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JILT 1997 (2) - SLSA

The Socio-Legal Studies Association Annual Conference

Crossing Boundaries
Computers and the Law Stream

2-4 April 1997
University of Wales

Reviewed by
Peter Alldridge

This is a Conference Report published on 30 June 1997.

Citation: Alldridge P 'Socio-Legal Studies Association Annual Conference', Conference Report, 1997 (2) The Journal of Information, Law and Technology (JILT). <>. New citation as at 1/1/04: <>

In terms of papers given, the Socio-Legal Studies Association conference is the largest conference of legal academics in the United Kingdom. The structure of the conference was of sessions forming parts of streams of two or more sessions. At any one time there were between 8 and 12 sessions running concurrently. This year's conference was held at Cardiff Law School. For the first time a stream was held on Computers and Law. The idea was to mix papers dealing with substantive areas of what has come to be called Information Technology Law with ones dealing with uses of information technology in legal contexts. The group was a small one, but not quite so small as the allocated room. The following papers were given

  • Yaman Akdeniz (Leeds), "The Regulation of Pornography and Child Pornography on the Internet"
  • Peter Alldridge (Cardiff), "Anoraks, Suits, and Jeans: Computers, Law and the Legal Academy"
  • Andrew Charlesworth (Hull), "Preventing Data Outflows and Inflows across International Borders: Can (and Should) National Laws Survive the Information Superhighway?"
  • Laura Edgar (Westminster), "Legal Regulation of the Internet"
  • Linda Macpherson and Douglas Vick (delivered by the latter) "Innocent Disseminators? The Potential Liability of Universities and On-Line Service Providers for the Defamatory Statements of Others"

The themes which emerged were, generally, as to the relationship between Computers, Law and more specifically as to as the incorporation of the studies which are being conducted on the Internet within other areas of regulation. I hope that in later years it will come to be regarded as normal that computers and the law will seem, as natural a subject area for the SLSA conference as many others.

Two matters other than the Computers and Law stream are of note. First, Carol Hall gave a demonstration on the future of electronic publishing. Second, this was the first large legal conference in the UK which was supported by a conference web site, run by Ann Mumford. It is the estimate of the organisers that the attendance was enhanced by about 20%, and the overseas attendance particularly was bolstered. This must become standard practice.

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