The first "Summer School IT Law and Legal Informatics" took place at Saarland University’s campus from 21st August to 1st September 2017.

Participants from UK, Japan, Bulgaria, France, Luxemburg, Serbia, Austria, Denmark, Italy as well as Germany travelled to Saarbrücken and were treated to both a varied academic and cultural programme. Renowned lecturers from the UK, Japan, Austria and Germany presented on the four topic areas of “Autonomous systems”, “Internet of Things and IT Security”, “Data Protection and Big Data” and “Legal Tech”.

In addition to the intensive academic programme, there were also many opportunities for the participants to find out more about the region. For many participants, this was their first visit to the Saarland and they used the opportunity to explore many of its cultural sights and enjoy the culinary delights which the region has to offer.  The participants visited the UNESCO World Heritage site at the Völklinger Hütte (an historical ironworks), the Saarschleife, the Karlsberg Brewery in Homburg and Trier.  Under the knowledgeable guidance of the former Secretary of State, Dr. Wolfgang Schild, the excursion to Trier was a particular highlight.  The Summer School ended with an excursion which included a guided tour of the German Federal Court in Karlsruhe, a visit to the Cathedral in Speyer and wine-tasting at a vineyard near Neustadt-an-der-Weinstraße.

  • Opening of the Summer School 2017
    Opening of the Summer School 2017

    During the opening of the Summer School, Mrs. Caroline Hertwig handed out the Summer School welcome packs to the participants and gave an overview of the town of Saarbrücken.

  • Opening of the Academic Programme
    Opening of the Academic Programme

    The academic programme was opened by a lecture on "AI and the Law" that was held by Prof. Dr. Georg Borges, Managing Director of the Institute of Legal Informatics.

  • Fruitful debates
    Fruitful debates

    Inspired by the comprehensive lectures of renowned experts, the participants discussed lively on a very high level.

  • Visit of KÜS Data's data centre
    Visit of KÜS Data's data centre

    The first excursion took us to the data centre of KÜS Data GmbH in Losheim am See. The participants got a good insight into the infrastructure that is necessary for lawful data processing.

  • BBQ!

    The first week of the Summer School ended with a BBQ that was held at the Graduate Centre. Participants and lecturers got hereby the opportunity for an informal exchange in a cosy and familiar atmosphere.

  • Saarland and its landmarks
    Saarland and its landmarks

    At the 'day off' on Saturday, in Saarland there's no better choice than visiting the beautiful Saarschleife, a horseshoe-shaped bend in the river Saar near the picturesque town of Mettlach.

  • Data Protection and Big Data
    Data Protection and Big Data

    The second week of the academic programme was opened by lectures on Data Protection and Big Data held by Prof. Dr. Erich Schweighofer (University of Vienna, Austria) and Prof. Fumio Shimpo, Ph.D. (Keio University, Kanagawa, Japan). Once more, the lectures formed the basis for controversial discussions between the participants.

  • Special day for Prof. Takehiko Kasahara
    Special day for Prof. Takehiko Kasahara

    During the Summer School, Prof. Dr. Takehiko Kasahara (Toin University of Yokohama, Japan) - one of the lecturers - celebrated his 60th birthday which is a very meaningful day in Japanese tradition. Therefore, the organisers of the Summer School arranged a very familiar birthday party at Schloss Halberg.

  • Völklinger Hütte
    Völklinger Hütte

    The visit of the Völklingen Ironworks, a former industrial plant which has the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site status since 1994, was another highlight in the social programme. Especially the Blower Shed provoked a photo session at it's best.

  • Legal Tech
    Legal Tech

    The last topic block was introduced by Prof. Dr. Burkhard Schäfer (The University of Edinburgh, UK) with his highly professional but also entertaining lecture on Legal Tech. During that session, the participants learned how to develop an Artificial Intelligence that is able to beat World Champions in Chess.

  • Beer, beer, beer!
    Beer, beer, beer!

    During the excursion to the Karlsberg brewery in Homburg, the participants of the Summer School were introduced in the art of brewing. Afterwards, during the dinner at Homburger Hof, we enjoyed typical German meals and - of course - some local beer.

  • Federal Court of Justice
    Federal Court of Justice

    The last day of the Summer School began with a trip to the German Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe. Due to the judicial vacations, the visit was unfortunately limited to a guided tour of the court building.

  • Wine tasting
    Wine tasting

    After having some beer at Karlsberg brewery a few days ago, the very final excursion took us to Neustadt-an-der-Weinstraße where we had an excellent wine-tasting at a local vineyard.

Conference Transcript

We are currently working on a book containing the written contributions of the participants of the 2017's Summer School as well as the manuscripts of the lecturers. The book is going to be published by Springer with the provisional title 'Law and technology in a global digital society - Autonomous Systems, Big Data, IT Security and Legal Tech'.