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New report sets out digital ethics roadmap for Scotland

Fri 9 December 2022

Girl on tablet

Professor Burkhard Schafer, Professor of Computational Legal Theory at Edinburgh Law School, was a member of the Expert Group that has reviewed evidence and provided recommendations that will support and inform future policy on digital ethics. 

The group was chaired by Dr Claudia Pagliari, who leads the Global eHealth Group at the University of Edinburgh’s Usher Institute, and its report draws on a diverse range of evidence and expert opinion. It sets out recommendations for encouraging ethical digital practice across government, businesses and civil society, including aspects of safety, privacy, sustainability and oversight.

Prof Schafer’s contribution focussed, in particular, on the future of online courts and access to justice question in the aftermath of the Covid pandemic.

Key recommendations include:

  • Putting in place a digital ombudsman, or National Digital Guardian, to ensure oversight and public awareness
  • Citizen-led participation, to involve users meaningfully in digital innovation processes
  • An effective legal and regulatory framework to ensure privacy, safety and accountability
  • Honest conversations about the trade-offs between the benefits of digital innovation and the carbon footprint of data – ensuring the journey to net zero is respected
  • Building on the experience with online courts to increase access to justice

Read the full report on the Scottish Government website

Read more about the Expert Group on the Edinburgh Innovations website