Law, Cognitive Technologies & Artificial Intelligence
New Study Programme for 21st Century Legal Experts

1First dive in AI

- Friday, 11 January 2019
- 9 am to 12 noon

Course content

This course seeks to map out the potential regulatory needs created by cognitive technology and AI. More specifically, the goals of the course are to:

  • Provide an overview of the state of play in relation to the introduction of AI in society;
  • Set out the main regulatory options discussed in the scholarship in relation to AI (disciplinary, functional and instrumental);
  • Envision the issue in terms of the consequences of the introduction of AI technology in society, and proceed on this basis to explore alternative consequentialist regulatory responses;
  • Understand the implications of those distinct regulatory approaches in dedicated fields of the law, i.e. liability law and the law of war. Students who take this course will gain a good understanding of a) potential regulatory issues relating to AI, and b) theories of regulation.


Fredrik Heintz, Associate Professor of Computer Science, Linköping University
Ashwin Ittoo, Professor of Information Systems/Business Analytics, HEC ULiege
Sofia Ranchordas, Chair of European and Comparative Public Law & Rosalind Franklin Fellow, University of Groningen



2AI, public policy and regulation

- Friday, 1 February 2019
- 9 am to 12 noon

Course content

Should AI systems be regulated? Is anticipative regulation justified for certain classes of risks and/or AI applications? Should lawmakers wait before they regulate, to safeguard innovation incentives and enable experimentation? In what areas are regulatory sandboxes helpful? Are there redlines that should apply across the board to all AI systems? Can we ensivion regulatory compliance by design, as in Asimov's fictions?


Mona Chammas, Attorney and Legal & Integrity Director, Founder of GOVERN&LAW;
Bjoern Juretzki, Policy Officer, European Commission - DG Connect
Andrea Renda, Senior Research Fellow and Head of Global Governance, Regulation, Innovation and the Digital Economy, CEPS


3Ethics and AI

- Friday, 15 February 2019
- 9 am to 12 noon

Course content

AI applications raise dozen ethical dilemmas. Shall a self-driving car follow its lawful trajectory and lethally hit a young biker, or shall it stray from its course, hit a tree and kill its old passenger? Similarly, what shall we do when an AI application reveals hidden correlations which denote human biases in society? Those issues necessitate the specification of initial ethical values. In addition, at the instrumental level, a discussion must take place on the methods used to address ethical challenges – self-regulation, formal standardization, statutory obligations – and the stages at which this ought to be done – ex ante by design or ex post by training.


Caroline Coesemans
, Head of Legal and Public Policy, Google Belgium
Nicolas Petit, Professor, University of Liege, and Research Professor, University of South Australia
Nathalie Smuha, Lawyer, DG Connect, and Assistant Lecturer EU Law, KULeuven


- Friday, 22 February 2019
- 9 am to 12 noon

Course content

Who is liable when a fully or semi-autonomous AI system causes damage. This module will provide an opportunity to discuss existing legal approaches under the rules on civil liability, torts and product liability. The module will also give insights on possible adjustments to the current rules on liability in an AI driven world.


Andrea Bertolini
, Assistant Professor, University of Pisa
Hans Ingels, Head of Unit, DG Grow, European Commission
Gabriele Mazzini, Policy Officer, European Commission


5Big data: legal framework and practice

- Friday, 15 March 2019
- 9 am to 12 noon

Course content

Big data is critical for the operation of AI and expert systems. At the same time, data is not free of regulation. In the EU, the General Data Protection Regulation is entering into force next year, and it is set to revamp entirely the way private and public organisations process data. At the same time, data posted on Internet platform brings about complex tradeoffs between free speech and privacy. Last, but not least, in the legal tech field, the training data on which legal analytics tools work generates interesting challenges in terms of representativeness, neutrality and anonymity.


Christian D'Cunha, Head of Private Office of Giovanni Buttarelli, European Data Protection Supervisor
Laurent De Muyter, Partner, Jones Day
Inge Graef, Assistant Professor, Tilburg University



6Initiation to Algorithm Design

- Friday, 22 March 2019
- 9 am to 12 noon

Course content

This course provides a first exposure to the history, theory and applied specification of algorithms. Through concrete examples taken from the field of legal analytics, the course will focus on providing some hindsight into how to think, structure and formalize a legal tech algorithm.


Roald Sieberath, Venture Partner, LeanSquare, & Kauffman Fellow, Kauffman Fellows


7AI Applications for Lawyers

- Friday, 29 March 2019
- 9 am to 12 noon

Course content

  • Existing cognitive and AI legal technologies and associated legal services will be mapped out (e.g. e-discovery, online legal services, legal research, practice management software, intellectual property services, artificial intelligence legal tech, lawyers search, etc.).
  • Overview of the future of markets for legal services, including legal start-ups, legal data science and software providers, legal engineering services, etc.
  • Technology constraints created by law societies, bar associations, etc.


Erik de Herdt, CEO,
Tomas van der Heijden, Head of Legal Research, Ross Intelligence
Maurits Westerik, Partner, Coupry


8Beyond AI tools: blockchain and other legal tech

- Friday, 26 April 2019
- 9 am to 12 noon

Course content

Blockchain is the biggest challenge faced by (competition) law in the last 20 years. In fact, this technology creates two impacts that require in-depth analyses: (1) one on the legal systems ensuring the application of competition law, and the other (2) on the transformation of anti-competitive practices. 

This course will dive into the ever moving ecosystem that defines the crypto-landscape and the Blockchain-based applications : cryptocurrencies, decentralized apps, token crowdsales and smart-contracts to name a few.
We will present :
 - the technical foundation and technological concepts behind open cryptocurencies, private blockchains and distributed ledger technologies
 - the evolution of smart contracts and their impact on the legal profession
 - open, permisionless solutions to build consensus, transparency and accountability in a decentralised environment
Blockchains offer new capabilities to engage in business activities in ways that don’t fit neatly into existing legal frameworks. For regulators, lawmakers and courts, determining the technical nature of a blockchain-based project is a prerequisite to any policy making activity.
We will allow participants to grasp the technical concepts behind those technologies in simple terms, to ensure they are able to make their own mind on startup products that they will face in the future. But blockchain technology isn't just a new subject for law; It is also an enabler that supports digital transformation of legal services.
From community-led central banking in the form of internet currencies like bitcoin, to real business use cases : where are we in 2019 in the blockchain environment?


Florent Dubois, Managing Director, Cryptodevise
Thibault Schrepel, Assistant Professor in European Economic Law, Utrecht University School of Law
Adrien van den Branden, Tech Lawyer, Law For Tech


9AI tools for the public sector: law enforcement and decision making

- Friday, 3 May 2019
- 9 am to 12 noon

Course content

  • This session discusses use-case applications of algorithmic technologies through the various law enforcement layers, namely courtroom litigation, decision-making by administrative agencies and deliberation by legislative bodies.
  • Can and should ex ante deliberation by legislative bodies be open to algorithmic assistance?
  • Can and should ex post judicial and decision-making activity be open to algorithmic assistance, and what role should be reserved for judges and decision-makers in this process?
  • Should certain types of judicial and decision-making functions be reserved for humans (such as deciding guilt or innocence), while others can be delegated to machines (such as determining sentences)?


Alexandre De Streel
, Professor, UNamur
Vanessa Franssen, Professor, ULiege & KU Leuven
Ashwin Ittoo, Professor of Information Systems/Business Analytics, HEC ULiege


- Friday, 10 May 2019
- 9 am to 12 noon

Course content

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a world-changing technology. It goes without saying that it is one of the greatest and most innovative opportunities of our time. On the other hand we face the terrifying reality of cyber criminals. Computer and network intrusions have held ransom, interrupted or even shut down airports, hospitals, people’s businesses, etc. around the globe. Each advance that is made in cybersecurity, is counterbalanced by an equal or even greater advance made by malicious hackers. Cyber Security is therefore, without a doubt, one of the greatest challenges of our generation.

When it comes to cybersecurity, experts often describe AI as a ‘dual use technology’: on the one hand AI may be one of the key solutions to address cyber risks in the digital world in a more efficient way. On the other hand AI has the potential to increase the influence of the digital risks on the physical world.

During this session we will address both the legal and the technical aspects of cybersecurity in the context of AI, such as network and information security requirements and legislation, product liability and data protection.


Anneleen Dammekens, Advisor, Competence Centre Law & Enterprise, FEB
Claudia Diaz, Associate Professor, ESAT, KU Leuven
Maciej Surowiec, EU Government Affairs Manager, Microsoft
Catherine Van De Heyning, Senior Attorney, Eubelius

11AI & Life Sciences

- Friday, 24 May 2019
- 9 am to 12 noon

Course content

Life sciences is probably one of the fastest and most fascinating fields in which algorithm deployment is occurring. In this field, it is already no longer about promises but about providing tools that are hard to imagine being able to live without. The aim of this course is to provide you with an overview of the main achievements of AI: (1) in identifying health issues through the analysis of digital data; (2) in analysing medical images; and (3) in analysing genomics in the context of the advent of personalized medicine.

We have chosen to invite specialists who will explain how they use AI to improve our understanding of the human being. During this presentation we will discuss legal issues such as liability, intellectual property, access to personal data, criminal law and competition law.


Romain Alderweireldt, Senior Associate, CMS DeBacker
Tom Lenaerts, Computational Biology and Artificial Intelligence Research, Université libre de Bruxelles
Guillaume Smits, (IB)² - Interuniversity Institute of Bioinformatics in Brussels
Grégoire Vincke, CEO, Cytomine


12Future of the Legal Profession

- Thursday, 13 June 2019
- 2 pm to 5 pm

Course content

The advent of cognitive technologies is modernising the legal profession at a rapid pace. With the improvements in computation power, data availability, and cognitive technologies it is anticipated that many existing jobs in the legal community will likely change or even disappear. At the same time, cognitive technologies are poised to create new activities and occupations for lawyers. Possible examples include: quantitative legal predictor, legal process analyst, legal project manager, ODR practitioner, legal management consultant, legal risk manager.


Hughes Bersini, Professor, Université Libre de Bruxelles
Vincent Henderson, Head of Legal Analytics Product Development, Wolters Kluwer Belgium
Patrick Hofströssler, Partner, Eubelius
Philippe Lambrecht, Director-Secretary general, FEB
Els Steen, Senior Vice President Legal Belux, Central and Southern Europe, Ahold Delhaize