On Tuesday 15th October, the University of Oxford has launched its new interdisciplinary course in ‘Law and Computer Science’. This course, jointly offered by the Law Faculty (co-convenor Professor Rebecca Williams) and the Department of Computer Science (co-convenor Professor Tom Melham), will introduce students from both backgrounds to the terrain at the boundaries of their two disciplines. The overarching theme is understanding law and computer science at their intersection.

Such interdisciplinary understanding requires both lawyers and computer scientists to develop an appreciation of the way in which they typically approach problems, with very different analytic tools. A key pedagogical strategy for the course is to teach law and computer science students together, and in particular for them to collaborate on a groupwork practical exercise. This will accelerate both groups’ acculturation to each other’s analytic perspectives through learning from each other as well as from faculty.

The opening lecture and the follow-on discussion was led by a former Oxford student, who himself has combined the two disciplines since late 1980s and is now considered one the leading figures in the field—Professor Richard Susskind OBE.

The research behind this course is part of an ongoing Oxford project titled ‘Unlocking the Potential of Artificial Intelligence for English Law’ which is run by researchers in the Oxford departments and faculties of Law, Economics, Computer Science, Education and the Said Business School, and led by Professor John Armour of the Oxford Law Faculty.

As a global leader in education, Oxford University is committed to sharing knowledge and insights related to the course and will release multiple open access materials as the course progresses. To keep updated, you can subscribe to the Law and Technology Education mailing list (for universities) or the Tech4Law mailing list (for everyone).