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JILT 2009 (1) - Editorial

Welcome to this issue of the Journal of Information Law and Technology. We are delighted with this issue because it represents two dimensions of JILT which have been striving to develop over the years.

  1. The promotion of international, comparative, third world and global perspectives: Thus Schofield’s article on Animated Evidence is a study which includes Anglo-American and US jurisdictions. Hoeren’s on Second Life and Ferretti’s on Credit Scoring, a strong European perspective. More significantly JILT has tried to encourage papers from developing countries and this issue includes Olowu’s article on Cybercrime from an African regional perspective. Specific national perspectives are involved in Mathew’s study on Child Safety in India, Chawki on Advance Fee Fraud in Nigeria and Nieman on Cyberforensics, Snail on Cyber Crime, and Watney on Electronic Evidence in Criminal Proceedings in South Africa. A much more transnational global multicultural perspective can be seen in Cannataci’s paper on religion, technology and ethics.
  2. The promotion of a broad range of issues, often dealing with leading edge topics. In many ways Cannataci’s paper breaks new ground in trying to develop links between a range of religious traditions and privacy, technology, law and ethics. Similarly, Hoeren’s study of liability of ISP’s in platforms such as SecondLife takes us into the increasingly significant domain of virtuality. Chawki’s Nigerian study of Advance Fee Fraud is significant not merely in tackling the increasingly significant phenomenon of phishing but in relation to a geographical domain which is significant in the global control of phishing.

Two features are noticeable among the variety of topics. Firstly, we may be turning a little corner away from recent emphasis in the literature generally on issues of intellectual property. However, equally significantly most of the articles are on Information Technology Law as opposed to Legal Informatics. This follows a general trend in publication in the whole field. In this respect, Schofield’s interesting study provides an interesting and welcome exception. We intend to encourage publication of issues dealing with legal informatics and legal education and will be publishing an issue on Technology in Legal Education later this year.

A final and increasingly important issue is that of the scope of the journal. In the past we have defined it as ‘information technology’ which has covered both information technology law and applications. The idea of ‘information’ itself imagined a concept broader than computers. The development of convergence between the variety of information and communications technologies has increasingly raised the issue of whether ‘information technology’ may be a term which is too confining and unable to deal effectively with issues of convergence. This convergence is taking place not merely in relation to technologies such as media and communications, but the advancement of digitalization is converging the whole concept of technology in ways which might make intellectual distinctions between information and other technologies less relevant.

As always we are grateful to numerous reviewers for their help and support in the reviewing process. We would also like to thank Mizanur Rahaman and Sabrina Zheng of the JILT Team.

Director, Electronic Law Journals Project
University of Warwick
Abdul Paliwala