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About the SCRIPT Centre

SCRIPT, the Scottish Research Centre for IP and Technology Law, explores the intersection between law, technology and society from a multidisciplinary and multi-jurisdiction perspective. Our research is about the synergetic relationship between law, social norms, ethics, technologies, commerce and society in the widest possible sense.

Judith Rauhofer and Burkhard Schafer

As well as the core areas of IP, IT and data protection law, we and our associates are concerned with the adjunct areas of  artificial intelligence and algorithmic justice; Legal Tech, RegTech and their regulation; regulation of electronic commerce; the regulation of new media and the information society. We also consider law as it affects information management and cultural production and archiving.

SCRIPT was born as the Shepherd and Wedderburn Centre for Research in Intellectual Property and Technology at the University of Edinburgh in 1998 as a centre of excellence in the disciplines of intellectual property law (IP) and information technology law (IT). The Scottish Research Centre for Studies in Intellectual Property and Technology Law was established on 1 April 2002 with the generous support of the Arts and Humanities Research Council, and received stage 2 funding in from 2008-2012.

The Centre's original research vision was to examine the synergies between intellectual property law and information technology law as two main modes of legal control over data. Its remit was to consider the relationship between law, policy and technologies in the broadest sense.

Initially the purpose was to bring together and provide a coherent focus for work that was on-going at the University of Edinburgh, particularly within the School of Law, from which were drawn the four founding co-directors (Edwards, Laurie, MacQueen and Waelde). The Centre and its ambitions quickly grew, and today it serves as a crucial pivot that supports the digital strategy of the University of Edinburgh by connecting legal academics with research in computer science, design informatics, STS, political science, medicine and sociology, to name but the most active interconnections.

As examples of our varied and intensive cross-university activities, we are part of the Creative Informatics Research and Development Cluster and contribute the new doctoral training centre for bioinformatics. We work closely with the Edinburgh Futures Institute, but also the Bayes Centre and Science and Technology Studies at the School of Social and Political Science.

Beyond Edinburgh, our vision is to connect researchers across jurisdictions and disciplines. We are a member of the Global Network of Internet and Society Research Network, and are leading the University’s internationalisation strategy with the University of Amsterdam. Members of the Centre have been in recent years visiting professors at the universities of Sao Paolo, Leuven, and UNAM in Mexico.