Australia's top technology law academic to deliver world-first report in Berlin

October 24, 2019

Fresh from again being named the country’s top technology law academic, Bond University Professor Dan Svantesson is set to launch his world-first report on internet jurisdiction at a prestigious conference in Berlin.

Prof Svantesson was recently named as the Field Leader in Technology Law in The Australian’s Research magazine, published in partnership with research analytics firm League of Scholars, the second successive year he has received the honour.

The magazine used publicly-available information in Google Scholar on all researchers working in Australia, and the evaluation considered both the volume of research produced and its quality.

Prof Svantesson was pleased to be recognised. 

“I think it’s the only study that rather than focusing on how well a particular university is doing, or how well a law faculty is doing, here they break it down to the individual.

“My focus pretty much all along has been on cross-border legal issues in the internet context, both in what is normally described as private international law, so for example online defamation, contracts, but also public international law. Say law enforcement in Australia need access to data held by Microsoft in Ireland, that sort of cross-border issue.

“That has been a bit unique, most people come to these issues from an angle of having an interest in intellectual property, or contract law or some other substantive law area, I have all along focused on jurisdictional issues across substantive law areas.

“It’s one of the most complex areas of law . . . it’s real world and it’s affecting everyone, from you posting something on social media, to how big companies interact with law enforcement, it covers everything.”

Prof Svantesson said there had been a lot of growth in the technology law space, as people began to grasp the significance of technology’s impact on society.

Next month, Prof Svantesson heads to the Internet Governance Forum in Berlin, where he will help launch the Internet & Jurisdiction Global Status Report 2019, which he authored for the Paris-based Internet & Jurisdiction Policy Network.

The report examines current trends and issues in internet jurisdiction, using research and surveys and interviews with stakeholders of the Internet & Jurisdiction Policy Network.

“It has a lot of detail and it’s the first of its kind, so the chance to launch it at the IGF is the perfect vehicle to reach out to the right people,” Prof Svantesson said.

Prof Svantesson intends to soon apply for an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellowship to enable him to expand upon concepts he has developed, and apply them in fields including cybersecurity/cyber-warfare, traditional commercial issues such as contracting and tax law, content removals/takedowns and stay-up orders, and emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, blockchain, and the Internet of Things.

Professor Svantesson joined Bond in 2004 and has established himself as one of the Law faculty’s most high-profile and prolific researchers, with a reputation internationally for breaking new ground and influencing public policy in the area of cross-border internet laws.