The 2022 Summer Academy of the European Law School Network (ELSN) that will be hosted in Athens by the Law School of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, is about “Digitalization and Institutions”. This subject pertains to the digital future of Europe and reflects the vision of the European Commission to have achieved a digital transformation that will affect people, businesses and public administration by 2030. The European objectives have a direct impact on national legislations of the member states, which – in many cases – may seem outdated and unable to capture the current changes brought by technological developments. Moreover, the objectives on digitalization, seeking maximum uniformity among member states, often lead to the enforcement of new Union legislation to regulate transnational digital challenges in a unified manner. To name a few examples, the Proposal for laying down harmonized rules on Artificial Intelligence (COM/2021/206), the proposal for adopting the Digital Services Act (COM/2020/825) and the Digital Markets Act (COM/2020/842) clearly reflect the effort to adopt uniform rules. Hence, the 2022 Summer Academy uses the aforementioned digital initiatives as a starting point to delve into the legal implications of the new digital era.
Presentations & Workshops
Within this broad context, the Academy categorizes the legal issues into three groups, according to the existing divisions of traditional legal fields, for proceeding to systematic examination.
I)The Academy will examine how technology affects private law, with focus on changes on legislation, the rules of civil liability and the protection of consumers’ rights. A workshop pertaining to the regulation of artificial intelligence will offer the participants the opportunity to study cutting-edge policy initiatives in practice.
II)The Academy will concentrate on the digitalization process of corporations and public administration, as well as on the banking sector which is severely transformed by the digital economy. An additional workshop about the ongoing digital transformation of the justice systems across Europe will offer participants the unique opportunity to get in contact with judges from different legal systems and to experience at first hand how digitalization affects the administration of justice. With regards to corporations, focus will be given particularly on corporate digital responsibility in Europe, the intelligent corporate governance that may include robots in boardrooms, the exercise of voting rights in the General Assembly etc. As per the public sector, the Academy will focus on the gradual digital transformation of public administration which follows a different pace among member states. As per the banking sector, where state interference through legislation is omni-present to bigger or smaller extent, the Academy will engage with the ever-changing economy in financial services, namely Fintech.
III) Last, the Summer Academy will examine what will be the future of rights and freedoms of natural persons in the light of digitalization. With respect to the European underlying values, the Academy will focus on the freedom of expression in digital media, the relationship between artificial intelligence and human rights and the emergence of digital citizenship through the examination of the European case law.