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5 Law Innovation & Tech. 1 (2013)

handle is hein.journals/linovte5 and id is 1 raw text is: DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5235/17579961.5.1.1

How to Think about Law, Regulation and
Technology: Problems with'Technology'
as a Regulatory Target
Lyria Bennett Moses*
Lawyers have long been fascinated by new technologies. As quickly as new inventions and
new industries are developed, lawyers and scholars have rushed to examine their legal
implications. New specialties are born, while others wither. One can track the trends in
legal publishing-a lot of interest while it is a hot topic, dropping off once it is perceived
as more boring (with a few more established academics hanging on).' There are still
space lawyers, but they no longer write about whether aliens have constitutional rights
or whether transfer of a space platform requires a deed or bill of sale.2 The hot topics of
one era cease to be fascinating. Questions of law and regulation remain, of course, but
the technology that is 'regulated' fades into the background. Those writing about traffic
laws, rail franchises and workplace safety rarely self-identify as technology lawyers.
Despite this, there is a strong sense among legal scholars, practitioners and stu-
dents that there is something important to say about the intersection between law or
regulation on the one side and technology on the other. The large number of journals
purporting to publish articles at the law/technology interface is testament to this. Indeed,
many legal and regulatory problems arise on the technological frontier. Whether it be
the safety of nanomaterials, the privacy implications of social media, ethical and legal
issues associated with new biomedical technologies or the implications of developments
in neuroscience for criminal law, new technologies are frequently the source of legal
1 University of New South Wales, Australia. The author is grateful for insightful comments and suggestions
offered by colleagues at UN SW, members of the faculty at King's College London who generously hosted
her sabbatical, and the editors. All websites accessed June 2013.
1 Sara K Stadler,'Essay: The Bulls and the Bears of Law Teaching' (2006) 63 Washington and Lee Law Review
2  For a fascinating insight into'golden age' space law scholarship, see Barton Beebe, 'Law's Empire and the
Final Frontier: Legalizing the Future in the Earlyopus Juris Spatialis' (1999) 108 Yale Lawjournal 34.

(2013) 5(1) LIT 1-20

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