Law in a Digital Society: Code, Norms and Conceptions

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 18:00
Location: Hörsaal 10 (Juridicum)
Oral Presentation
Mans SVENSSON, Lund University, Sweden
Stefan LARSSON, Lund University Internet Institute, Sweden
This paper addresses the role of technology for socio-legal change, particularly with regards to digitization and the Internet and how law is challenged conceptually and normatively in its wake. Digitization is here mainly discussed and analysed in terms of a.) how the architecture and networked design includes normativity and values as such; b) how interconnectedness and digital phenomena are for their regulation depending on embodied images and conceptual metaphors often stemming from an offline context; c) and how the relatively newfound aspects of traceability and collection of human big data leads to new modes of policing and legal execution.

Arguably, a core challenge within sociology of law lies in understanding relations and interdependencies between legal and social norms . Within a digital context, the Cybernorms research group has conducted a number of surveys on norms in a digital context, where the one receiving perhaps the most attention is the so called Research Bay survey, conducted via the infamous piracy site The Pirate Bay, collecting a total of over 310,000 respondents over three occasions. We have elsewhere shown how social norms emanating from a digital context may challenge legal norms  and how this can lead to various and often unintended outcomes, such as online communities utilizing tools to become less traceable online as opposed to complying with law. We have both in connection to file sharing research  as well as elsewhere  shown how conceptions and metaphors of digital phenomena are of relevance for both social and legal norms as well as legal development . In brief, by drawing on a number of empirical studies we elaborate on what we find to be key challenges that law faces in a digital era.