A message from our Chair, Abhilash Nair.

I am pleased to provide an update following our recent Annual Conference hosted by Edoardo Celeste of Dublin City University in association with Rory O’Boyle of the Law Society of Ireland. Many thanks to the conference organisers and to all delegates for attending in person or virtually and making it a successful and enjoyable conference.

The conference attracted a significant number of papers of high quality. Congratulations to Alia Khawaji whose paper ‘Safeguarding a human-centric patent system: The case of the Inventive step test’ won the Diane Rowland BILETA Postgraduate Prize, Arron McArdle and Nils Victor Langensteiner whose paper ‘Regulating pornography from a European human rights perspective’ won the EJLT BILETA prize, and Edina Harbinja, Tal Morse and Lilian Edwards whose paper ‘Digital Remains and post-mortem privacy in the UK: What do users want?’ won the IRLCT Taylor & Francis prize.

May I take this opportunity to set out some of our plans for the coming months that we shared at the AGM and at the conference:

  • Conference speakers will be invited to submit papers for consideration for publication in BILETA Special Issues of the European Journal of Law and Technology and the International Review of Law, Computers and Technology.
  • New research funding and BILETA Seminar funding calls will be out soon, and we encourage BILETA members to consider applying for these. Please note that only BILETA members are eligible to apply for funding, so please ensure that your institution’s membership is up to date.
  • BILETA members will be invited to actively participate in our policy engagement work, especially via responding to and leading on relevant consultations.
  • Building on our success in previous years, BILETA members will be invited to take part in our mentoring programme – as a mentor, mentee or both. Please note that the mentoring scheme is not intended to be necessarily hierarchical and is based on skill sets, experience etc. across career pathways of research, education and enterprise/engagement.
  • Continue supporting open access endeavours, for e.g. the European Journal of Law and Technology.
  • At the conference, we formally launched the BILETA’s teaching policy guidance ‘A manifesto for the post-pandemic university – Teaching (law) during Covid-19: Lessons learned’, which will be disseminated widely across HEIs around the world.
  • We will continue to build interdisciplinarity in our focus and remit and will actively engage with colleagues outside our immediate discipline, transcending not just humanities, arts and social sciences but also STEM disciplines.
  • We will continue our ongoing engagement with professional bodies in law and beyond.
  • Our next conference will be hosted by Goldsmiths, University of London which will be led by Aysem Vanberg.  Call for papers will be issued in early Autumn. If you’d like to host a future conference, please get in touch with me.

BILETA Executive Committee has new office bearers and members this year. James Griffin was elected as Vice-Chair, Kim Barker as Secretary and Karen McCullagh as Treasurer. We are delighted to welcome Thorsten Lauterbach (Robert Gorden University) and Ruth Tracey (Law Society of Ireland) to our Executive Committee. We are very grateful to our outgoing Chair Abbe Brown for her leadership and hard work, and to Rory O’Boyle and Subhajit Basu who have stepped down from the Executive Committee after many years of service to BILETA.

With best wishes,

Abhilash Nair.