For the second consecutive year, students from the Department of Computer Science and their peers from the Faculty of Law have formed interdisciplinary groups of six (three computer scientists and three lawyers) to develop solutions to a real-world problem whilst benefiting from the combination of the multidisciplinary expertise in each team.

Law and Computer Science: 2020-2021

The pedagogical aim of these projects is then to bring lawyers and computer scientists together and to teach them how best to work together.

This year, all participants in the Law and Computer Science course have the opportunity to benefit from feedback by a group of industry mentors who give practical insights relating to five projects based on either smart contracts and blockchain technology or natural language processing (NLP).

More details will be announced as the student projects evolve, but we can already mention that the issues addressed include counterfeit products, track & trace systems, summarisation of legal documents and case law analytics.

The Law and Computer Science course is co-convened by Prof Rebecca Williams (Law) and Prof Tom Melham (Computer Science) and brings together 15 lawyers and 15 computer scientists.

The practical projects are supervised by Dr Alastair Janse van Rensburg and Dr Matthias Qian.

Access to training and testing data for the NLP-based projects was generously provided by Burning Glass International Inc, Prof Ludovic Phalippou (Saïd Business School), and Solomonic Ltd.

Industry mentors for 2020-21 academic year are Stuart Hopper, Erika Pagano, Mary Kyle, Giles Pemberton, Isabel Parker, Sam Dimond, Dan Wright, Jane Bradbury, David Griffin, Melanie Farquharson, and Rachel Manser.