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Unit of study_

LAWS3518: Law and Technology

2024 unit information

This course explores the interface between law and technology. It will introduce the challenges around regulating new and emerging technologies at a general and theoretical level (i.e. regulatory theory), and consider the role of law, regulation, and other mechanisms for influencing technological development in such as professional norms, ethical frameworks, and technical standards. The course will explore the challenges that current developments in technology (such as artificial intelligence and automated systems) may pose to how we understand what law is, what law regulates, and how, including the impact of digital technologies, which could include, for example, deeper consideration of laws around data collection, sharing and use (privacy laws and surveillance); the regulation of automated decision-making and artificial intelligence and its impact on individual rights and disadvantaged groups (eg discrimination and bias); personalised/precision medicine. A background in science, information technology or engineering is not assumed or required; information about technologies considered will be provided.

Unit details and rules

Managing faculty or University school:


Code LAWS3518
Academic unit Law
Credit points 6
Assumed knowledge:
Torts, Contracts, Public Law and Criminal Law

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. Critically analyse the relationships between technology, law, and regulation, including the challenges of regulating emerging technologies.
  • LO2. Critically evaluate appropriate regulatory tools for guiding, shaping, facilitating, and preventing technological development.
  • LO3. Compare and contrast the regulation of end-user conduct with the regulation of technology platforms and actors in the technology supply chain.
  • LO4. Apply legal reasoning to the critical analysis of hypothetical scenarios involving emerging technology to identify and propose regulatory strategies and tools that shape the development of technology and how it is used.
  • LO5. Critically evaluate the impact of digital technologies on the nature and practice of law, including considerations of privacy, surveillance, and discrimination.
  • LO6. Demonstrate advanced legal research, critical analysis, and effective communication skills relevant to legal practice in the context of emerging technologies.

Unit availability

This section lists the session, attendance modes and locations the unit is available in. There is a unit outline for each of the unit availabilities, which gives you information about the unit including assessment details and a schedule of weekly activities.

The outline is published 2 weeks before the first day of teaching. You can look at previous outlines for a guide to the details of a unit.

Session MoA ?  Location Outline ? 
Semester 1 2024
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Session MoA ?  Location Outline ? 
Semester 1 2020
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Semester 1 2022
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Semester 1 2023
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

Modes of attendance (MoA)

This refers to the Mode of attendance (MoA) for the unit as it appears when you’re selecting your units in Sydney Student. Find more information about modes of attendance on our website.

Important enrolment information

Departmental permission requirements

If you see the ‘Departmental Permission’ tag below a session, it means you need faculty or school approval to enrol. This may be because it’s an advanced unit, clinical placement, offshore unit, internship or there are limited places available.

You will be prompted to apply for departmental permission when you select this unit in Sydney Student.

Read our information on departmental permission.