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									 Continuing & Post-graduate
education in Computers & Law

          Joseph A. Cannataci
           Mireille M. Caruana
        Jeanne P. Mifsud Bonnici


        Law & IT Research Unit
          University of Malta
      General Observations
• No need to re-invent the wheel (Build on
  existing consensus)
• The Tuning Template as currently
  formulated is NOT designed to harmonise
  continuing education and its structure
  needs to be modified
• It does not appear sensible to divorce
  continuing education from other forms of
  provision of education in computers and
  law
• 9 “Concrete Proposals”
       Building on consensus
• Unlike many other areas of formal education, in
  the field of Computers & Law there exist previous
  attempts at harmonisation at European level
• Council of Europe Recommendation R(80)3
• Council of Europe Recommendation R(92)15
• These represent coherent attempts at “least
  common denominator” approach to setting
  minimum standards of teaching in Computers &
  Law
           A European stimulus?

• Recommendation R(80)3 Council of Europe
• Spurt & Discussion / Trial & Error Period
   –   Nelson report
   –   Belfast – LEXICAL at Queen’s University
   –   Jackson Group
   –   BILETA
   –   LTC
• Recommendation R(92) 15 Council of Europe
   –   Sweden – Peter Seipel
   –   Norway – Jon Bing
   –   Germany-Herbert Fiedler
   –   Italy- Ettore Giannantonio
   –   UK-Richard Jones
    The process behind consensus
•   Review of a ten year old Recommendation
•   Process commences in 1989
•   Completed in 1992
•   LEFIS can take advantage of experienced
    pioneers used in 1989-1992 review cycle
    (3 of whom were present in BILETA2006 –
    LEFIS: Bing, Cannataci, Jones)
          Concrete Proposal No. 1
            re Tuning Template
• “Introduction to the Subject Area” is the first field
  in the Tuning Template
• LITRU proposes that this be completed by
   –   Adopting text of Recommendation R(92)15
   –   Adapting text of R(92)15 to reflect changes
   –   Principal changes deal with Internet Law
   –   And use of Internet as a research tool
   –   The use of wireless telecommunications
• A drafting group of WG3 (not more than 3
  members) by e-mail draft the amendments to
  this first field in the Tuning Template
   Objectives vs. target audiences
      “Map of the professions”
• The pedagogical objectives of both post-
  graduate and continuing education are largely
  the same
  – Keeping law practitioners up-dated with the legal
    applications and implications of technology
• The target audiences and means of delivery
  may be different
  – “Freshmen” vs. Up-grading of existing resources
  – Part-time vs. full-time
  – Distance learning vs. (or complementing) on-site
       Concrete proposal No.2
     Identifying target audiences
• The current Tuning template is too
  restrictively intended for 1st, 2nd & 3rd cycle
  degrees
• There is no real intention to provide for
  continuing education
• This requires an agreed definition of
  continuing education (Is this synonymous
  to Continuing Professional Development?)
• The target audiences must be identified
  (practising solicitors, barristers, judges,
  legal administrators, in-house lawyers)
    Defining characteristics of
     Continuing Education:
 Dimensions of Time & Modularity
• Rarely full-time
• When full-time, delivered in a short, sharp
  burst i.e. a “full-immersion” course of a few
  days or, maximum, a few weeks.
• Often part-time and delivered in once-or
  twice weekly evening sessions or a series
  of week-end sessions (often
  complemented by distance learning)
• Up-dating of previously learned materials
• Modularity
 The notion of complementarity
• In most undergraduate Law degrees
  around Europe, Computers & Law is
  taught in modules which complement
  teaching of basic core law modules
• In many post-graduate (2 & 3 cycle)
  degrees around Europe Computers & Law
  is taught as a “stand-alone” subject of
  specialisation which builds upon
  knowledge of core principles in law
     Concrete Proposal No.3
   Complementarity & Modularity
• That the field in the Tuning Template in
  “Role of subject in other degree
  programmes” be described in terms of
  complementarity
• That the susceptibility of the subject to be
  broken down into stand-alone modules Eg.
  Data Protection Law, Computer Crime,
  Software & database protection makes it
  ideal for continuing education “digestible
  chunks”
       Concrete Proposal No.4
          Periodic Review
• The speed of change in Technology Law
  means that the subject needs to be re-
  visited often
• The Tuning Template should therefore
  also deal with the periodicity of the review
  and refreshing of previously learnt
  materials
• In line with other instances e.g. R(87)15
  the period of review should probably be
  somewhere in the region of 5-10 years
  (but no later)
A matter of resource-management
• The economics and human resource
  management issues of legal education
  gravitate around Law Schools
• In relative terms there are very few
  examples of legal education which is not
  provided by Law Schools
• Most of the best-qualified teaching
  resources to deliver BOTH or EITHER
  Post-graduate education and Continuing
  Legal Education are to be found in Law
  Schools and currently do so
      Concrete proposal No.5
 Link Post-Graduate & Continuing
• Recognize that the same resources are
  often used to provide BOTH under-
  graduate AND post-graduate education
  AS WELL AS continuing education
• Many of the modules used in
  undergraduate and post-graduate
  education may be used in continuing
  education
    “Harmonised” experiences at the
          University of Malta
•   Erasmus students
•   Exchange & Visiting Professors
•   Visiting Judges
•   LITRU’s current students include
    – 4 German students
    – 1 French student
    – 40 Maltese students
• These follow substantive law courses
  without difficulty
      The subject lends itself to
          harmonisation…
       & continuing education
• Students can follow same lectures across
  Europe
  – Data Protection Directive (EU 46/95)
  – Computer Crime (CoE Cybercrime Conv)
  – Database directive
  – Software directive
  – Data retention directive
  – Spam directive
  – Computer contracts
    Concrete Proposal No.6
Transborder Continuing Education
• Many of the modules used may be used
  across borders since much of Computer
  Law across Europe is harmonised
• This improves resource-management
  since expertise in certain areas should be
  shared across nations
• Law schools should be encouraged to
  carry out JOINT Continuing Education
  programmes across borders e.g for judges
  in Cybercrime or internet law
     Concrete Proposal No. 7
   Modularity, Workload & ECTS
• Harmonised with Post-Graduate WG
• Typical ECTS
  – Data Protection & FoI - 4 credits
  – Computer Crime - 4 credits
  – Intellectual Property – 4 credits
  – System Projects & Contract – 4 credits
• Four or five year cycle in continuing
  education to comprise 4 credits per year
     Concrete Proposal No 8
  Continuing Education & Mobility
• Objective: to improve mobility of legal
  professions across Europe
• Provision of legal education to persons
  trained in law in other European
  jurisdictions
• Use of continuing education to facilitate
  mobility from one jurisdiction to another
• Use of distance learning to deliver
• WG3 sub-group should be tasked to study
  lawyers directive and write it into Tuning
     Concrete Proposal No.9
   Accreditation of Prior Learning
• The modularity of Computer & Law
  subjects lend themselves to accretion of
  credits and substantial build-up of
  knowledge
• The clear definition of modules in
  Continuing Education would then assist
  successful participants to receive
  accreditation for such learning in more
  formal learning structures such as masters
  degrees
       Some problems ahead
• As Fernando Galindo said, there is no
  real, clearly defined, European POLICY on
  continuing education
• A greater difficulty is the fact that there is
  no Europe-wide common standard for
  requirements for continuing education for
  members of the legal professions
• Requirements may range from X hours per
  year to nothing at all
• Methods of assessment: presence and/or
  exams

								
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