SMARTgroup excellence center is a team of highly skilled researchers and professionals that provides leadership, best practices, research, support and training in different subjects such as bioethics, law and computer science for topics that require a genuine interdisciplinary approach.

The most of the team members are alumni of the EMJD LAST-JD program. This program was designed to empower competences in the fields of ICT Law1, Legal Informatics1 and Life Science Regulation2.


The competences in field of the ICT Law aims at investigating the following areas of interest: Private ICT Law; Public ICT Law; Constitutional ICT Law; International ICT Law; Labour ICT Law; Cyber Law; Historical-epistemological, philosophical-theoretical-legal and logical foundations of Legal Informatics. It addresses the following topics:

1. Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) in the Information Society: Software, databases, multimedia, open-source software and open standards, Digital Rights Management (DRM) and technological protection measures, protection of users’ rights, Internet and new media (electronic publishing, linking, framing, P2P), domain names.
2. Electronic signatures and documents: Use of cryptography-based electronic signatures for identification and confidentiality purposes, the legal and evidentiary force of electronic documents, electronic and optical archiving, electronic invoicing.
3. E-commerce: Provision of information-society services, validity of online contracts, consumer protection, e-contract integrity and authenticity, contracts made by software agents, electronic procurement, providers’ liability, taxation, jurisdiction.
4. Privacy and data protection: Processing of personal data and protection of the privacy rights of natural and legal persons, data processing made through electronic means, security aspects and technological measures. Privacy Enhancing Technologies. Privacy and Big Data. Privacy and Open Data. Privacy Assessment of ICT tools and technologies.
5. Legal aspects involving intelligent agents and multi-agent systems: Legal nature of intelligent agents and multiagent systems, civil and criminal liability of agents in e-commerce, knowledge management and business networks, use of information collected by agents, negotiations and e-contracts made through agents.
6. Dispute resolution and management in virtual environments: Alternative management and resolution of disputes supported by ICT-based interactions, and online dispute resolution.
7. Security and trust in open systems: Violation and rationalisation of trust, impact of security and trust on e-commerce and ICT-based interactions, and ICT solutions to security and trust management.
8. Virtual Organisations: Technical and legal aspects in ICT-enabled collaboration between enterprises for the achievement of specific business goals.
9. Virtual and electronic institutions: Adoption of regulative and constitutive norms and legal concepts (such as obligation, permission, and prohibition) for governing agent interactions in multiagent systems and their encapsulation in infrastructural abstractions.
10. Social network and the Web 2.0: New ethical and legal issues arising from social networks that involve IPR issues regarding multimedia material, privacy issues from user profiling, security issues concerning the usage by third parties of information in social networks, human right issues when the information affect the fundamental rights of the people.
11. Cybercrime: understanding criminal acts committed by the use of computers requires knowledge of the technology as well as the criminal law on topics such as: hacking, spreading of viruses, (virtual) child pornography, and other illegal content on the internet. Procedural criminal law deals with various investigation powers, from placing wiretaps and authorizing people to search data on computer systems and networks and find digital traces.

Legal Informatics

The competences in field of the Legal Informatics track cover AI and Law, Legislative Informatics, Legal Information Systems, Computer Forensics. In particular:
1. eGovernment. The group considers eGovernment holistically, not as a temporary phenomenon but as a modus operandi that involves (a) ICT and public law; (b) reengineering processes in the public administration; (c) document management and legal knowledge management and communication; (d) identification tools; (e) eLearning for the public administration (TRIAS project1, offering a European Master in eGovernment); (f) eHealth, XML standards for managing the Electronic Medicine Record (I-Care project2); (g) analysing the legal aspects of telemedicine, and (h) Information Systems for the health.
2. ICT Legal Sources Modelling. Researchers are provided with a strong background in (a) modelling legal resources with legal XML standards and Semantic Web techniques aimed at managing and updating the law; (b) developing legal information systems, with a legal drafting editor capable of managing the entire lifecycle of the legislation process in different environments and different languages, with different legal traditions and using different standard techniques (DTD or XML-schema); (c) eLegislation, eParliament and
eParticipation for modelling the document management flow; (d) creating legal ontologies and Semantic Web models; (d) XML-isation project in Parliament (European Parliament, Pan-African Parliament, Latin American Parliament); (e) XML legal knowledge modelling of law and judgment to allow legal reasoning.
4. eLearning. (a) eLearning theory and platforms for eCourses in ICT and Law; (b) Web 2.0 for Law eLearning such as blog, wiki, YouTube, etc.
5. Computer forensics. The usage of computers in everyday life means there is more digital available which can be used in civil and criminal cases, which requires appropriate techniques and legal procedures. In Europe does not have a long tradition of this science, but in the USA, well-known protocols have been defined and used in court. Europe needs to improve and enrich these competences.
6. Logic formalisation of norms and legal reasoning. The logic formalisation of norms is a traditional topic of the AI and Law community in order to apply legal reasoning tools. Argumentation, defeasible logic, deontic logic are only some topics to work in this field.
7. Legal information system. Courts, parliaments and public administrations work more efficiently if they use legal information systems for justice, government, and healthcare modernization.

Life Science Regulation

The research area under the umbrella of life science’s regulation will cover vast array of topics from the discipline of biomedical research, bioethics and biolaw. Contemporary and “near future relevant discussions” having implications for the human and animal societies will be given priority. We believe, the growth of life science is unstoppable; but an accountable, transparent and humane progress of science will be embraced and welcomed by the critics.
We intend to work in the following areas:
• Safe blood transfusion, organ and bone marrow transplantation;
• Egg and sperm donation and/or preservation;
• Cord blood donation;
• Medical Genetics, genetic privacy, genetic data
• Genome editing
• Embryo related research
• Artificial organ
• Regenerative medicine/ stem cell research
• Nano medicine
• Pediatric and neonatal research
• Commercial surrogacy
• Medical termination of pregnancy
• Withdrawing life support system : euthanasia / “decision making for the terminally ill patient”
• Use of medical marijuana
• Use of animals in biomedical research
• Orphan drugs, rare diseases
• Chimera research
• Intellectual property protection of inventions from the biomedical research
• Access to medicinal/drug products
• Health care inequalities
• Interaction and integration among the science, society and invention/innovation
• Bioethics for the present and future life science research and innovation
• Clinical trials
• Ideologies, ethics and moral philosophies for the life science research
• Etc.

[1] Information is adopted from

[2] The author of Life Science Regulation section is PhD Arif Jamil.

Last update: 2017-08-09

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