The 2nd International Computational Law Forum at Tsinghua Law School



From September 21st to 22nd 2019, the 2nd International Computational Law Forum on “Digital Economy Governance and Legal Tech Innovation” has been successfully held at Tsinghua University. This Forum was organized by Tsinghua University School of Law and the Institute for Studies on Artificial Intelligence & Law of Tsinghua University (THUIAIL), with particular attention given to the enhancement of cooperation between academic networks in different jurisdictions. The aims of this Forum were exploring the theoretical development and the practice of Computational Law, analyzing the topics on the protection of data in digital economy, platform governance, supervision of emerging technologies, etc. It also focused on the in-depth exploration of the big data application and quantitative analysis in the legal fields, as well as the innovation of LegalTech in recent years.

The 2nd International Computational Law Forum has been characterized by internationalization and professionalism; it has significantly promoted the perfection of the theoretical system of Computational Law. On this Forum, judges, researchers and scholars, technical experts, practitioners of Internet companies coming from China, United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Singapore, Indonesia, Estonia and other countries have delivered excellent speeches on each panel. More than 200 conferees have participated effectively in the discussion as well as the academic interaction on the main forum and six sub-forums.

On this Forum, a number of experts from different departments have shared their opinions and wisdom, for example Prosecutor Zhao Zhigang (Director of the Information Center of  Supreme People’s Procuratorate of China), Judge Zhang Wen (President of Beijing Internet Court), Judge Du Qian (President of the Hangzhou Internet Court), Professor Zhang Xinbao (Renmin University of China Law School), Professor Long Weiqiu (Dean of the Law School of Beihang University), Professor Liu Yanhong (Dean of Southeast University School of Law), Dean Professor William M. Treanor (Dean of Georgetown University Law Center), Dean Professor Edmon Makarim (of the Faculty of Law, University of Indonesia), Professor Thomas Fetzer (University of Mannheim Department of Law), Professor Christiane Wendehorst (University of Vienna Faculty of Law), Dr. Christina Yan Zhang (China Director at QS Intelligence Unit), Dr. Danil Kermi (World Economic Forum, Head of Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution). Scholars from Tsinghua University including Professor Cheng Xiao (Vice Dean of Tsinghua University School of Law), Associate Professor Gao Simin (Vice Dean of Tsinghua University School of Law), Professor He Haibo, Professor Wang Hongliang, Associate Professor Zhao Xiaoli, Associate Professor Wu Weiguang, Associate Professor Jiang Ge, and Associate Professor Liu Han (Vice director of the Institute for Studies on Artificial Intelligence & Law, Tsinghua University).

Professor Xue Qikun (Academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Vice President of Tsinghua University) has given the opening remark on behalf of Tsinghua University to express his sincere welcome to the guests. He has expressed the warmest congratulations to the successful launch of the 2nd International Computing Law Conference, and expected that the interdisciplinary development of Computational Law could provide a safe and controllable legal guarantee for the emerging technologies. He expected the rapid development of information technology to benefit the construction of a society ruled-by-law as well as legal professionals.

(Professor Xue Qikun, Vice President of Tsinghua University,

Academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences)

Professor Shen Weixing, Dean of Tsinghua University School of Law, has delivered a keynote speech entitled “Computational Law: International Trend and Opportunity in China”. He has pointed out that the aim of Computational Law is solving the legal problems arising from the iteration in Information and Technology, the Computational Law is a new discipline to solve legal problems via information technology, to develop the application of intelligent technology in the legal industry, and to realize the requirements of cultivating young talents with international perspective and innovative spirit. He has referred that after a long-term accumulation, this new discipline of Computational Law has already exhibited a prosperous future in legal research worldwide. Tsinghua University advocates to develop Computational Law based on the rapid development of technological innovation as well as the improvement and modernization of governance capacity in contemporary China, to seize the opportunities of the digital economic era in the fields of data, network & Artificial Intelligence. He also appealed more colleagues and professionals to engage in the construction of this new discipline and create the future of computational law.

(Professor Shen Weixing, Dean of Tsinghua University School of Law)

Dr. Christina Yan Zhang, China Director at QS Intelligence Unit, has delivered a keynote speech entitled “Cultivating World-Class Legal Talents in the Age of Industry 4.0”. Taking the orientation and purpose of QS Global Education Group as an example, she has put forward that legal education in the age of industry 4.0 should be erudite and informed, and it will be necessary to strengthen the study of the history of science and establish a knowledge-sharing system of intelligent global law.

(Dr. Christina Yan Zhang, China Director at QS Intelligence Unit)

Professor Zhang Xinbao, who is the professor of Renmin University of China Law School, as well as the Chief Editor of China Legal Science, has delivered a keynote speech entitled “Protection of Privacy, Personal Information, and Data: Institutional Arrangements of Chinese Civil Law”. He has explained the historical evolution process of how to strengthen the protection of privacy, personal information, and data in Chinese civil legislation. Also, he has pointed out that though Article 111 of the General Provisions of Chinese Civil Law (hereinafter referred to as “GPCL”) regulates the protection of personal information, it does not indicate whether the personal information is a right or an interest, which leads to a blurred relationship between personal information and the protection of privacy under Article 110 of GPCL. Besides, there may be an intersection between personal information and privacy in the area of sensitive information and private information, which may bring a dual protection from the personal information right and privacy. Furthermore, the Article 127 of GPCL is regarded as a general provision on data protection, but it does not indicate whether data is considered as the object of property rights or as the property rights themselves; for all these issues there are no definite answers in the current Draft of Chinese Civil Code which was influenced by the Pandekten system. At the end of the speech, he has referred that separate laws should be enacted as special laws in order to provide a complete legal system of data protection in the future.

(Professor Zhang Xinbao,

Law School of Renmin University of China, Chief Editor of China Legal Science)

Professor William M. Treanor, Dean of the Georgetown University Law Center, has delivered a keynote speech entitled “Property, Privacy and Technology Revolution.” He has introduced the computational law team at Georgetown University and pointed out that there should be two directions in the course design of the computational law: firstly, courses of technology could be set up in the curriculum classes which makes students with different backgrounds to understand technology; secondly, legal students should be encouraged to work side by side with technical experts. Besides, on the relationship of property, privacy and technology, Dean Treanor has pointed out that the weight of property rights in the field of privacy and personal information may be less than we expected; legal protection could enhance the social and market value of personal information and privacy; individual control over their personal information may not be easy to implement because of lack of technology and data. In digital age, emerging technologies will bring great challenges to privacy protection standards and rules of property rights which were set 20 years ago.

(Professor William M. Treanor, Dean of the Georgetown University Law Center)

Professor Christiane Wendehorst, the professor of the University of Vienna Faculty of Law and also the President of European Law Institute, has given a keynote speech entitled “Data Ethics in the Digital Economy: Developments in Germany”. She has mentioned that with the rapid development of the digital economy, more and more people were paying attention to the topic of data ethics, in Germany, a German Data Ethics Committee was found in 2018. German Scholars have carried out an in-depth study of data ethics from the aspects of how to deal with data (including non-personal data), and put forward the constructive work for building a legal framework of data ethics.

(Professor Christiane Wendehorst, Faculty of Law, University of Vienna, President of European Law Institute)

Professor Liu Yanhong, Dean and Professor of the School of Law of Southeast University has been invited to speak as panelist, she has pointed out three models for the protection of data rights: the model of personal data protection based on personal dignity and individual’s autonomy, the theory of privacy information protection based on citizen’s freedom, and the outcoming Chinese data right protection model based on the protection of privacy and personality rights. Also, from the prospective of criminal law, the protection of personal information in China has been established for a long time and was quite strict, to a certain extent it has influenced the current codification of Chinese civil law. She has proposed that China’s personal information could be protected from three aspects: firstly, the perfection of legal system for personal information protection in all the related fields such as constitutional law, civil law, criminal law and administrative law; secondly, the establishment of standards for the determination of infringement upon personal information; lastly but most importantly, clear definition of the scope of personal information.

(Professor Liu Yanhong, Dean and Professor of the School of Law of Southeast University)

Prosecutor Zhao Zhigang, the Director of the Information Center of People’s Supreme Procuratorate of China, has delivered a keynote speech entitled “Epistemology, Methodology and Praxis of Intelligent Strategy in Work of Politics and Law”. He has emphasized that the significance of Intelligent Strategy in judicial and political work. According to the Chinese Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission, the application of Intelligent Strategy (LegalTech) is related to the level of modernization of political and legal affairs, as well as the achievement of comprehensively implement of the rule of law. The Intelligent Strategy is also an essential part of the construction of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics in President Xi’s era, it is of great significance for the development of Digital China.

(Prosecutor Zhao Zhigang, Director of the Information Center of People’s Supreme Procuratorate of China)

Judge Zhang Wen, the President of Beijing Internet Court, has given a keynote speech entitled “Rules in Judgments and Promotion of Digital Governance: A Probe into the Trial Practice by Beijing Internet Court”. In this speech, she has pointed out several important technological solutions in judicial practice. According to Judge Zhang Wen, juridical decisions in the trials should be connected to concrete scenarios, in today’s society, it is necessary to understand the technology and keep up with the its development. Grasping the judicial demand and taking the application of new products into consideration is also essential. In judgments decision making  should pay attention to the rigidity of law as well as the goodwill of judicature in the age with rapid development of technology. Moreover, it is considerable for judges to make a diversity consideration and pay attention to the feedbacks from the voices of the netizens.

(Judge Zhang Wen, the President of Beijing Internet Court)

Judge Du Qian, the President of the Hangzhou Internet Court, has maken a keynote speech entitled “Approach to Intelligent Justice”. She has pointed out that, at present, Artificial Intelligence has been explored and applied in many circumstances, which will also play a role in the improvement of the judicial efficiency of the court. However, due to the openness of judicial decisions, intelligent court is still in the primary stage. Therefore, it is difficult to find and predict the specific standards of regularity, and resulting in the poor quality of judicial products of artificial intelligence. She also has proposed to build an intelligent rule of law China in three aspects: building a complete and available legal knowledge map, exploring more effective and advanced algorithms, and training excellent integrated talents of law and artificial intelligence.

(Judge Du Qian, the President of the Hangzhou Internet Court)

Professor Edmon Makarim, the Dean and Professor of the University of Indonesia Faculty of Law, has delivered a keynote speech entitled “Trustworthiness and Spectrum of Liability in ICT”. He has referred that in the cyber world, confirming ownership of programming is the first step in whether the world of code can be trusted. He has suggested that a reliable trust mechanism should be established by understanding the sources of risk, formulating national security standards and national norms of the corresponding industry, and improving public policies, including the establishment of laws and regulations on information security. He also has pointed out that to ensure the corresponding compensation, it is necessary to divide responsibility dimensions and determine the nature of responsibility.

(Professor Edmon Makarim, Dean of the University of Indonesia Faculty of Law)

Dr. Danil Kermi, the Head of Center for the World Economic Forum of Fourth Industrial Revolution, has given a keynote speech entitled “Health Data: Applications and Governance Challenges”. Taking an example of the role of a Joint Data Set in precision medicine, he has referred that the processing of data in the digital economy was a great challenge to the trust mechanism and personal privacy. Besides, from the perspective of stakeholders and Industry 4.0 revolution, Kermi has believed that there would be still new losers ad winners arising from the current industrial revolution, but this revolution would be more inclusive, and all stakeholders have to work together. In this way, we could ensure that additional laws and regulations could keep pace with the industry transformation or technological innovation brought about by the development of Industry 4.0, and human beings can obtain the latest technological development regardless of gender and color.

(Dr. Danil Kermi, Head of Center for the World Economic Forum of Fourth Industrial Revolution)

Dr. Cui Guobin, the Associate Professor of Tsinghua University School of Law, has given a keynote speech entitled “Theoretical Basis of Limited Exclusive Rights in Big Data”. From the perspective of restricting data rights, he has pointed out that the protection of big data should be limited to the protection of the right of public communication. This is because the subsequent use of data was very diverse, and the right holder excessive control would increase the cost of society. Therefore, limited rights can be set up on big data, but it is still regarded as property, and it is an inevitable trend to combine the rules of property transaction with big data's property rights in the future.

(Prof. Cui Guobin, the Associate Professor of Tsinghua University School of Law)

Professor Chen Qixing, who comes from Huazhong University of Science and Technology School of Law has been invited as one of the panelists of the main forum and also participant to China Alliance for the Development of Computational Law. He has expressed concern that with the rapid development of technology, the gap between the legal profession and the public has further widened.  He has given certain suggestions on the application of legal-tech in the field of dispute mediation, the legal issues of online medical treatment.

(Professor Chen Qixing, Huazhong University of Science and Technology School of Law)

This Forum fully has embodied the characteristics of interdisciplinary, knowledge integration and cross-border exchange, and highlights the orientation of problem research. There has been six panels including “Data Utilization and Data Governance in Digital economy”, “Governance of Internet Platform in Digital economy”, “Governance and Legal Rules for Artificial Intelligence”, “New Technology and Legal Supervision”, “Application of Legal Big Data & Quantitative Analysis”, and a closing ceremony named “Computational Law as an Emerging Discipline”. During these panels, guests from home and abroad have given the speeches and discussions which covered the main direction of the current research of computational law. Experts worldwide have deeply discussed the academic topics of computational law, which were of common concern in the fields of judicature, research, and industry.

At this forum, the China Alliance for the Development of Computational Law has been officially launched. Participating in the alliance included Tsinghua University School of Law, Shanghai Jiaotong University Koguan Law School, School of Law of Southeast University, Sichuan University Law School, Huazhong University of Science and Technology School of Law, and School of Artificial Intelligence & Law of Southwest University of Political Science & Law. In the future, this alliance will cooperate closely in the field of computational law, such as talent training, scientific research, international exchange, and social service, its establishment is a landmark to the construction and development of the discipline of computational law in our country.

(The Launch of China Alliance for the Development of Computational Law)