Law & Technology in Cars, Classrooms and Software

Welcome to the second Issue of 2019 of the European Journal of Law and Technology. In this Issue, we present three original research articles and a book review.

In our first article, ‘Automated and Electric Vehicles Act 2018: An Evaluation in light of Proactive Law and Regulatory Disconnect’, Matthew Channon offers a thoughtful critique on the UK’s first insurance legislation for Connected and Automated Vehicles, the Automated and Electric Vehicles Act 2018 (AVEA 2018). Channon points out that the legislation essentially regulates self-driving vehicles that are currently not on public roads, which naturally means that it is speculative of future challenges. He argues that the law is likely to cause confusion due to some of its provisions being unclear. By taking a comparative approach in places, Channon proposes some solutions to some of the challenges in the AEVA 2018, taking into account what he argues as ‘the need to comply with regulatory connection and proactive law’.

Björn Lundell, Jonas Gamalielsson, and Andrew Katz, in their article ‘Implementing IT Standards in Software: Challenges and Recommendations for Organisations Planning Software Development Covering IT Standards’, offer a detailed account of the challenges in obtaining patent licences required to implement three specific standards in software – ISO 32000-1 (a standard based on PDF 1.7), ISO/IEC 29500 (Office Open XML), and ISO 20022 (a standard for international financial business communication). Analysing the complexities in the context of implementing these standards in open source software, the authors offer evidence-based recommendations in terms of the steps that an organisation should take prior to adopting such standards in software. In this context, the article also makes helpful recommendations to changes in policy and practice, aimed at reducing the complexities in implementing such standards in open source software.

The internet has undoubtedly presented unique opportunities for widening access to education. It is, however, fair to state that we have yet to realise the internet’s full potential to make education accessible to all. In many ways, education institutions continue to demonstrate a degree of inertia to adapt to, and make full use of, technology in terms of providing wider access to education and training that goes beyond traditional pathways and delivery models. The Diploma Centre of the Law Society of Ireland offers a pleasing example of harnessing technology in order to widen access to justice and to the legal profession. In their article titled, ‘Moodle & MOOCs: Bringing Professional Legal Education Mainstream – the MOOC Experience at the Law Society of Ireland’, Freda Grealy, Steve Collender, John Lunney and Rory O’Boyle provide practical and informative insights for those who may be developing MOOCs. The authors discuss their instructional design process and the opportunities presented in utilising a bespoke design of the Moodle learning management system, and share the quantitative and qualitative feedback from MOOC participants, which is used to inform best practice for their MOOC course design.

Finally, Daniel Davenport offers a well-balanced and helpful review of W Kuan Hon’s book, Data Localisation and Policy (Edward Elgar 2017).

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome on board Megan Robertson of Aston University as our technical editor. Robertson brings a wealth of experience to support the work of the EJLT, and we are delighted that she has joined the team. Our editors, reviewers, authors, and readers all share a strong commitment towards the free and open dissemination of high quality scholarship. I am grateful for all the generous support you continue to provide to the journal, and very much hope that you enjoy reading this Issue.

Abhilash Nair