Introduction: British and Irish law education and technology association conference (BILETA)

Abbe E. L Brown* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The annual conference of the British and Irish Law Education and Technology Association conference (BILETA) holds a special place in the calendar and hearts of law, technology and education scholars. It is a chance for the clans to gather, for friendships to be made and reinforced – across countries, institutions, disciplines and stages of career. In April 2018, it was my privilege to organise the conference at the University of Aberdeen. With that comes the honour of being guest editor of a special edition of the International Review of Law, Computers and Technology (and also of a special edition of the online European Journal of Law and Technology). The contributions build on some of the many high quality papers which were presented and discussed in Aberdeen.

Firstly, some more about that conference. The theme was ‘Digital Futures: places and people, technology and data.’ This provided a rich and diverse base for presentation, challenge, learning and community. We had key notes by Professor Daithi Mac Sithigh of Queens University Belfast on ‘Techlaw and the Techlash’ and by Professor Margaret Ross of the University of Aberdeen on technology and mental health in the University; concurrent panels with vibrant discussion; a ceilidh and a campus tour; a real time opportunity to contribute to Scottish Government consultations on Online Identity Assurance; and plenaries on recording of teaching. This last led ultimately to new guidance from JISC and from BILETA (accessible via More information can be obtained from the conference website, see and from blogpost

Against this backdrop, this special edition has 5 papers. In their variety of topic and also in terms of geographic bases and levels of career development of authors, they reflect the diversity seen in Aberdeen. Firstly, ‘Adaptive Architecture: Regulating Human Building Interaction’ which was the winner of the Taylor and Francis Prize for the BILETA conference. In this, Lachlan Urquhart, Holger Schnädelbach and Nils Jäger explore legal, regulatory, technical and interactional implications when the Internet of Things interacts with buildings and their occupants, and they frame and influence challenges ahead.

In ‘Anonymous Bitcoin v Enforcement Law’, Fulya Teomete Yalabik and Ismet Yalabik provide a challenge to the anonymous status of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, from the perspective of powers available to courts to enable actions to be pursued. In ‘The Internet Renaissance of Collective Management Organizations: Reflections on Flat Fee System’, Lucie Strakova makes new proposals for collective management. She reflects on new opportunities and challenges raised by the internet from the perspective of different types of use and users, evolving approaches to copyright online in the EU and stances taken by the EU competition regulator. In ‘Digital constitutionalism – Mapping the constitutional response to digital technology’s challenges’, Edoardo Celeste critiques and develops digital and more conventional approaches to constitutional law. He then charts a new normative framework for protection of human rights, at national and transnational levels. Finally, Aysem Diker-Vanberg and Johanna Hoekstra present ‘A critical analysis of the Directive for the Supply of Digital Content’. They argue that the Directive’s focus is rather on harmonisation of contract law, rather than in the Digital Single Market Strategy within which it sits; and also that the Directive should be revisited to avoid unintended consequences for consumers.

I hope you find these papers a stimulating and informative read. As guest editor, I must thank the Taylor and Francis team, the reviewers who have engaged so constructively and generously with the process and of course the authors. On behalf of BILETA, I look forward to seeing you at a future conference.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-2
Number of pages2
JournalInternational Review of Law, Computers and Technology
Issue number1
Early online date17 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2019


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