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Law On Trial - Technology And The Pandemic: Labour, Money, And Power

Venue: Online

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The importance of technology in managing the response to the pandemic is clear to everyone. Driven by the need to minimise bodily interactions, we witnessed a rapid intensification of the transfer of social life away out of public space and into digital media. Within a matter of weeks people learned to work, shop, teach and learn, socialise, and more via online platforms. The value of the major internet companies rose rapidly, and during the 2016 US presidential election the role of communication platforms became highly contentious, both as objects of regulation and as arbiters of who, and whose ideas, could shape legitimate political discussion. It would be a mistake to imagine that we can simply go back to ‘before the pandemic’. In this panel our guests will present three ways in which the world has changed, explain the new challenges that we face, and ask what role law might play in dealing with them.

Law On Trial - Law, Pandemic And Crisis

Law On Trial is the School of Law’s annual week of free, public events around a particular theme.

This year we explore law’s response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, and how the pandemic has left a lasting effect on various aspects of our society including the Black Lives Matter movement, global concerns with racist policing, climate protests and insurrection in Colombia. Find out more and book your place at the week's events.

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  • Dr Bernard Keenan -

    Dr Bernard Keenan is a Lecturer in Law in the Department of Law at Birkbeck. He will be the Chair of this event.

  • Dr Edmund Schuster -

    Dr Edmund Schuster is a Associate Professor of Law at London School of Economics and Political Science, who will address the cryptocurrency boom (and bust) and the rise of personalised financial systems during the pandemic.

  • Dr Jennifer Cobbe -

    Dr Jennifer Cobbe is a Senior Research Associate and Affiliated Lecturer at the Computer Laboratory, Cambridge, who will address the growing political power of platforms like Amazon, Google and Facebook in organising and monitoring social life.

  • Professor Cynthia Estlund -

    Professor Cynthia Estlund is the Catherine A. Rein Professor of Law at New York University, who will address the rapid shift to automated systems during the pandemic and the ways in which workers’ rights have been affected.