LAST-JD - Joint International Doctoral Degree in Law, Science and Technology

From ECApedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Back to all Erasmus Mundus Doctorates

  • Duration: 36


The Joint International Doctoral Degree in “Law, Science and Technology” is an interdisciplinary integrated doctorate designed to address new challenges in legal, socio-ethical and technical domains arising from the information society and newly emerging technologies. There are rapidly evolving sectors of Information Technology and Life Sciences that need legal and ethical instruments for avoiding malpractice and for shaping policies and strategies in conducting scientific research and disseminating its results to industry and society. New opportunities emerge to use Information Technology to face the complexity of Law in contemporary society. All this requires a set of interdisciplinary competencies that are usually lacking in the graduate market due to a lack of vision and strategy.

The “Law, Science and Technology” doctorate aims to address the problem of fragmentation that exists in Europe in this interdisciplinary area, by setting up a robust doctoral programme inspired by the Stanford programme in Law, Science and Technology, while also addressing the unique requirements of Europe by looking at the impact of European cultural identities on ethical, medical and legal discussion, as well as at the specifics of European regulations. The programme covers three different research fields with its curricula:

  • “Bioethics and Biolaw”, which looks at the legal and ethical problems of advances in biology and


  • “ICT Law”, addressing the legal risks and opportunities in ICT, and
  • “Legal Informatics”, an area of informatics taking into account legal issues, including AI techniques applied to legal domain.

This programme promotes the excellence, innovation and competitiveness of Europe in critical legal and ethical fields such as the regulation of privacy, genomics and biobank, e-government, e-health and e- commerce, the right to free speech on the Internet and the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) with respect to new technologies. Moreover, it furthers the design of new software to support the legal profession, including systems based on the explicit representation of laws and regulations in computable form, including the topic of “check compliance” with international, European and national legal frameworks.

The Doctorate offers an innovative and up-to-date integrated programme that empowers candidates to carry out cutting-edge research in different subjects such as bioethics, law and computer science for topics that require a genuine interdisciplinary approach. It includes a period of internship in the third year, where the candidate can apply his/her studies and complement his/her research with a professional experience. Upon completion of the programme, graduates will become highly skilled researchers and professionals, matching the requirements of public and private sectors. They could be employed, e.g., in law firms working on IPR, privacy, ecommerce, and patenting; in high tech software houses where Artificial Intelligence is applied; in specialised research centres such as medical genetic centres, nanotechnology centres and robotic laboratories; in government offices which manage innovative ICT and eGovernment, eJustice and eParliament projects; and in ethic committees which analyse scientific innovations and produce policy documents.

The partners deliver a joint degree between four partners and a double title with the other. Associated partners such as the Centre for Ethics and Law in the Life Sciences (CELLS) of Hannover, European Genetics Foundation in Italy, Fraunhofer of Berlin, and TITL institute of the University of Tilburg provide expertise in specialist topics and offer internships, seminars and co-supervision of candidates. Law firms, enterprises and institutions will host internships, creating opportunities for applied research as well as opening up connections that may lead to employment for the graduates. Extra- European associate partner NICTA (Australia) guarantees the connection with the high technologies centre in an international perspective. The mobility of candidates will be well supported at all times, thanks to the universities’ extensive experience in hosting foreign students and use of advanced online instruments for remote collaboration.

The programme is at the intersection between research and teaching, and begins with a common path (first year in Bologna and then in Turin), while, in the second year, students continue in different structured tracks (first term in Barcelona or Luxemburg and second term in Vilnius or Hannover). In the third year internships are offered. A wide range of research, training and teaching plans is offered: Legal Informatics, Semantic Web and Legal Ontologies, Principles of computer science, AI&LAW and Logics for legal reasoning, Legal Argumentation, ICT-Law, Regulation of Internet, International Legal Framework for E-Business, Legal Framework and Strategic Aspects of E-Democracy, Privacy-Enhancing Technologies, Privacy in the European Framework, Relational Law and ODR, Bioethics and Biolaw, International Legal Framework of Biomedicine and Biotechnology and other specific seminars, accounting for a total of about 75 ECTS of which the student should choose 48 ECTS.


  • UNIVERSITY OF BOLOGNA - ALMA MATER STUDIORUM, CIRSFID, Italy (Co-ordinating institution).
  • UNIVERSITY OF TORINO, Department of Computer Science, Italy.
  • MYKOLAS ROMERIS UNIVERSITY, Department of E-Business, Lithuania.


Back to all Erasmus Mundus Doctorates