Jan 292011
 January 29, 2011  Non-U.S.

Stewart Room writes:

I’m deep in the process of shaping up the manuscript for the second edition of my first book, which puts me right in the middle of one of those intensive cycles of legal research that knocks a six-months chunk out my life every 18. At the moment I’m deeply occupied with the law reform agenda for privacy and cybercrime in Europe; I’m trying to “work out” whether the current trajectories in these areas are likely to deliver real benefits. So, the “benefit” of law reform is a topic that I’m keenly interested in.

On the privacy side of things, the trajectory of law reform has been clear for quite a while now; on the big issues the big commentators seem to be in agreement. But, lift the lid a little and what is the evidential base for being so confident that the trajectory is right? This question leads immediately to another one: to whose benefit is the law reform agenda directed? And whose benefit will the law reform agenda actually serve, if different?

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If I accept his conclusion that the current trajectory of law reform will lead to more work/income for lawyers and regulators and possibly decreased data protection for citizens as an emphasis shifts to paper compliance, then how should the trajectory be redirected so that the citizens benefit? I’ve left Stewart a comment asking that question, and look forward to his response.

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