Seminar on Digitalization and Legal Culture: Western and Chinese Perspectives

Høje bygninger

This seminar aims to reflect on the current discussion on digitalization, geopolitics, law and legal culture as perceived from Western and Chinese perspectives. It wants to contribute to an understanding of the processes of legal, cultural, political and societal transformations sparked off in the digital era.

China has been a frontrunner in the area of digitalization. As a global force in digital technologies, China has increasingly played an active and contested role in shaping the digital landscape through collaboration and competitiveness with western and other states. Meanwhile, advanced digitalization urges accountable up-to-date ethical and legal guidelines to address the impact of the digitalization on cultural and societal transformation globally.

At this moment, the EU has been a frontrunner in the area of legal regulation, court cases and guidelines to limit the power of the tech giants. Generally, the EU seems to be more reluctant than both the US and China in relation to the benefits related to digital technologies and their influence on individuals and societies. To some extent, this is due to historical legacies.

Digitalization and the digital revolution is changing the world in the 21st century in terms of communication, (resource) control, censorship, commerce and surveillance of people, organizations, and markets. Size matters, huge states, and private actors play a considerable role in this development, where state and private governed ‘surveillance capitalism’ and ‘social credit systems’ coexist globally. The implications of this for political and legal culture are not clear.

Keynote speakers

  • He Jiahong is Professor at School of Law, Renmin University of China (RUC) in Beijing. He is one of China’s leading experts on criminal evidence, evidential investigation and criminal procedure, and obtained a Doctor of Juridical Science at Northwestern University in Chicago in 1993. He has been visiting professor and researcher at several universities and institutions, including New York University and Max-Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law.

He is a successful writer of crime thrillers, the first two of which, Hanging Devils and Black Holes, have been translated into English and published by Penguin China. He is also the author of a China Penguin Special: Back from the Dead: A Landmark Ruling of Wrongful Conviction in China (2014) and Back from the Dead: Wrongful Convictions and Criminal Justice in China (2016), published by the University of Hawai’i Press.

  • Hanne Marie Motzfeldt is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen. She is focusing on analyzing case law related to fundamental principles of data protection and administrative law as well as legislative tendencies in order to uncover developments and adjustments within public law caused by digitalization. She has a background as a caseworker at the Parliamentary Ombudsman. She is a member of the EU Expert Group New Technologies formation, the working group on wearables at the Danish Council on Ethics and is a Board Member of Citizens Rights Fund (Borgerretsfonden), Data for Good Foundation and Legal Tech Denmark.