Communications Technology by In-House Legal Practices in North West England?’ fits within a more traditional framework of articles dealing with the uptake of ICT in the legal professions.
The domination of the internet reflects a current intellectual and practical reality. What is necessary, however, is to ensure that scholarship continues to embrace leading edge issues in ICT developments in all their diversity.
We hope you enjoy this latest edition and we look forward to receiving your valuable contributions to the journal in due course. Please send your articles to Brent Hanks.
Professor Paliwala teaches in the Faculty of Law at the University of Warwick.
He can be reached at: <A.Paliwala@warwick.ac.uk>.
This is an Editorial published on 15 December 2004.
Citation: Editorial 2004 (3). The Journal of Information, Law and Technology (JILT).