Law, Science and Technology - LAWS6000

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2022 to 2023
Canterbury
Spring Term 6 15 (7.5) checkmark-circle

Overview

The Law, Science and Technology module explores different ways of thinking about the connections between law, science, and technology. The Law, Science and Technology module is an interdisciplinary module that introduces students to several interrelated fields including, law and anthropology studies that engage Science and Technology Studies (STS), the philosophy of technology, as well as the growing literature on law and technology. The module will be critically engaging with recent examples, using the literature to not only frame debates but to find ways of challenging the dominant paradigm of technology. The module engages with key texts from differing traditions to explore other possible ways of thinking about technology and technologies. New technological advancements are transforming law and placing a demand on us to re-imagine it. During this course, we will be taking a closer look at techno-regulation, discussing the possible opportunities and limits of the deployment of technology to solve problems traditionally dealt with by law. We will be exploring the role of experts and technology in law, using the recent Post Office Horizon system as a use case. We will be exploring questions of objectivity and truth both in law and science, including whether STS can provide new insights in the 'post-truth' age.

Details

Contact hours

Contact Hours: 20
Private Study: 130
Total Study Hours: 150

Availability

All single and joint honours undergraduate law programmes - final year only module.

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods
The module will be assessed by 100% Coursework;
1. Annotated bibliography (1500 words) - 20%
2. Essay (3000 words) - 80%

Students must pass the essay in order to pass the module overall.

Reassessment methods
Like-for-like

Indicative reading

• Benjamin, Ruha, Race after technology abolitionist tools for the new Jim code (Polity, 2019).
• Brownsword, Roger, Law, Technology and Society Reimagining the Regulatory Environment (Routledge, 2019)
• Crawford, Kate, Atlas of AI (Yale University Press 2021)
• Feenberg, Andrew, Technosystem, (HUP 2017)
• Jasanoff S, Science and Public Reason (Routledge 2012)
• Latour, Bruno, Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network Theory (Oxford: OUP, 2005)
• Latour, Bruno, The Making of Law: An Ethnography of the Conseil d'Etat (Polity Press, 2010)
• Nyholm, Sven, Humans and Robots (Rowman and Littlefield 2020)
• Pasquale, Frank New Laws of Robotics (Harvard University Press 2020)
• Pottage, Alain and M. Mundy (eds.), Law, anthropology and the constitution of the social: the making of persons and things (Cambridge University Press, 2004)

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
1. Demonstrate an understanding of science and technology studies literature and its applicability to legal studies
2. Critically explore the epistemological basis of scientific and legal knowledge
3. Critically analyse the making of scientific and legal 'facts' in specific contexts
4. Demonstrate knowledge of the interface between science (and new technologies) and the law from a historical, socio-economic context
5. Critically evaluate current legal-scientific debates within historical, socio-economic contexts
6. Demonstrate a thorough knowledge of key texts in science and technology studies.
7. Articulate a sound theoretical and practical understanding of key legal-scientific debates and issues.
8. Apply new critical methods in their understanding and evaluation of legal and scientific knowledge in specific situations.
9. Demonstrate an awareness of, and sensitivity to, the economic, political and/or social implications that arise from different understandings of how scientific and legal facts are constituted

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
1. Research independently by taking into account a variety of sources of information.
2. Research efficiently using both legal and non-legal texts.
3. Critically engage with legal and non-legal sources.

Notes

  1. Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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