24th Annual BCLT/BTLJ Symposium

The Roles of Technology Expertise in Law and Policy

February 27-28, 2020


Co-sponsored by the Berkeley Judicial Institute, the Internet Policy Research Initiative at MIT, and the Institute for Technology Law & Policy at Georgetown Law 

This 2 day symposium will explore how expertise about technology and its impacts is generated, introduced, and used in making legal and policy decisions. As more legislation, litigation, and regulation involves technological matters (especially those involving digital technologies), we want to consider how expertise about the design and implications of technology informs decision-making: what has worked well, what has not worked, and how technological expertise can be better used.

We aim to examine and assess reliance on expertise about technology across all three branches of government and at the federal, state and local levels. The first day, February 27th, will focus on the judiciary. Day 2, Feburary 28th, will examine issues related to legislative and executive branch decision-making at the federal, state, and local levels. Among the questions we want to ask: What should be considered an issue of technological expertise and what should be considered a question of law or politics? Should Congress recreate an Office of Technology Assessment? What lessons can be learned from the ways federal agencies obtain and use technological expertise? In technologically complex cases, should judges appoint experts, technical advisers, or special masters or rely on attorneys and litigants’ experts?



Made possible with support from the


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