The fast progress in this area is also reflected in the legal understanding of the issues relating to the introduction of the technology. At Stockholm University the Swedish Law and Informatics Research Institute, IRI (http://www.juridicum.su.se/iri/) was established in 1968 making it one of the oldest institutes in the field in the world. The Master Programme in Law and Information Technology has been offered since 1999. A considerable amount of experience in teaching has evolved over these years and the programme has been able to profit from the activities of IRI and the experiences gathered from similar courses taught since the late 1960’s.
The Institute comprises internationally renowned scholars in the fields of law and information technology as well as legal informatics. Professor emeritus Peter Seipel is a pioneer in the discipline, being the founder of IRI. He wrote his thesis “Computing Law Perspectives on New Legal Discipline” already in 1977. Active professors in Law and IT at IRI are also Professor Cecilia Magnusson Sjöberg, an expert on digital methods of legal information search, decision-making and handling of documents, such as, for example, issues of legal security connected with electronic signatures and Professor Peter Wahlgren who has a jurisprudential perspective on the subject. His main focus is on legal methods. All three are lecturers in the master programme. In addition IRI has a large number of doctoral students from several different countries, which elevates the international perspective of the research. The doctoral students also participate closely with the Masters Programme in Law and IT. According to a report by Scandinavian peers the Master of Law and IT Programme is outstanding – even by international standards. In addition, the subject legal informatics (rättsinformatik) taught to Swedish undergraduate law students by members of IRI has continued to be recognized as a profile subject by Stockholm University, and research in this field is considered leading.
Information communication technology knows no boundaries and borders. Since it’s inception the Masters Programme in Law and IT has received approximately 280 students from over 63 different countries. Therefore the programme has an international approach with respect to coverage of legal developments in the disciplines of ICT Law and legal informatics. The following are some of the subjects studied as part of the Programme: Contracting and e-commerce, Intellectual Property Rights, Privacy, Communications and Criminal Law, Automated Decision Making and Decision Support, Information Retrieval, Information Standards, Identification and Control Technologies, Information Security and Social Networking. Students are also required to take part in practical assignments, where they have to solve legal issues arising out of the increased use of ICT. The students are also expected to write two theses, which enables them to delve deeper into those areas they find particularly interesting. Apart from Scandinavia the Faculty has strong ties with scholars of ICT Law in Great Britain, South Africa, Australia, Germany, Austria and the U.S.A. Affiliated to the Masters Programme is also the Virtual Law Firm, an on-line alumni forum for past and present students, which serves as a platform for an international network of experts specializing in ICT Law.
The Swedish Institute is a public agency that promotes interest and confidence in Sweden around the world. One of its functions is to provide scholarships to students wishing to study in Sweden and is a possible source of financing for students from outside the European Union wishing to take part in the Masters Programme in Law and IT.
The Master in Law and IT programme is also a good spring board for a continuing career. Many of the Master programme students finish the programme to begin promising careers as practicing lawyers with IT law firms and work as professionals within areas such as knowledge management, information security and e-government. They also become involved in the development of the ICT infrastructures in their home countries and are consulted with respect to the forming of ICT-related legislation. For others the Master programme forms an excellent foundation for eventual PhD studies.
The Master in Law and Information Technology programme is comprised of four modules, namely Course A, Course B, Course C and Course D. Courses A and C are made up of lectures while during Courses B and D students are required to complete a thesis. More information about the individual modules can be found below.
For more information about our programme please visit the
Degree programme catalogue for Stockholm University.