Professor of Computational Legal Theory

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I studied Theory of Science, Logic, Theoretical Linguistics, Philosophy and Law at the Universities of Mainz, Munich, Florence and Lancaster. My main field of interest is the interaction between law, science and computer technology, especially computer linguistics. How can law, understood as a system, communicate with systems external to it, be it the law of other countries (comparative law and its methodology) or science (evidence, proof and trial process). As a co-founder and co-director  of the  Joseph Bell Centre for Legal Reasoning and Forensic Statistics, I help to develop new approaches to assist lawyers in evaluating scientific evidence and develop computer models which embody these techniques. A special interest here is the development of computer systems that help law enforcement agencies to co-operate more efficiently across jurisdictions, assisting them in the interpretation of the legal environment within which evidence in other jurisdictions is collected. This research is linked to my wider interest in comparative law and its methodology, the idea of a "Chomsky turn in comparative law", and the project of a "computational legal theory".

I'm involved with a number of organisations that promote the exchange between computer science and law, including the German Association for Informatics, BILETA, and the Evidence and Investigation network of the Scottish Institute for Policing Research. I'm also on the Nomination Committee of the International Association for Artificial Intelligence and Law.

I'm currently the Director of the  SCRIPT Centre for IT and IP law,  working mainly on issues such as privacy compliant software architecture and more generally the scope and limits of representing legal concepts directly  in the internet infrastructure. 

Ph.D. supervision interests
AI and law; theories of legal reasoning; regulation of technology


Professor Burkhard Schafer's Homepage at Edinburgh Law School

Law beyond Siliconism (Research in a Nutshell)


I studied Theory of Science, Logic, Theoretical Linguistics, Philosophy and Law at the Universities of Mainz, Munich, Florence and Lancaster. My main field of interest is the interaction between law, science and computer technology, especially computer linguistics. How can law, understood as a system, communicate with systems external to it, be it the law of other countries (comparative law and its methodology) or science (evidence, proof and trial process). As a co-founder and co-director  of the  Joseph Bell Centre for Legal Reasoning and Forensic Statistics, I help to develop new approaches to assist lawyers in evaluating scientific evidence and develop computer models which embody these techniques. A special interest here is the development of computer systems that help law enforcement agencies to co-operate more efficiently across jurisdictions, assisting them in the interpretation of the legal environment within which evidence in other jurisdictions is collected. This research is linked to my wider interest in comparative law and its methodology, the idea of a "Chomsky turn in comparative law", and the project of a "computational legal theory".

I'm involved with a number of organisations that promote the exchange between computer science and law, including the German Association for Informatics, BILETA, and the Evidence and Investigation network of the Scottish Institute for Policing Research. I'm also on the Nomination Committee of the International Association for Artificial Intelligence and Law.

I'm currently the Director of the  SCRIPT Centre for IT and IP law,  working mainly on issues such as privacy compliant software architecture and more generally the scope and limits of representing legal concepts directly  in the internet infrastructure. 


Professor Burkhard Schafer's Homepage at Edinburgh Law School

Law beyond Siliconism (Research in a Nutshell)

Courses Taught

Law and New Technologies: Artificial Intelligence Risk and the Law (LLM) (Course Organiser)

Robotics and the Law (LLM) (Course Organiser)

Neuroscience and the Law (Honours) (Course Organiser)

PhD Supervisees

Jack Beattie  'Paediatric expert opinion evidence in cases of infant harm: science, truth-telling and justice'

Yianna Danidou  'Legal Implications of Trusted Computing'

Laurence Diver  'Artificial Intelligence and compliance by design'

Josep-Maria Guerra  '? Edit Self-improving ArtificiaI Intelligence: from legal theory to insurance solutions'

Matthew Jewell  'Dissent in the smart city: Contesting cyber-physical architectures'

David Komuves  'Making Sense of e-Discovery: Computer-Assisted Approaches to Digital Evidence Interpretation and Evaluation'

Jesus Manuel Niebla Zatarain  ''Intelligent Agents to Enforce Copyright on the Internet''

Books and Reports

Burkhard Schafer, Legal Knowledge and Information Systems - JURIX 2012: The Twenty-Fifth Annual Conference, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 17-19 December 2012, (IOS Press, 2012)

Joanna Wardlaw, Janet De Wilde, Peter Sandercock, Jane Haley, Burkhard Schafer, Robert Rae, Donald Jarvie, What are You Thinking? Who Has the Right to Know?: Brain Imaging and its Impact on Society, (Scottish Universities Insight Institute, 2010)

Abbe Brown, Burkhard Schafer, Andres Guadamuz, Elisa Walker, E-Consumer Protection: A Public Consultation on Proposals, (AHRC Research Centre for Studies in Intellectual Property and Technology Law, 2010)


Burkhard Schafer, Lilian Edwards, '“I spy, with my little sensor”: Fair data handling practices for robots between privacy, copyright and security', (2017), Connection science, Vol 29, pp 200-209
Abstract: The paper suggests an amendment to Principle 4 of ethical robot design, and a demand for “transparency by design”. It argues that while misleading vulnerable users as to the nature of a robot is a serious ethical issue, other forms of intentionally deceptive or unintentionally misleading aspects of robotic design pose challenges that are on the one hand more universal and harmful in their application, on the other more difficult to address consistently through design choices. The focus will be on transparent design regarding the sensory capacities of robots. Intuitive, low-tech but highly efficient privacy preserving behaviour is regularly dependent on an accurate understanding of surveillance risks. Design choices that hide, camouflage or misrepresent these capacities can undermine these strategies. However, formulating an ethical principle of “sensor transparency” is not straightforward, as openness can also lead to greater vulnerability and with that security risks. We argue that the discussion on sensor transparency needs to be embedded in a broader discussion of “fair data handling principles” for robots that involve issues of privacy, but also intellectual property rights such as copyright. To balance respect for these rights with a need for security requires a framework that goes beyond the duties of the roboticists to an analysis of the duties of the public when interacting with a robot.

Burkhard Schafer, 'Formal models of statutory interpretation in multilingual legal systems ', (2017), Statute Law Review
Abstract: Using the case of Buchanan v. Babco, the paper argues that multi-lingual settings are particularly apt for disclosing underlying cognitive and reasoning tasks that lawyers have to perform when interpreting a statute. It shows how approaches developed in computer science to model the way in which conflicting ontologies or worldviews are merged and inconsistencies between them repaired

Laurence Diver, Burkhard Schafer, 'Opening the black box: Petri nets and privacy by design', (2017), International Review of Law, Computers and Technology, Vol 31, pp 68-90
Abstract: Building on the growing literature in algorithmic accountability, this paper investigates the use of a process visualisation technique known as the Petri net to achieve the aims of Privacy by Design. The strength of the approach is that it can help to bridge the knowledge gap that often exists between those in the legal and technical domains. Intuitive visual representations of the status of a system and the flow of information within and between legal and system models mean developers can embody the aims of the legislation from the very beginning of the software design process, while lawyers can gain an understanding of the inner workings of the software without needing to understand code. The approach can also facilitate automated formal verification of the models’ interactions, paving the way for machine-assisted privacy by design and, potentially, more general ‘compliance by design’. Opening up the ‘black box’ in this way could be a step towards achieving better algorithmic accountability.

Burkhard Schafer, 'Closing Pandora’s box? The EU proposal on the regulation of robots ', (2016), Pandora's Box - The journal of the Justice and the Law Society of the University of Queeensland, Vol 19, pp 55-68
Abstract: A critical discussion and evaluation of some of the main points of the recent Motion to the EU parliament by DG Justice on the regulation of autonomous technologies

Burkhard Schafer, 'Compelling truth: Legal protection of the infosphere against big data spills', (2016), Philosophical Transactions A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, Vol 374
Abstract: The paper explores whether legal and ethical concepts that have been used to protect the natural environment can also be leveraged to protect the ‘infosphere’, a neologism used by Luciano Floridi to characterize the totality of the informational environment. We focus, in particular, on the interaction between allocation of (intellectual) property rights and ‘communication duties’, in particular, data breach notification duties.

Burkhard Schafer, 'What a parcel of rogues in a nation’s database - The Scottish ID Database and Britain’s Asymmetric Constitution ', (2016), Jusletter IT, Vol 6, pp 1-19
Abstract: That the Internet as a global medium poses unique challenges for legal regulation and law, still intimately linked to the nation state, is a common place. Much less studied are challenges to ICT governance that are the result of sub-state divisions. As recent decades have seen a resurgence of regionalism, in Europe and globally, with several groups achieving substantive “devolved” powers in autonomous or semi-autonomous regions, this question merits closer scrutiny. Countries with “asymmetric” constitutions are a particularly fertile ground to explore the issues that are raised for the use and regulation of information technology systems that try to serve local needs while being integrated into a global communication infrastructure. This paper uses the discussion on a national ID database and e-identity provider for Scotland to explore these issues. We will see that even the most advanced technological solutions are still influenced by historical events, and in our case lead us back to the 17th century, from there to the second World War, and finally to the Scottish independence referendum of 2014. Also, much of it will turn out to be the fault of the Germans

Burkhard Schafer, 'Surveillance for the masses: The political and legal landscape of the UK Investigatory Powers Bill', (2016), Datenschutz und Datensicherheit, Vol 9, pp 592-597
Abstract: In March 2016, the UK Government put the Investigatory Powers Bill before Parliament. The new law, if enacted, will considerably increase the powers of law enforcement and security services regarding mass data retention, mass surveillance and mass hacking. This raises considerable concerns not just about the content of the Bill and its impact on privacy, but also about the method of its enactment and the ever diminishing parliamentary and judicial scrutiny of surveillance legislation in the UK

Burkhard Schafer, David Komuves, Jesus Niebla Zatarain, Laurence Diver, 'A fourth law of robotics?: Copyright and the law and ethics of machine co-production', (2015), Artificial Intelligence and Law, Vol 23, pp 217-240
Abstract: Jon Bing was not only a pioneer in the field of artificial intelligence and law and the legal regulation of technology. He was also an accomplished author of fiction, with an oeuvre spanning from short stories and novels to theatre plays and even an opera. As reality catches up with the imagination of science fiction writers who have anticipated a world shared by humans and non-human intelligences of their creation, some of the copyright issues he has discussed in his academic capacity take on new resonance. How will we regulate copyright when robots are producers and consumers of art? This paper tries to give a sketch of the problem and hints at possible answers that are to a degree inspired by Bing’s academic and creative writing.

Burkhard Schafer, 'An ID database for post-referendum Scotland? A legal-contextual analysis ', (2015), Datenschutz und Datensicherheit, Vol 39, pp 611-616
Abstract: To the surprise of many observers, the Scottish government announced in early 2015 plans for a Scottish National ID system, based on the existing health service database. The Scottish National Party (SNP), in power in Scotland since 2007, had previously strongly rejected similar plans for a national database for the whole of the UK due to privacy concerns. How can this change of policy be explained?

Burkhard Schafer, 'D-waste: Data disposal as challenge for waste management in the Internet of Things', (2015), International Review for Information Ethics, Vol 22, pp 100-106
Abstract: Proliferation of data processing and data storage devices in the Internet of Things poses significant privacy risks. At the same time, faster and faster use-cycles and obsolescence of devices with electronic components causes environmental problems. Some of the solutions to the environmental challenges of e-waste include mandatory recycling schemes as well as informal second hand markets. However, the data security and privacy implications of these green policies are as yet badly understood. This paper argues that based on the experience with second hand markets in desktop computers, it is very likely that data that was legitimately collected under the household exception of the Data Protection Directive will “leak” into public spheres. Operators of large recycling schemes may find themselves inadvertently and unknowingly to be data controller for the purpose of Data Protection law, private resale of electronic devices can expose the prior owner to significant privacy risks.

Burkhard Schafer, 'EU Clarifies the European Parameters of Data Protection ', (2015), Ingenia, Vol 62, pp 12-13

Burkhard Schafer, Wiebke Abel, '“All the world’s a stage” — Legal and cultural reflections on the surveillance of online games ', (2014), Datenschutz und Datensicherheit, Vol 38, pp 593-600
Abstract: One of the more unusual revelations of the Snowden leaks was the discovery that UK and US security services had also targeted popular online gaming platforms for surveillance activity. While the British press had a field day coming up with creative headlines about “undercover Orcs”, public reaction was muted. Anger about “wasting taxpayer’s money” more than privacy concerns dominated the debate. But can we really dismiss surveillance of gaming as “not quite serious”? Using insights from psychology, anthropology and cultural studies, we argue that on the contrary, surveillance of people at play can be seen as a paradigmatic illustration of the dangers of the surveillance society, and give us insights in the values privacy law ought to protect.

Burkhard Schafer, '“Theirs’ Not to Make Reply, Theirs’ Not to Reason Why”: A Workshop Report on Big Data, Forensic Reasoning and the Trial', (2014), SCRIPTed, Vol 11, pp 145-152
Abstract: Over the last few years, 'Big Data', has emerged as a major topic in the discussion on the future of the internet and an internet driven economy.

Burkhard Schafer, Wiebke Abel, 'Guter Ork, Böser Ork: Snowden und die staatliche Überwachung von Online-Spielen in Grossbritannien', (2014), Jusletter IT, Vol 6, pp 1-43
Abstract: British and American secret services infiltrated online role games on a massive scale, or so the Snowden documents indicate. But do we need to be worried about this new field of surveillance, or is it more a concern about the appropriate use of taxpayers money on an obviously frivolous endeavour? Using arguments from psychology, cultural studies and anthropology in addition to legal arguments from UK and German law, we argue that far from being a trivial addition to our lives, playing is a constitutive art of «homo ludens» in modern, capitalist societies. By submitting gaming behaviour to the police officer’s gaze, we get closer than ever to a form of surveillance that threatens to capture us in our entirety – not just what we are, but what we are longing to be.

Z. Kwecka, W. Buchanan, B. Schafer, J. Rauhofer, '"I am Spartacus": Privacy Enhancing Technologies, Collaborative Obfuscation and Privacy as a Public Good', (2014), Artificial Intelligence and Law, Vol 22, pp 113-39
Abstract: The paper introduces an approach to privacy enhancing technologies that sees privacy not merely as an individual right, but as a public good. This idea finds its correspondence in our approach to privacy protection through obfuscation, where everybody in a group takes a small privacy risk to protect the anonymity of fellow group members. We show how these ideas can be computationally realised in an Investigative Data Acquisition Platform (IDAP). IDAP is an efficient symmetric Private Information Retrieval protocol optimised for the specific purpose of facilitating public authorities' enquiries for evidence. © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

Burkhard Schafer, 'Crowdsourcing and Cloudsourcing CCTV Surveillance ', (2013), Datenschutz und Datensicherheit, Vol 37, pp 434-39
Abstract: While the continuing proliferation of CCTV surveillance is a cause for concern, its impact on privacy has in the past been mitigated by certain natural limitations on the way CCTV systems operate in practice. In particular, the increased quantity of surveillance data has not been matched by a similar increase in our ability to process and evaluate it. This paper compares different models of technology enabled analysis of CCTV footage, with a focus on the emerging trend of crowdsourced CCTV analysis: in the world of crowdsourced surveillance, “Big Brother is us”.

Burkhard Schafer, Yianna Danidou, 'Legal Environments for Digital Trust: Trustmarks, Trusted Computing and the Issue of Legal Liability', (2012), Journal of International Commercial Law and Technology, Vol 7, pp 212-222
Abstract: Trusted Computing and Trustmarks are two approaches developed to enhance internet security and trust and we claim that they are structurally similar and an exercise in mutual learning would be of great benefit for both. We argue that TC philosophy could possibly supplement TMOs so that TMs become to TMOs more than just a mere link while we address critical questions regarding reliance liability. With our present study we propose that the model for adequate TMO liability could possibly be an example of how to deal with the issue of TC’s reliance liability.

Burkhard Schafer, Omair Uthmani, William Buchanan, Alistair Lawson, Russell Scott, Lu Fan, Sohaib Uthmani, 'Crime risk evaluation within information sharing between the police and community partners ', (2011), Information and Communications Technology Law, Vol 20, pp 57-81
Abstract: The aim of this paper is to provide profiles for crimes, profiles that can be used to model the context for information-sharing between the police and community partner organisations. This context can then be integrated with information-sharing syntax used by Single Point of Contact (SPoC) agents to process information sharing requests (Uthmani et al., 2010). The questionnaires attempt to classify crimes into categories, with identifying profiles of crime-types, according to the level of information sharing they necessitate between community partner organisations. Crimes are separated into classifications, which are based on the perceived level of necessary information-exchange among police and community partners. The aim of the questionnaire is to gather academic responses to identify the level of risk in order that it can be defined as risk assessment level, which is crucial to enhancing the public's reassurance in the police.

Burkhard Schafer, 'All Changed, Changed Utterly?: Privacy Protection in Post-Labour Britain', (2011), Datenschutz und Datensicherheit, Vol 35, pp 634-638
Abstract: Two and a half years after a House of Lords report warned of the danger that the UK might sleepwalk into a surveillance society, two years after the European Commission issued a letter of formal notice that the UK had failed to properly implement the E-Privacy and the Data Protection Directive, and one year after the Labour government was replaced by the first coalition government in the UK since 1940, how has the attitude to privacy and data protection law in the UK changed?

Burkhard Schafer, Yianna Danidou, '"Trust Me, I'm a Computer": Trusted Computing and the Law between Liability and Responsibility', (2011), Information and Communications Technology Law, Vol 20, pp 185-199
Abstract: This paper argues that commercial service providers and software vendors enjoy the biggest commercial benefits of the internet and therefore giving them the onus to create a secure internet seems an equitable suggestion, keenly taken on by some governments. Trusted Computing (TC) can be seen as a first response to this insight where software companies take on the responsibility for the internet infrastructure. The question remains whether the focus on cybercrime is potentially misleading, with some of the most serious legal issues for the new technology arising in the field of cyberterrorism and cyberwarfare where ‘too secure’ structures can hinder the efforts of the very same governments that otherwise promote online security. Anomalies and problems like these are expressions of a more fundamental paradigmatic shift of power and responsibility away from governments to the private sector, a shift that needs a much more fundamental adjustment of legal rules and regulations than commonly anticipated.

Joanna M. Wardlaw, Burkhard Schafer, 'What am I thinking and who has the right to know? Contributions from a workshop on the wider societal implications of neuroimaging ', (2011), Cortex, Vol 47, pp 1147-1150

Jane Haley, Joanna Wardlaw, Burkhard Schafer, Peter Sandercock, 'Neuroscience in fashion: An encounter at Inspace 14th April 2011, Edinburgh', (2011), Advances in Clinical Neuroscience & Rehabilitation (ACNR), pp 44-45

Garret O'Connell, Janet De Wilde, Jane Haley, Kirsten Shuler, Burkhard Schafer, Peter Sandercock, Joanna M. Wardlaw, 'The Brain, the Science and the Media: The Legal, Corporate, Social and Security Implications of Neuroimaging and the Impact of Media Coverage', (2011), EMBO Reports, Vol 12, pp 630-36

Burkhard Schafer, Christian Schwarzbauer, 'fMRI in Disorders of Consciousness: Future Diagnostic Opportunities, Methodological and Legal Challenges', (2011), Cortex, Vol 47, pp 1243-45

Burkhard Schafer, Yianna Danidou, 'Trusted Computing and the Digital Crime Scene ', (2011), Digital Evidence and Electronic Signature Law Review, Vol 8, pp 111-23

Burkhard Schafer, 'ZombAIs: Legal Expert Systems as Representatives “Beyond the Grave"', (2010), SCRIPTed, Vol 7, pp 384-393

Burkhard Schafer, Tamsin Maxwell, 'Natural Language Processing and Query Expansion in Legal Information Retrieval: Challenges and a Response', (2010), International Review of Law, Computers and Technology, Vol 24, pp 63–72
Abstract: As methods in legal information retrieval (IR) evolve to meet the demands of rapidly increasing stores of electronic information, there is the intuitive appeal of capturing detail in legal queries with natural language processing (NLP). One difficulty with this approach is that incorporation of word dependencies in IR has not been shown to consistently and reliably improve results over a unigram bag-of-words approach. We consider challenges faced when incorporating NLP in IR and briefly review three proposals in this vein, highlighting how these might have responded better to requirements in legal search. We then present our novel response based on split query expansion that accounts for the way lawyers seek to apply search results whilst meeting the challenges identified in a unique and flexible manner.

Burkhard Schafer, 'The UK Cleanfeed System - Lessons for the German Debate? ', (2010), Datenschutz und Datensicherheit, Vol 34, pp 535-38
Abstract: As readers of this journal will of course know, the Zugangserschwerungsgesetz has caused considerable and often very profound debate in Germany about the limits of legal and technological interference with the freedom of access to information, culminating in the temporary refusal of the President to sign the law into action. In the UK by contrast, a core aspect of this law, the technical prevention of access to sites hosting illegal content by ISPs, was introduced through the so called “Cleanfeed system” as early as 1996, with little or no public debate, and bypassing by and large all parliamentary procedure and scrutiny. This article has a threefold aim: First, it gives a brief account of the history and implementation of the UK Cleanfeed system1; second, it explains some of its more unusual aspects by putting them into the historical and constitutional context of policing in the UK, and third, it highlights those experiences made with the system that are of direct relevance for the German discussion.

Burkhard Schafer, Wiebke Abel, 'The German Constitutional Court on the Right in Confidentiality and Integrity of Information Technology Systems ', (2009), SCRIPTed, Vol 6, pp 106-123

Burkhard Schafer, Wiebke Abel, Antonella Piccinin, 'La decisione della Corte Costituzionale tedesca sul diritto alla riservatezza ed integrità dei sistemi tecnologici d’informazione – un rapporto sul caso BVerfGE, NJW 2008, 822 ', (2009), Jus e Internet

Burkhard Schafer, 'Schlafwandelnd in den Überwachungsstaat?: Das House of Lords zur Lage des Datenschutzes in Großbritannien', (2009), Datenschutz und Datensicherheit, Vol 33, pp 483-89
Abstract: An analysis of the House of Lord's Report Surveillance, Citizen and the State.

Burkhard Schafer, Wiebke Abel, 'Il trojan di stato tedesco - sfide tra la legge e la tecnologia ', (2009), Teutas - Diritto e Tecnologia, Vol 2, pp 30-44
Abstract: An analysis of the German federal Trojan and the technological and legal issues that it raises.

Burkhard Schafer, Wiebke Abel, 'Big Browser Manning the Thin Blue Line: Computational Legal Theory Meets Law Enforcement', (2008), Problema: Anuario de Filosofía y Teoría del Derecho, Vol 2, pp 51-84
Abstract: This paper analyses some current jurisprudential and conceptual issues in evidence and procedure from the perspective of a computational legal theory. It introduces a specific investigative device, Trojans operated by police during crime investigation, and analyses whether current formal approaches to legal reasoning can be modified in such a way that the software code underlying this device can represent the relevant legal constraints that should govern its operation. We will argue that traditional formalist theories of legal reasoning are typically restricted to reasoning within a system, and incapable therefore of making the notion of 'legal system' sufficiently explicit. We discuss possibilities to expand on these approaches and identify the necessary elements of a computational theory of legal reasoning in an age of porous borders.

Burkhard Schafer, 'Can you have Too Much of a Good Thing?: A Comment on Bart Verheij's Legal Argumentation Support Software', (2007), Law, Probability and Risk, Vol 6, pp 209-25
Abstract: The paper analyses an approach to computer assisted reasoning with evidence that was developed by Bart Verheij, and used by him in an educational setting. Drawing from work on multi-modal teaching of reasoning, an explanation for some of the observed problems is developed.

Burkhard Schafer, Jeroen Keppens, 'Legal LEGO: Model Based Computer Assisted Teaching in Evidence Courses', (2007), Journal of Information, Law and Technology
Abstract: This paper describes the development of a new approach to the use of ICT for the teaching of courses in the interpretation and evaluation of evidence. It is based on ideas developed for the teaching of science to school children, in particular the importance of models and qualitative reasoning skills. In the first part, we make an analysis of the basis of current research into 'evidence scholarship' and the demands such a system would have to meet. In the second part, we introduce the details of such a system that we developed initially to assist police in the interpretation of evidence.

Burkhard Schafer, Zenon Bankowski, 'Double-click Justice: Legalism in the Computer Age', (2007), Legisprudence, Vol 1, pp 31-50
Abstract: Legalism seen as blind rule following (often embodied inthe metaphor of the computer judge) is often confused with legality, an altogether more reflexive and rational concept. But legality to work properly needs to be related to and articulated withthe narrower concept of legalism. Only in their complex interaction can we begin to see legality as a mode of organisation appropriateto a free and democratic society. This is discussed here in the context of the computational implementation of legal concepts, an emergingissue in the regulation of cyberspace and other technology enhanced forms of human interaction

Burkhard Schafer, Doug Walton, 'Arthur, George and the Mystery of the Missing Motive: Towards a Theory of Evidentiary Reasoning about Motives', (2007), International Commentary on Evidence, Vol 4
Abstract: Reasoning about motives is a prominent part of the investigative process in Julian Barnes’ Arthur & George and in Conan Doyle’s novels themselves. In Arthur & George, it is the lack of motive that originally convinces Arthur of George’s innocence, a conclusion that a subsequent evaluation of George’s character supports. In many of the Sherlock Holmes novels, it is the discovery of a hidden motive that puts Holmes on the right track. On closer inspection though, the evidentiary value and logical structure of arguments from motive turn out to be problematic. In this paper, we use concepts from argumentation theory and computational models of agent behavior from artificial intelligence research to analyze the structure of motive-based reasoning in fictional and factual crime investigations and trials. This analysis is used to develop a theory that (a) accounts for the rationality of motive- based reasoning, (b) helps to distinguish plausible and implausible arguments from motive, and (c) to distinguish arguments based on motive from arguments based on intention and character, as well as from other, legally more problematic forms of evidentiary reasoning.

Burkhard Schafer, Qiang Shen, Jeroen Keppens, Colin Aitken, Mark Lee, 'A Scenario-Driven Decision Support System for Serious Crime Investigation ', (2006), Law, Probability and Risk, Vol 5, pp 87-117
Abstract: Consideration of a wide range of plausible crime scenarios during any crime investigation is important to seek convincing evidence and hence to minimize the likelihood of miscarriages of justice. It is equally important for crime investigators to be able to employ effective and efficient evidence-collection strategies that are likely to produce the most conclusive information under limited available resources. An intelligent decision support system that can assist human investigators by automatically constructing plausible scenarios, and reasoning with the likely best investigating actions will clearly be very helpful in addressing these challenging problems. This paper presents a system for creating scenario spaces from given evidence, based on an integrated application of techniques for compositional modelling and Bayesian network-based evidence evaluation. Methods of analysis are also provided by the use of entropy to exploit the synthesized scenario spaces in order to prioritize investigating actions and hypotheses. These theoretical developments are illustrated by realistic examples of serious crime investigation.

Burkhard Schafer, 'Democratic Revival or E-Sell Out? A Sceptic's Report on the State of E-Governance in the UK: Report to the XVIIth International Congress of Comparative Law, July 2006', (2006), Electronic Journal of Comparative Law, Vol 10
Abstract: A revised version of the UK report on E-governance for the XVIIth International Congress of Comparative Law. It argues that e-government initiatives have at least the potential to weaken rather then strengthen democratic structures, and highlights the consequences this dual potential has for a functionalist comparative legal analysis of e-governance.

Burkhard Schafer, 'The Taming of the Sleuth: Problems and Potential of Autonomous Agents in Crime Investigation and Prosecution', (2006), International Review of Law, Computers and Technology, Vol 20, pp 63-76
Abstract: The paper analyses legal issues arising from the use of autonomous agents in crime investigations, in particular the question of evidentiary constraints on undercover operations and their applicability to computer programs. The paper is divided into three parts. First, we give a short introduction to agent technology. In the second part, some existing projects of agent technology for crime investigations are discussed, and one particular legal problem, the law on entrapment, is exemplarily introduced. In the final part, we very briefly indicate how agent communication languages would have to be extended to address some of these concerns.

Burkhard Schafer, Jeroen Keppens, 'Knowledge Based Crime Scenario Modelling ', (2006), Expert Systems with Applications, Vol 30, pp 203-22
Abstract: A crucial concern in the evaluation of evidence related to a major crime is the formulation of sufficient alternative plausible scenarios that can explain the available evidence. However, software aimed at assisting human crime investigators by automatically constructing crime scenarios from evidence is difficult to develop because of the almost infinite variation of plausible crime scenarios. This paper introduces a novel knowledge driven methodology for crime scenario construction and it presents a decision support system based on it. The approach works by storing the component events of the scenarios instead of entire scenarios and by providing an algorithm that can instantiate and compose these component events into useful scenarios. The scenario composition approach is highly adaptable to unanticipated cases because it allows component events to match the case under investigation in many different ways. Given a description of the available evidence, it generates a network of plausible scenarios that can then be analysed to devise effective evidence collection strategies. The applicability of the ideas presented here are demonstrated by means of a realistic example and prototype decision support software.

Burkhard Schafer, 'Introduction: Intellectual Property Rights Issues of Digital Publishing - Presence and Perspectives', (2005), SCRIPTed, Vol 2, pp 137-141
Abstract: The paper analyses copyright issues resulting from free-to-air and open source academic publishing from a jurisprudential and conceptual perspective

John Kingston, Burkhard Schafer, Wim Vandenburghe, 'Towards a Financial Fraud Ontology: A Legal Modelling Approach', (2004), Artificial Intelligence and Law, Vol 12, pp 419-46
Abstract: This document discusses the status of research on detection and prevention of financial fraud undertaken as part of the IST European Commission funded FF POIROT (Financial Fraud Prevention Oriented Information Resources Using Ontology Technology) project. A first task has been the specification of the user requirements that define the functionality of the financial fraud ontology to be designed by the FF POIROT partners. It is claimed here that modeling fraudulent activity involves a mixture of law and facts as well as inferences about facts present, facts presumed or facts missing. The purpose of this paper is to explain this abstract model and to specify the set of user requirements.

Burkhard Schafer, Olav K. Wiegand, 'Incompetent, Prejudiced and Lawless: A Gestalt‐psychological Perspective on Fact Finding in Law as Learning', (2004), Law, Probability and Risk, Vol 3, pp 93-108
Abstract: The paper investigates if different approaches to avoid biased decision making in common law and civilian jurisdictions are attributable to contingent cultural or historical influences, or if they can be explained as a universal search for cognitively optimal trial procedures. More specifically, it analyses current proposals of jury reform (US) and reform of civil procudure (UK) from the perspective of cognitive science and comparative law.

Burkhard Schafer, Zenon Bankowski, 'Emerging Legal Orders: Formalism and the Theory of Legal Integration', (2003), Ratio Juris, Vol 16, pp 486-505
Abstract: Using analogies from research in simulation and artificial societies and borrowing from Weinrib's Philosophy of Private Law, we show how a 'private law' model of law and legal integration does not need to presuppose the state as a regulatory framework. Rather, the state emerges as a 'second order property' from the private law interaction of individuals. We apply this to the debate about harmonisation in Europe. We show how a form of unity in diversity can be built up starting with such individual interactions, extended later to interactions between member states. But this does not need to end up in an individualistic and neo-liberal model, as in Weinrib, if we understand the underlying exchange relation in terms of Wilhelmsson's social contract law.

Burkhard Schafer, 'The Epistemology of 'Epistemology and Legal Regulation of Proof': A Reply to Professor Damaška', (2003), Law, Probability and Risk, Vol 2, pp 131-36
Abstract: A reply to Damaska's analysis of the cultural dependency of the notion of legal proof.

Burkhard Schafer, 'Language Rights and the Internet ', (2002), E-L@w Review
Abstract: discusses the Canadian Hyperinfo case and the application of the Canadian Charter of the French language in cyperspace

Burkhard Schafer, 'Form and Substance in Online Legal Education: A Look over the Border', (2002), Law Teacher, Vol 6, pp 333-46
Abstract: Compares computer assisted learning in Germany and the UK.

Burkhard Schafer, 'Neil Duxbury, Random Justice (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1999) ', (2002), Edinburgh Law Review, Vol 6, pp 408-09

Burkhard Schafer, 'Law and Law: A Reply to Reid on Strict Liability', (2001), HLS Cahier, pp 77-99
Abstract: Argues for a formalist, conceptual approach to the comparative law of strict liability.

Burkhard Schafer, 'Legal Transplants and Legal Downloads ', (2001), International Review of Law, Computers and Technology, Vol 15, pp 301-15
Abstract: Online legal education has the potential to address a global audience. But little attention has been paid so far to the question of how teaching methods developed in one jurisdiction interact with the substantive law of another legal system. This paper challenges the assumption of the independence of substantive law and law teaching on the basis of a comparative evaluation of online law tutorials in Scotland and Germany. It concludes that the transplanting legal education, as transplanting substantive law, can have unpredictable consequences.

Burkhard Schafer, 'Grounding Legal Information Systems ', (2001), Global Review of Cyberlaw, Vol 1
Abstract: analyses ontology oriented approaches to provide access to legal informations from foreign jurisdictions

Burkhard Schafer, 'Locality and Identity: Environmental Issues in Law and Society. Ed by Jane Holder and Donald McGillivray (Aldershot: Ashgate, 1999) ', (2000), Edinburgh Law Review, Vol 4, pp 115-17

Burkhard Schafer, 'ALICE in Cyberland: Computer Support for Lawyers in a Global Economy', (2000), Journal of Information, Law and Technology, Vol 3
Abstract: Explores the use of formal ontologies and the theory of grounding for cross-jurisdictional information systems

Burkhard Schafer, 'Form Follows Function Fails - as a Sociological Foundation of Comparative Law ', (1999), Social Epistemology, Vol 13, pp 113-28
Abstract: A critique of functionalist approaches to comparative law, based on Imre Lakatos' theory of scientific evolution.

Burkhard Schafer, 'Guiliano Amato, Antitrust and the Bounds of Power: The Dilemma of Liberal Democracy in the History of the Market (Oxford: Hart Publishing, 1997) ', (1999), Edinburgh Law Review, Vol 3, pp 400-02

Burkhard Schafer, 'Reason's Faltering Steps: A Review of Jaap Haage's Reasoning with Rules ', (1998), International Journal of Law and Information Technology, Vol 6, pp 327-34
Abstract: A critique of Jaap Haage's application of default logic to law and jurisprudence.

Burkhard Schafer, 'Leśniewski-Quantifiers and Modal Arguments in Legal Discourse ', (1998), Logic and Logical Philosophy, Vol 6, pp 133-55
Abstract: Following an idea first proposed by Jerzy Wroblewski, this paper examines the usefulness of formal logic for comparative legal analysis. Subject of the comparison are the doctrines of mistake and attempt in German and English criminal law. These doctrines are distinguished by the interaction of deontic, epistemic and alethic modalities. I propose a purely extensional logic which is based on Leśniewski’s substitutional interpretation of quantification to analyse differences in the logical structure of the various criminal law doctrines.

Burkhard Schafer, 'Reinach, Pragmatic Universals and the Methodology of Comparative law ', (1997), Beiträge der Ludwig Wittgenstein Gesellschaft, Vol 20, pp 580-86
Abstract: Analyses the possibility of a research project in cross-jurisdictional legal universals based on Reinach's legal philosophy


Tobias Schulz, Burkhard Schafer, 'Legal challenges for the use of blockchain-based E-voting systems in Germany ' in Erich Schweighofer, Franz Kummer, Walter Hoetzendorfer, Christoph Sorge (ed.) Trends and communities of legal informatics (Weblaw AG, Bern 2017) 147-154
Abstract: The authors demonstrate that the use of blockchain-based e-voting systems is generally consistent with German law, particularly with art. 38 of the Grundgesetz. This, however, requires the implementation of effective measure to ensure the publicity and the secrecy of the election and, hereby, meet the legal requirements for e-voting systems developed by the constitutional court of Germany in its judgment from 2009. An amendment of section 35 paragraph 1 of the Bundeswahlgesetz could contribute to more legal clarity when the use of mobile device is intended

Burkhard Schafer, Erica Fraser, 'Self-made (machine) men IP implications of inventions by robots' in Erich Schweighofer, Franz Kummer, Walter Hoetzendorfer, Christoph Sorge (ed.) 20 Years of IRIS (Weblaw AG, Bern 2017) 171-178
Abstract: The question if, and if so to what degree, AIs can display creativity has been an important research topic within the AI community. Innovative use of computers by artists has led to speculation of the copyright implications of computer-generated works as early as the 1950s. Less discussed however are the implications of computer creativity for patent law. This pa- per aims to give a first overview of the issues that the legal system may face when AIs and robots start to find novel solutions to problems which result in potentially patentable inven- tions.

Burkhard Schafer, 'Speaking truth to/as victims A jurisprudential analysis of data Breach notification laws' in Mariarosaria Taddeo, Luciano Floridi (ed.) The Responsibility of Online Service Providers (Springer 2017) 79-100
Abstract: This paper analyses Data Breach Notification Duties from a jurisprudential perspective. DBNDs impose duties on what are victims of a crime, duties whose violation in turn can trigger criminal sanctions. To analyze what type of duties a democratic society under the rule of law can impose on victims, we need a conceptual framework that links duties to participate in crime investigation and prosecution to specific roles a person can have in relation to a crime. Duff and Marshall have developed such a theory of the criminal law, which the paper applies to DBNLs, combining their approach with Floridi’s concept of the infosphere

Stephan Leuenberger, Burkhard Schafer, 'The whole truth about the law Reasoning about exceptions in legal AI' in Erich Schweighofer, Franz Kummer, Walter Hoetzendorfer, Christoph Sorge (ed.) Trends and Communities of Legal Informatics (Austrian Computer Association 2016) 131-138
Abstract: Defeasible reasoning plays an important part in understanding and modeling legal argumentation. The most commonly used approaches in AI and Law however do not capture legal disputes that are themselves about the legal understanding of defeasibility, argument types that nonetheless play an important role in judicial review or in appeals. We introduce a theory of reasoning about exceptions (or the lack of them) that has been developed by Richard Holton in an attempt to clarify our understanding of the status of ethical norms. We show its potential to add to our theoretical machinery for the analysis of legal reasoning, but also suggest some necessary refinements

Burkhard Schafer, Walter Hoetzendorfer, 'The play's the thing wherein I'll catch the conscience of the King Religious and Political. Affiliation in Online Games as Data Protection Issue' in Erich Schweighofer, Franz Kummer, Walter Hoetzendorfer, Georg Borges (ed.) Netzwerke - Networks (OCG 2016) 475-482
Abstract: Participation in virtual online environments has for many people become a central aspect of their lives. As the distinction between digital and off-screen lives becomes increasingly blurred, and gamification introduces gaming aspects into social inter-actions far away from recreational gaming, questions of personal identity acquire new meaning. But how can we in law make sense of attributes that people acquire in a game environment? Are they potentially sensitive personal information, or are they of no relevance to the outside world? We look at two aspects of online games in par-ticular, in-world religion and in-world political affiliation, to explore this issue

Burkhard Schafer, Ermo Taks, A. Rull, 'Creating CoReO, the Computer Assisted Copyright Reform Observatory ' in Michal Araszkiewicz, Krzysztof Pleszka (ed.) Logic in the Theory and Practice of Lawmaking (Springer 2015) 479-511

Burkhard Schafer, Jane Cornwell, 'Law's Fictions, Legal Fictions and Copyright Law ' in Maksymilian Del Mar, William Twining (ed.) Legal Fictions in Theory and Practice (Springer 2015) 175-195

David Komuves, Jesus Niebla Zatarain, Burkhard Schafer, Laurence Diver, 'Monkeying Around with Copyright Animals, AIs and Authorship in Law' in Jusletter IT ( 2015)
Abstract: Advances in artificial intelligence have changed the ways in which computers create 'original' work. Analogies that may have worked sufficiently well in the past, when the technology had few if any commercially viable applications, are now reaching the limit of their usefulness. This paper considers particularly radical thought experiment in relation to computer generated art, challenging the legal responses to computer generated works and discussing their similarity to works by animals.

Burkhard Schafer, Maksymilian Del Mar, 'Of Empires and Revolutionaries ' in Maksymilian Del Mar, Burkhard Schafer (ed.) Legal Theory and the Natural Sciences (Ashgate Publishing 2014) xi-xxx

Burkhard Schafer, 'Information Quality and Evidence Law A New Role for Social Media, Digital Publishing and Copyright Law?' in Luciano Floridi, Phyllis Illari (ed.) The Philosophy of Information Quality (Springer 2014) 217-38
Abstract: Increasingly, judges are asked to act as gatekeepers between law and science, using the rules of admissibility to perform what could be understood as a form of 'secondary forensic information quality assurance'. To exercise their gate keeping function and to ensure that the jury is only exposed to the “best evidence (possible)”, judges rely on other primary gatekeepers, amongst them forensic regulators, scientific communities and academic publishers. This paper addresses how digital media and new forms of publishing are changing the nature of these gatekeepers, focusing in particular on how they change the role of peer review as a major quality assurance mechanism used by the courts at present. Data mining social media also provides us with both quantitatively and qualitatively new information about scientists, scientific communities and the practice of science. This paper argues that the discourse on information quality can be one avenue to make more systematic use of these data, helping to address long-known shortcomings in the justice system.

Burkhard Schafer, Panagia Voyatzis, '"The end of law is peace. The means to this end is war" Jhering, Legal Education and Digital Visualisation' in Erich Schweighofer, Meinrad Handstanger, Harald Hoffmann, Franz Kummer, Edmund Primosch, Günther Schefbeck, Gloria Withalm (ed.) Zeichen und Zauber des Rechts (Weblaw AG, Bern 2014) 127-52

Wiebke Abel, Burkhard Schafer, 'Der Avatar dein Freund und Helfer Rechtliche Fragen der Strafermittlung in Online-Rollenspielen' in Erich Schweighofer (ed.) Transparenz (Österreichische Computer Gesellschaft 2014) 503-10

Burkhard Schafer, Panagia Voyatzis, 'The Battle of the Precedents Reforming Legal Education in Mexico Using Computer-Assisted Visualisation' in Zenon Bankowski, Paul Maharg, Maks Del Mar (ed.) The Arts and the Legal Academy (Ashgate Publishing 2013) 149-68

Burkhard Schafer, Orlando Conetta, 'LKIF in Commercial Legal Practice Transaction Configuration from Eurobonds to Copyright' in Kevin Ashley (ed.) Legal Knowledge and Information Systems - JURIX 2013 (IOS Press 2013) 63-72

Burkhard Schafer, 'A Logical Journey The Anxiety of the Lesniewski Quantifiers' in Maksymilian Del Mar, Claudio Michelon (ed.) The Anxiety of the Jurist (Ashgate Publishing 2013) 277-96

Smita Kheria, Daithi Mac Sithigh, Judith Rauhofer, Burkhard Schafer, '(Mis)appropriation Art? Copyright and Data Protection implications of 'CCTV Sniffing' as Art' in E Schweighofer, F Kummer, W Hötzendorfer (ed.) Abstraktion und Applikation (OCG 2013) 489-98
Abstract: This paper discusses the legal implications of CCTV sniffing and war walking, legally problematic uses of wireless networks, for the purpose of art. Using Bitnik’s “surveillance chess” as starting point, it asks if new forms of computer enabled art require new forms of protection, especially in countries without constitutional guarantee of freedom of art.

Judith Rauhofer, Burkhard Schafer, Zbigniew Kwecka, William Buchanan, 'Schutz der Anonymität als Gemeinschaftsaufgabe - eine neue Generation von PETs? ' in Matthias Horbach (ed.) Informatik angepasst an Mensch, Organisation und Umwelt (Köllen 2013) 2134-48

William Buchanan, Lu Fan, Alistair Lawson, Burkhard Schafer, Russel Scott, Christoph Thuemmler, Omair Uthmani, 'Computational Data Protection Law Trusting Each Other Offline and Online' in Burkhard Schafer (ed.) Legal Knowledge and Information Systems - JURIX 2012 (IOS Press 2012) 31-40
Abstract: The paper reports of a collaborative project between computer scientists, lawyers, police officers, medical professionals and social workers to develop a communication in infrastructure that allows information sharing while observing Data Protection law 'by design', through a formal representation of legal rules in a firewall type system.

Burkhard Schafer, Jane Haley, Stephen Lawrie, Joanna Wardlaw, 'Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Security Applications ' in Ra Page (ed.) Bio-Punk (Comma Press 2012) 42-46

Burkhard Schafer, Stephen Mason, 'The Characteristics of Electronic Evidence in Digital Format ' in Stephen Mason (ed.) Electronic Evidence (LexisNexis 2012) 23-70

Burkhard Schafer, 'Say Cheese Natural Kinds, Deontic Logic and EU Regulation 1829/2002' in Anton Geist, C. R. Brunschwig (ed.) Strukturierung der Juristischen Semantik (Weblaw AG, Bern 2011) 543-554

Burkhard Schafer, Stephanie Schorre, 'Ich weiß was du letzten Sommer gelesen hast E-Reader und die Implikationen für den Datenschutz' in Erich Schweighofer, Franz Kummer (ed.) Europäische Projektkultur als Beitrag zur Rationalisierung des Rechts (Österreichische Computer Gesellschaft 2011) 35-44

Burkhard Schafer, 'Uber das Grab hinaus juristische Expertensysteme als persönliche Stellvertreter' in Globale Sicherheit und proaktiver Staat - die Rolle der Rechtsinformatik (Österreichische Computer Gesellschaft 2010) 253-258

Burkhard Schafer, Stephen Mason, 'The Characteristics of Electronic Evidence ' in Stephen Mason, Philip Argy, Derek Begg (ed.) Electronic Evidence (Butterworth 2010)

Burkhard Schafer, Wiebke Abel, 'The German Constitutional Court on the Right in Confidentiality and Integrity of Information Technology Systems ' in V Madhuri (ed.) Hacking (Icfai University Press 2010) 167-191

Burkhard Schafer, Bill Buchanan, Lu Fan, Alistair Lawson, Russel Scott, Cristopher Tuemmler, Omair Uthmani, 'Interagency Data Exchange Protocols as Computational Data Protection Law ' in Radboud G. F. Winkels (ed.) Legal Knowledge and Information Systems - JURIX 2010 (IOS Press 2010) 143-47
Abstract: The paper describes a collaborative project between computer scientists, lawyers, police officers, medical professionals and social workers to develop a communication infrastructure that allows information sharing while observing Data Protection law 'by design', through a formal representation of legal rules in a firewall type system.

Burkhard Schafer, Tamsin Maxwell, 'Die Verteidigung hat keine weiteren Fragen ' in Semantisches Web und Soziale Netzwerke im Recht (Österreichische Computer Gesellschaft 2009)
Abstract: Dieser Aufsatz diskutiert das Potential von Internet-basierten Informations Retrieval (IR) Ansätzen für das Recht. Wir entwickeln ein neues Argument für den Einsatz von Natural Language Processing (NLP) anstelle von Knowledge Engineering (KE). Wir argumentieren des Weiteren, dass NLP-basierte Ansätze enger mit der juristischen Begriffswelt im Einklang sind als dies oft angenommen wird. Insbesondere zeigen wir, dass juristische Informationssuche eng dem Begriff des “question answering” (QA) in außerjuristischen Kontexten verwandt ist.

Burkhard Schafer, Yianna Danidou, 'In Law We Trust? Trusted Computing and Legal Responsibility for Internet Security' in Dimitris Gritzalis, Javier Lopez (ed.) Emerging Challenges for Security, Privacy and Trust, 24th IFIP TC 11 International Information Security Conference, SEC 2009, Pafos, Cyprus, May 18-20, 2009 (Springer-Verlag GmbH 2009) 399-409
Abstract: This paper analyses potential legal responses and consequences to the anticipated roll out of Trusted Computing (TC). It is argued that TC constitutes such a dramatic shift in power away from users to the software providers, that it is necessary for the legal system to respond. A possible response is to mirror the shift in power by a shift in legal responsibility, creating new legal liabilities and duties for software companies as the new guardians of internet security.

Burkhard Schafer, 'Twelve Angry Men or One Good Woman? Asymmetric Relations in Evidentiary Reasoning' in Hendrik Kaptein, Henry Prakken, Bart Verheij (ed.) Legal Evidence and Proof (Ashgate Publishing 2009) 255-283

Burkhard Schafer, Tamsin Maxwell, 'Concept and Context in Legal Information Retrieval ' in Enrico Francesconi, Giovanni Sartor, Daniella Tiscornia (ed.) Legal Knowledge and Information Systems - JURIX 2008 (IOS Press 2008) 63-72
Abstract: There exist two broad approaches to information retrieval (IR) in the legal domain: those based on manual knowledge engineering (KE) and those based on natural language processing (NLP). The KE approach is grounded in artificial intelligence (AI) and case-based reasoning (CBR), whilst the NLP approach is associated with open domain statistical retrieval. We provide some original arguments regarding the focus on KE-based retrieval in the past and why this is not sustainable in the long term. Legal approaches to questioning (NLP), rather than arguing (CBR), are proposed as the appropriate jurisprudential and cognitive underpinning for legal IR. Recall within the context of precision is proposed as a better fit to law than the ‘total recall’ model of the past, wherein conceptual and contextual search are combined to improve retrieval performance for both parties in a dispute.

A. Priddle-Higson, Alan Bundy, F. McNeill, B. Schafer, 'Ontology Evolution in Law (Extended Abstract) ' in Workshop on Automated Reasoning Bridging the Gap between Theory and Practice 2008 ( 2008) 30-31
Abstract: We are exploring ontology evolution in the legal domain, by modeling the interpretation of open-textured statutory concepts in a legal case. This requires representing, and reasoning about, the mappings between a statutory context, a real-world context, and the various legal, social, and ethical contexts involved in a legal case. We are using contextual logics to formalise the process of legal theory construction.

Burkhard Schafer, 'E-government in the United Kingdom ' in J. E. J. Prins (ed.) Designing e-Government (Kluwer Academic Publishers 2007) 165-83
Abstract: The national report on e-governance for the UK from the International Congess for Comparative Law, Utrecht 2007.

Burkhard Schafer, 'Paul Lorenzen ' in Julian Nida-Rümelin, Elif Özmen (ed.) Philosophie der Gegenwart in Einzeldarstellungen (Kröner 2007) 392-94

Wiebke Abel, Burkhard Schafer, 'Rechtsinformatik und Kulturerbe Vorbemerkungen zu einem Austausch' in Erich Schweighofer, Anton Geist, Gisela Heindl (ed.) 10 Jahre IRIS: Bilanz und Ausblick (Boorberg 2007) 262-69

Burkhard Schafer, 'The Courtroom as Laboratory Universalism and Evidentiary Reasoning' in Zenon Bankowski, James MacLean (ed.) The Universal and the Particular in Legal Reasoning (Ashgate Publishing 2006) 205-23
Abstract: The paper analyses Solomon's judgement from the perspective of theory of science, more specificially particularist theories such as Nancy Cartwright's Dabbled world. It analyses the consequences such a particularist account has for evidence scholarship, and a rational account of deciding issues of fact in a court room setting

Burkhard Schafer, 'Ontological Commitment and the Concept of Legal System in Comparative Law and Legal Theory ' in Zenon Bankowski (ed.) Epistemology and Ontology (Franz Steiner Verlag 2005) 141-52
Abstract: The paper attempts a case study to show how jurisprudence can profit from ideas taken from the general theory of science to develop the conceptual vocabulary to engage in meaningful discussions with comparative law. It analyses the concept of legal system as used in comparative law and legal theory against the framework of Sneed and Stegmuellers non-statement voew of scientific theories.

John Kingston, Burkhard Schafer, Wim Vandenburghe, 'No Model Behaviour Ontologies for Fraud Detection' in V. Richard Benjamins, Pompeu Casanovas, Joost Breuker, Aldo Gangemi (ed.) Law and the Semantic Web (Berlin: Springer 2005) 233-47
Abstract: This document discusses the status of research on detection and prevention of financial fraud undertaken as part of the IST European Commission funded FF POIROT (Financial Fraud Prevention Oriented Information Resources using Ontology Technology) project, and in particular the interplay of, and tension between, modelling factual and legal aspects of a case.

Burkhard Schafer, Jeroen Keppens, 'Assumption Based Peg Unification for Crime Scenario Modelling ' in Marie-Francine Moens, Peter Spyns (ed.) Legal Knowledge and Information Systems - JURIX 2005 (IOS Press 2005) 49-58
Abstract: An important cause of miscarriages of justice is the failure of crime investigators and lawyers to consider important plausible explanation for the available evidence. Recent research has explored the development of decision support systems that (i) assist human crime investigators by proposing plausible crime scenarios explaining given evidence, and (ii) provide the means to analyse such scenarios. While such approaches can generate useful explanations, they are inevitably restricted by the limitations of formal abductive inference mechanisms. Building on work presented previously at this venue, this paper characterises an important class of scenarios, containing 'alternative suspects' or 'hidden objects', which cannot be synthesised robustly using conventional abductive inference mechanisms. The work is then extended further by proposing a novel inference mechanism that enables the generation of such scenarios.

Jeroen Keppens, Qiang Shen, Burkhard Schafer, 'Probabilistic Abductive Computation of Evidence Collection Strategies in Crime Investigation ' in The Tenth International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Law, Proceedings of the Conference, June 6-11, 2005, Bologna, Italy (ACM 2005) 215-24

John Kingston, Burkhard Schafer, Wim Vandenburghe, 'Ontology Modelling in the Legal Domain - Realism Without Revisionism ' in Pierre Grenon, Christopher Menzel, Barry Smith (ed.) Proceedings of the KI2003 Workshop on Reference Ontologies and Application Ontologies, Hamburg, Germany, September 16, 2003 ( 2003)
Abstract: This paper discusses problems and issues in research on detection and prevention of financial fraud undertaken as part of the European Commission funded FF POIROT (Financial Fraud:Prevention Oriented Information Resources Using Ontology Technology) project. The goal of the project is to build a detailed ontology of European Law, of preventive practices and of knowledge of the processes of financial fraud with in the European Union. It aims at compiling for several languages (Dutch, Italian, French and English) a computationally tractable and sharable knowledge repository (a formally described combination of concepts and their meaningful relationships) for the financial fraud domain. The paper explores in particular just how “heavy” an ontology needs to be to meet the needs of the various stakeholders in thecriminal justice system, one of the as yet unresolved problems in the multi-partner, multi-jurisdiction and multi-profession project.

Burkhard Schafer, 'It's just not cricket RoboCup and fair dealing in contract' in The Law and Electronic Agents (Unipub AS 2003) 33-46
Abstract: Reconnects current debates on legal issues of computer mediated contract formation to the roots of agent technology in robotics. Can agent technology developed for team sports help us understand good faith and fair dealing requirements in contract laws?

Burkhard Schafer, 'Sometimes you must be Kind to be Cruel Amnesty between publicae laetitiae and damnatio memoriae' in Emilios Christodoulidis, Scott Veitch (ed.) Lethe's Law (Hart Publishing 2001) 17-32
Abstract: Analyses the impact of the amnesty for RAF terrorists on that organisation in post-reunification Germany.

Burkhard Schafer, 'Mistaken Identities The Integrative Force of Private Law' in Mark van Hoecke, Francois Ost (ed.) The Harmonisation of European Private Law (Hart Publishing 2000) 21-47
Abstract: Analyses the process of European legal harmonisation, using system theory, cognitive linguistics and artificial society research as theoretical tools

Burkhard Schafer, 'Inheritance Principles and the Community of Heirs ' in Nicola Guarino (ed.) Formal Ontology in Information Systems (IOS Press 1998) 108-20
Abstract: Develops a system of formal ontology to describe collective entities in German, French and UK law.

Burkhard Schafer, 'Community Zoos, Theme Park Cultures and the Right to Leave them all ' in Emilios A. Christodoulidis (ed.) Communitarianism and Citizenship (Ashgate Publishing 1998) 84-100
Abstract: Discusses if a liberal can make more concessions to group rights than Kymlicka concedes.

Working Papers

Subhajit Basu, Paul Bernal, Ian Brown, Ray Corrigan, Lilian Edwards, Theodore Konstadinides, Chris Marsden, Karen McCullagh, Daithi Mac Sithigh, Andrew Murray, Steve Peers, Julia Powles, Burkhard Schafer, Lorna Woods, 'An Open Letter from UK Internet Law Academic Experts ' 2014

Smita Kheria, Daithi Mac Sithigh, Judith Rauhofer, Burkhard Schafer, '“CCTV Sniffing”: Copyright and Data Protection Implications' 2013
Abstract: This paper discusses the legal implications of CCTV sniffing and war walking, legally problematic uses of wireless networks, for the purpose of art. Using Bitnik’s “surveillance chess” as starting point, it asks if new forms of computer enabled art require new forms of protection, especially in countries without constitutional guarantee of freedom of art.