Wed 18th Jan, 2pm: Regulating decentralisation: the consequences of technological developments for legal design and enforcement (Dr Angela Daly, QUT)

We are delighted to announce another discussion group event which will take place on Wednesday 18th January at 2pm in room 2.29, 50 George Square. Our speaker, Dr Angela Daly is Vice Chancellor’s Research Fellow in QUT’s Faculty of Law, a research associate in the Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology and Society and a an adjunct research fellow in the Swinburne Institute for Social Research. She is a socio-legal scholar of technology and is the author of Socio-Legal Aspects of the 3D Printing Revolution (Palgrave 2016) and Mind The Gap: Private Power, Online Information Flows and EU Law (Hart 2016).

Regulating decentralisation: the consequences of technological developments for legal design and enforcement

Various technological developments over the last two decades, their accessibility to the average person (at least in the [over]developed economies of the Global North) and their socio-economic implementations have led to a decentralising effect on the nature of production and organisation. Prominent among these have been: the Internet (decentralised production & dissemination of information); 3D printing (decentralised production of [complex] objects); solar panels (decentralised production of energy); and the blockchain/bitcoin (decentralised production of money and decentralised documentation). The category of ‘prosumer’ i.e. empowered individuals who both produce as well as consume, has come to be used with regards to those engaging with these technological developments. However, these developments stand in stark contrast to the legal and regulatory systems, which have generally been designed in a more centralised era where production (in developed economies at least) has mainly taken place in mass form via the bureaucratic structures of the State and the Firm. 

This presentation will explore this seeming mismatch between these decentralising tendencies and law, and the implications for two issues in particular: the design of laws and the enforcement of laws. Both of these issues are related inasmuch as they operate under the assumption of Fordist mass production – an assumption that is ‘disrupted’ by technologically-mediated decentralisation.

The talk will be followed by a Q&A section and refreshments will be provided. All students and staff are welcome and no registration is required.