The participants of the Summer School in front of Saarland University’s Graduate Center.

The first "Summer School IT Law and Legal Informatics" took place at Saarland University’s campus from 21st August to 1st September 2017.

This Summer School, an initiative of the Institute of Legal Informatics, was hosted and organised by the professorial chairs of Professor Dr. Georg Borges and Professor Dr. Christoph Sorge. Participants from Bulgaria, Denmark, France, Japan, Luxembourg as well as Germany travelled to Saarbrücken and were treated to both a varied academic and cultural programme. Renowned lecturers from the UK, Japan, Austria and Germany presented on the four topic areas of “Autonomous systems”, “Internet of Things and IT Security”, “Data Protection and Big Data” and “Legal Tech”.

The Summer School was officially opened by a welcome address from the Dean of the Law Faculty, Professor Dr. Roland Michael Beckmann. Professor. Dr. Georg Borges then gave a lecture on the first topic area. This provided the basis for lively discussion on a range of subjects including whether robots and autonomous systems can themselves be legal entities. Professors Takehiko Kasahara (Toin University of Yokohama, Japan), Burkhard Schäfer (The University of Edinburgh), Dr. Erich Schweighofer (Universität Wien, Österreich), Fumio Shimpo Ph.D. (Keio University, Kanagawa, Japan), Dr. Christoph Sorge and Dr. Mayu Terada (International Christian University, Tokyo, Japan) gave lectures on the following days.  After the lectures by the professors, the participants were given the opportunity to present the results of their own research into one of the four topic areas and then to discuss the issues with the group. The intention is that the contributions of the lecturers and the participants will be published in an Academic Volume.

In addition to the intensive academic programme, there were also many opportunities for the participants to find out more about the region. For many participants, this was their first visit to the Saarland and they used the opportunity to explore many of its cultural sights and enjoy the culinary delights which the region has to offer.  The participants visited the UNESCO World Heritage site at the Völklinger Hütte (an historical ironworks), the Saarschleife, the Karlsberg Brewery in Homburg and Trier.  Under the knowledgeable guidance of the former Secretary of State, Dr. Wolfgang Schild, the excursion to Trier was a particular highlight.  The Summer School ended with an excursion which included a guided tour of the German Federal Court in Karlsruhe, a visit to the Cathedral in Speyer and wine-tasting at a vineyard near Neustadt-an-der-Weinstraße.

You can find detailed information about the Summer School at www.summerschool-itlaw.org.

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