Professor Burkhard Schafer
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