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Centre for Commercial Law Studies

Technology, Media and Telecommunications Law Institute

The Technology, Media and Telecommunications Law Institute (TMTI) incorporates the activities of Queen Mary academics that teach and research in the areas of laws concerned with media, information and communications technologies. The Institute in its current form was established in 2019, building on an ongoing tradition of QMUL involvement in this area for over three decades.

Academic members

Support Staff

Angeliki Polatou

Visiting Staff

  • Robin Callender Smith, Honorary Professor of Media Law
  • David Goldberg, Senior Visiting Fellow
  • Valerie Eliot Smith, Senior Visiting Scholar 

Teaching

Our flagship programme is the London-based Technology, Media and Telecommunications Law LLM, which includes the following modules:

Semester 1

Semester 2

Paris LLM

We also provide a range of LLM modules to study at our Paris location on the Paris LLM programme.

Online programmes

In 2003, we began to offer one of the earliest wholly online LLM programmes in the UK. Find out more about the Technology, Media and Telecommuciations Law Online LLM.

Alternatively, for those looking for a shorter commitment than a full LLM, we also offer online Diploma and Certificate programmes:

Undergradaute

The TMTI currently contributes one module on the QMUL undergraduate programme, LAW6006 Media Law, created, convened and taught by Gavin Sutter.

QMUL-Beijing University of Post and Telecommunications

Since 2006 we have provided teaching input across a range of course modules to support the undergraduate joint programme between Queen Mary and Beijing University of Post and Telecommunications (BUPT). The programme is led by the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science and we contribute to the BSc in eCommerce Engineering with Law. For the TMTI, the programme director is Gavin Sutter.

We were also involved in teaching on courses for the summer programmes of US universities, specifically the University of Pacific McGeorge School of Law (2007-8) and the Southwestern Law School in California (2009-2011).

Research

Current Projects

Cloud Computing Legal Research – Microsoft Funded

The Cloud Legal Project (CLP) undertakes research in complex areas of law and regulation that are essential to the successful development and use of cloud computing services.

CLP was launched in 2009 by members of the Centre for Commercial Law Studies (CCLS) at Queen Mary University of London with generous financial support from Microsoft Corporation. Since 2014, we have also been collaborating with the Department of Computer Science and Technology at the University of Cambridge as part of the Microsoft Cloud Computing Research Centre.

Our current research covers a wide range of topics, including governance of cloud services, cloud contracts, data protection and privacy, cloud robotics, taxation of cloud providers and services, and the legal status of online digital assets. To be kept updated on Cloud Legal Project publications and other project news, please see the project website at http://www.cloudlegal.ccls.qmul.ac.uk/

Other Projects

EU Data Protection Directive – Which? Contract 2011

In 2011, we were awarded a contract by Which? to consider reforms of the EU Data Protection Directive and its impact on consumer protection.

Law 2.0 Effective Lawmaking for Cyberspace – Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship 2009-2011

In 2009, Chris Reed was awarded a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship. The Fellowships are aimed at senior scholars who intend to pursue a substantial and important project. They are awarded on a competitive basis and around 90% of applications are unsuccessful. Chris Reed's award for 2009-11 was one of only two awards made in Law for the entire UK during that application round. His project was entitled ‘Law 2.0 - effective lawmaking for cyberspace’; it investigated how lawmaking for cyberspace can be effective, by identifying and analysing the fundamental principles and techniques which produce successful cyberspace law, and by explaining the application of those principles and techniques to cyberspace lawmaking and the limitations on their use. Several academic papers on different aspects of lawmaking principle and technique were published during the term of the project, which also informed his 2012 book Making Laws for Cyberspace.

Enforcement of Consumer Laws over the Internet 2010

In 2010, we were awarded a contract by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills to carry out a comparative study of enforcement of consumer laws over the Internet. The project was led by Julia Hörnle.

Open Source Licences Survey 2010

Also in 2010, we received a generous gift from Microsoft to conduct a survey of Open Source licenses (£46,000). The survey examines licenses that are considered to be Open Source. Licenses are classified according to broad categories such as strong copyleft, weak copyleft, no copyleft, as well as licenses that do not comply with the Open Source Definition, although often mistaken to be so. Each of these individual licenses is then examined and analysed in detail, with a view to identify its core aspects in relation to a number of factors. We are also categorizing the licenses by reference to the business model or operational environment that is stated or perceived to underpin each type of license. Academic papers mapping the legal analysis of Open Source licenses will be published at the end of the project. Due to an increasing proliferation of Open Source software into industries across the spectrum, the project may extend to a second stage where it will focus on Open Standards.

DG Trade of the European Commission Contract – De Jure Rules 2008

In 2008, the TMTI in its then form was awarded a contract by DG Trade of the European Commission, to examine the de jure rules in five major service sectors (maritime transport, construction, distribution, postal and courier services and telecommunications) in twelve major trading countries. The objective of the study is to analyse such rules against liberalisation commitments made in bilateral, regional and multilateral trade agreements, with a view to assisting Commission trade officials in their future negotiations (€54,600).

Publications

We continue to publish widely in journals, and books (both contributions to and writing entire academic books). 

  • Rethinking the Jurisprudence of Cyberspace, Chris Reed & Andrew Murray, Edward Elgar, February 2020
  • Telecommunications Law and Regulation, ed. Ian Walden (5th edition), Oxford University Press, March 2015
  • Making Laws for Cyberspace, Chris Reed, Oxford University Press, 2012
  • Media Law and Practice, eds. David Goldberg, Gavin Sutter & Ian Walden Oxford University Press, October 2009 (Second edition forthcoming in early 2021)
  • Cross-border Internet Dispute Resolution, Julia Hörnle, Cambridge University Press, 2009
  • Computer Crimes and Digital Investigations, Ian Walden, Oxford University Press, 2007.
  • Computer Law, eds. Chris Reed and John Angel, Oxford University Press, 2007 (Millard, Sutter and Walden are contributing authors)
  • Online Gambling and International Law, Julia Hörnle, Brigitte Zammit, Elgar Publishing, 2010
  • Intellectual Property Law: Economic and Social Justice Perspectives, Anne Flanagan, Maria Lilla Montagnani, Elgar Publishing, 2010

Members of the TMTI are also involved in the production of journals in our area of specialism. Julia Hörnle (Managing Editor) and Christopher Millard (General Editor) are involved with the International Journal and Law and Information Technology (OUP); while David Goldberg, Gavin Sutter and Ian Walden are on the Advisory Panel for Communications Law (Bloomsbury Professional).

Events

The TMTI holds a mix of internal and external-facing events across the academic year. In June 2019, our inaugural event as the TMTI was hosted by Bird & Bird LLP at their New Fetter Lane London HQ. Under the title Hate Speech. Fake News & Social Media: Time for New Responsibilities or Moral Panic? , the event considered the implications of the Government’s Online Harms White Paper, with a range of speakers and panellists drawn from legal practice, parliament, regulators and social media companies. The event was a great success, and we will be announcing the details of our next big event in due course.

External impact

Members of the TMTI have also been involved in law reform initiatives in a number of individual states, i.e. Cambodia (Walden), Lao PDR (Walden), Bahrain (Walden) and China (Flanagan, Hörnle). Closer to home, Gavin Sutter was, in 2018, called to appear before the Scottish Executive’s Justice Committee as an expert witness on defamation law reform, and continues to contribute to ongoing consultation on Scottish law reform in this area.

Julia Hörnle has been invited by the EU-China Information Society Project to act as expert advising the Chinese government on the UK/EU approach to Internet law & regulation (managed four projects in 2007-2009: online arbitration, spam, virtual worlds & virtual law and consumer protection in e-commerce). She was also invited as expert to the ‘Internet Summit’ Round Table organised by Minister Gareth Thomas MP (January 2008) to advise on consumer protection and e-commerce policy.

Gavin Sutter is a member of the executive board of BILETA (British & Irish Law, Education & Technology Association), a role he has held since 2002. He also served as BILETA Vice Chair 2010-2012, and Chair 2013-2015. From 2018-2020 he served as Convenor for the Media and Communications Section of the Society of Legal Scholars.

Ian Walden was a member of the Press Complaints Commission from December 2009 until March 2014, having previously served as an independent non-executive board member and trustee of the Internet Watch Foundation, from 2004-2009.

In January 2010, Ian Walden was appointed by the Government to the Executive Board of the UK Council for Child Internet Safety and Board Champion for Self-regulation.