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Summer School on Cyber Law


International summer school on cyber law
International summer school on cyber law
From July 2nd – 7th 2012, an international summer school on cyber law took place in Moscow region. The event was organized by the HSE Research and Educational Laboratory on Information Law. Irina Bogdanovskaya, Professor at the HSE Department of the Theory of Law and Comparative Law, told us about the School.

— Dr. Bogdanovskaya, what determined the international flavour of this school? Was it related to the Conference on Information Law, which you organized in May?

— I should explain that this was the second time that our laboratory has organized an international conference on ‘Law in the Digital Era’, and prior to these events, we also organized international seminars with international expert participation. The summer school is logically related to the conference, but its target audience is slightly different: they are young teachers, researchers and final-year students. The international school aims to involve young experts in international research processes, introducing them to new methods of teaching master classes and giving them the skills of presenting in an international environment. At least, these were the tasks we set ourselves.

— What was the selection process for school participants like?

— First, we named the priority areas and problems which we wanted to be discussed during the school. In particular, these included regulation of relations in the internet, development of copyright in countries with different legal traditions, legal protection of personal data, and legal regulation of e-government development. We announced a competition for participation, and the applicants attached their research papers in English to the application form, since the school was an international one, and its working language was English. The number of applications turned out to be three times higher than the number of places at the school, and so we organized a selection process based on how well the received papers matched the declared priority areas, and we also focused on original research approaches. As a result, the school participants included students and young teachers not only from the HSE, but from other Russian and international universities. The school also attracted participants from our laboratory’s international partners in France and Belgium, as well as colleagues from Great Britain. This allowed the young experts not only to exchange opinions on relevant problems with their colleagues from other countries, but also to establish professional connections.

— How was the school programme organized? Which invited experts spoke at the school?

— The school programme was very intense. In the morning there were two lectures, in the afternoon there were roundtable discussions of the participants’ presentations, and in the evening there were master classes. We aimed to cover the most topical problems of the contemporary legal science during the school, and each day was dedicated to one such topic, such as telecommunication law, problems of copyright in the digital era, and legal aspects of cyber security. The school was opened by Sergey Kamolov, Deputy Minister of Public Administration, Information Technologies and Communication of the Moscow region..

The school studied not only theoretical situations, but also practical problems. Lawyers from such big companies as IBM, Microsoft, White and Case, and Baker Botts LLP spoke at the event. I would particularly like to mention and thank the international experts, whose lectures provided the participants with extraordinarily high-level material: S. Manara (France), B. Cohen (Belgium), R. Moore and I. Lloyd (Great Britain).


— What were the most interesting projects? What did the experts particularly mention in this regard?

— The presentations were evaluated both by an international professional jury, and by the participants themselves. The project by Ruslan Nurullaev, postgraduate students at the RAS Institute of State and Law, and the project by Denis Kolesnikov, student at the HSE Faculty of Law were awarded first and second place respectively. They were awarded prizes from Microsoft. In addition to the presentations, the participants supplied papers on the problems of legal and illegal content on the internet. The best papers, at the suggestion of Marina Zhunich, GR director at Google Russia, were given to Google in order to determine the final winner.

— In general, how relevant are the problems of cyber law in today’s Russia? In your view, are they attracting more interest among students and researchers?

— Undoubtedly, the interest in these topics is growing: dissertation councils on information law are being created and new lecture courses are being introduced. But there is still a problem of human resources, since the lawyers are not paying enough attention to this sphere. And it is significant that most of the applications to the school were made by young researchers from non-law universities. I hope that our school has not only promoted the popularization of this area, but expanded the participants’ knowledge about the depth of the changes which are taking place.

— Are you planning to publish any papers from the school or to launch new research projects?

— We are planning to publish the school’s papers on our laboratory’s website. In addition to that, we have outlined new joint projects with our international partners: we also hope that they will result in new publications. Traditionally, we are open to new approaches: the laboratory has already hired some promising young staff, and I am happy that during the school we have met new friends with whom we shall be able to develop this promising area of research.

Oleg Seregin, HSE News Service

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