Laurence Diver

'Artificial Intelligence and compliance by design'

LLB (Hons) LLM DipLP PgDip

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  • Principal Supervisor: Professor Burkhard Schafer
  • Assistant Supervisor: Ms Judith Rauhofer



My research will consider the representation of regulatory norms in ways which are intelligible, and enforceable, by computers. At the outset, its aim is to investigate a framework for embodying regulatory norms deeply within the design of digital technologies in order to facilitate better observance of users' rights in the online environment. The starting point will be the concept of "privacy by design" which is set to be enacted in the EU's forthcoming and controversial General Data Protection Regulation.


Although my academic background is in law (LL.B. and Dip. L.P.), I have worked for several years in industry as a web developer. In 2015 I completed the LL.M. in Innovation, Technology and the Law at Edinburgh, during which I worked simultaneously as a research assistant with Professor Burkhard Schafer on a CREATe project titled Self-enforcing IP Law: Life after DRM (Digital Rights Management).

I am the Technical Editor of SCRIPTed, the SCRIPT Centre's journal of law, technology and society. I have also worked previously as a legal assistant at the Scottish Law Commission, where I still consult on technical matters.


University of Edinburgh
2015: LL.M. Innovation, Technology and the Law (Distinction)
2008: Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice
2007: LL.B. (Hons.) (First Class)

Edinburgh Napier University
2012: Postgraduate Diploma in Software Technology for the Web (Distinction)

Academic scholarships

Principal's Career Development Ph.D. Scholarship 2015 – 2018

Peer-reviewed articles

L Diver & B Schafer, "Opening the Black Box: Petri nets and Privacy by Design" (2017) 31(1) International Review of Law, Computers & Technology 68. Pre-print on SSRN. (The pre-publication draft of this paper won the Google Award for best postgraduate paper at the BILETA 2016 conference.)

B Schafer, D Komuves, J Niebla, L Diver, "A fourth law of robotics? Copyright and the law and ethics of machine co-production" (2015) 23(3) Artificial Intelligence and Law 217

D Komuves, J Niebla, B Schafer, L Diver, "Monkeying Around with Copyright - Animals, AIS and Authorship in Law" (2015) Jusletter-IT Vol 26 RZ1 - 27

L Diver, "Would the current ambiguities within the legal protection of software be solved by the creation of a sui generis property right for computer programs?" (2008) 3(2) Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice 125

Conference papers, workshops, commentaries, and posters

L Diver, "Book Review: Collisions in the Digital Paradigm" (2017) 14:2 SCRIPTed 373 

L Edwards, D McAuley, L Diver, "From Privacy Impact Assessment to Social Impact Assessment: Building Trust in the Internet of Things" (IEEE International Workshop on Privacy Engineering 2016, San Jose, California)

L Diver, "The lawyer in the machine: towards the automation of Privacy by Design" (Winner of the Google Award for best postgraduate paper, BILETA 2016, University of Hertfordshire. Published as "Opening the Black Box: Petri nets and Privacy by Design" listed above)

L Diver & B Schafer, "Exceptions for Disability" (Commentary for, 2016) 

L Diver & J Niebla, "Robots: Music and Mayhem" (Workshop on artificial intelligence, robotics, copyright and warfare. Part of Innovative Learning Week, University of Edinburgh, 2016)

B Schafer & L Diver, "Creating CoReO: Computer Assisted Copyright Reform Observatory" (Poster session presented at CREATe All Hands Conference, Glasgow, 2014)

L Diver, "Equal access: harmonising copyright exceptions for those with disabilities" (CREATe blog, March 2014) 


D Komuves, J Niebla, B Schafer, L Diver 'Monkeying Around with Copyright - Animals, AIS and Authorship in Law' in E Schweighofer, F Kummer, W Hoetzendorfer (eds) Co-operation (OCG, 2015) 651-660 (a re-publication of the above article)

Research Assistant posts

2015 – present: CREATe Professor Lilian Edwards (University of Strathclyde) 
2013 – 2015: CREATe project "Self-enforcing IP Law: Life after DRM" (Professor Burkhard Schafer)

Teaching assistance

2016: Law and Robotics (Honours and LL.M.); Law and New Technologies: Artificial Intelligence, Risk and the Law (LL.M.)
2009: Criminal Law (LL.B. Ordinary)

Related experience

2013 – present: Technical Editor of SCRIPTed
2016 – 2017: Edinburgh Postgraduate Law Conference committee member
2008 – 2010: Legal Assistant, Scottish Law Commission

Social media

Twitter: @laurence_diver