New Technology & the Law

A Human Rights Perspective


4 November 2019

Herzen University, St Petersburg

The international conference “New Technology and the Law – a Human Rights Perspective” took place on 4 November 2019 at Herzen University, St Petersburg.

Lawyers, academics and law students were invited to discuss the impact of modern technology on legal proceedings and the society.

Topics of the conference included:


Justice by algorithm and the role of artificial intelligence in policing and criminal justice systems


Transformation of criminal justice in the digital era 


Access to justice, technology and human rights


The guidelines of the Council of Europe on the use of IA in judicial systems


Protecting the rights to equality, and discrimination in machine learning systems


Boriss Cilevics

Rapporteur of the PACE Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights

Christina Blacklaws

Immediate past President of The Law Society and Chair of the Technology and the Law Policy Commission

Clementina Barbaro

European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice

Roger Smith OBE

London South Bank University

Lidiya Voskobitova

Moscow State Law University

Mike Rebeiro

Senior Advisor for Digital and Innovation, Macfarlanes law firm (London)

Conference Report

The international conference ‘New Technology & the Law – a Human Rights Perspective’ was the first event in Russia on the subject. We are proud of our pioneering role in opening the discussion in Saint Petersburg on the development of technology and Lawtech and its resulting human rights issues and challenges. The conference was attended by 70 participants: practising lawyers, law professors and students from various universities, IT specialists and human rights workers. It gave a good start for further discussion and research to be done by law students and legal professionals.

Benefiting from three screens, simultaneous translation equipment, built-in microphones at every seat, and excellent wi-fi, our distinguished speakers covered the following topics:

Boriss Cilevičs, a former computer scientist and a member of parliament from Latvia, spoke on Justice by algorithm: the work of the Council of Europe on the role of artificial intelligence in policing and criminal justice.

Christina Blacklaws, former President of the Law Society of England and Wales and Chair of its Legal Technology Policy Commission, which produced a wide-ranging report and recommendations about the use of algorithms in the justice system, shared her perspective on Technology and Innovation in Law.

Lidiya Voskobitova, professor of law at Moscow State Law University and author of 70 publications, examined the transformation of criminal justice basics in the digital era and human rights safeguards.

Clementina Barbaro, at the Council of Europe (CoE) for 16 years, presented the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ) European Ethical Charter on the use of artificial intelligence in judicial systems, which is the first ever document on this issue in Europe and in the world.

Roger Smith OBE, a visiting professor of law at London South Bank University and an authority on legal aid, spoke of access to justice, human rights and technology.

Mike Rebeiro, senior advisor for Digital and Innovation, Macfarlanes LLP (London) rounded off the conference with his talk on protecting the rights to equality and non-discrimination in machine learning systems.