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Philip Leith is Professor of Law at Queen's University Belfast. He has degrees in sociology, systems analysis, computer science and law. Books published:
The Jurisprudence of Orthodoxy: Queen's University Essays on H.L.A.Hart. editor (with P.Ingram), Routledge, 1988.
Formalism in AI and Computer Science, Ellis Horwood/Simon and Schuster, London and New York, 1990.
The Computerised Lawyer, Springer-Verlag, London, New York and Berlin, 1991.
The Barrister's World and the Nature of Law, (with John Morison), Open University Press, Milton Keynes and Philadelphia, 1992. Also published by Ahditat Books, New Dehli, 1993. Full text.
The Computerised Lawyer (2nd Fully Revised Edition - with Amanda Hoey), Springer-Verlag, London, New York and Berlin 1998.
Harmonisation of Intellectual Property in Europe: a case study in patent procedure, Vol. 3, Perspectives on Intellectual Property, Sweet & Maxwell, London, 1998. Full text.
Software and Patents in Europe, Cambridge University Press, 2007. Details here.
Propensity to Apply for Judicial Office under the new Northern Ireland Judicial Appointments System: a qualitative study for the Northern Ireland Judicial Appointments Commission, Queen's University, 2009 (with M.Lynch, L. Glennon, B.Dickson, S.Wheeler). Full text.
Professor Leith joined the staff of the Law School in 1985 under the ‘New Blood Lecturer’ scheme with the task of researching the use of the computer in law. In his first years at the law school he received a large IBM grant to develop teaching software in law, but also undertook research and teaching in jurisprudence including editing the critical collection of essays in jurisprudence (“The Jurisprudence of Orthodoxy: Queen's University Essays on H.L.A.Hart”). E-learning in law has remained an interest (in for example the EU funded LAW & ICT Shared Virtual Campus project) but his current two major research and teaching themes are (i) the socio-legal study of the legal profession, judiciary and the European procedural harmonization of private law, and (ii) law and its relationship to technology.
Socio-Legal studies: Professor Leith carried out a major, early study of the bar (with John Morison, published as The Barrister's World and the Nature of Law) which looked at the nature of legal knowledge in the world of practice. He has looked at the practices of the European Patent Office as an example of the harmonising process upon disparate jurisdictions and also the Boards of Appeal of the EPO where technical competence meets the judicial task. More recently he led the law school research project for the Northern Ireland Judicial Appointments Committee (NIJAC) looking at reasons for considering judicial careers or otherwise. This study impacted upon the practices of NIJAC. A follow up study is currently underway and will be published later in 2012.
Law and Technology: Professor Leith ran the first European LLM in Computers and Law (from 1988) for almost 15 years and his interests in the relationship between law and technology has covered both application of the computer and the effect that the computer has had on regulation by law. The private law aspects of IT have been the main areas of research: intellectual property, privacy, and IT Law. He has undertaken research in litigation in intellectual property (funded by the Leverhulme Trust), definition of software patents (ESRC funded), expanding the legal information marketplace as part of an eContent project (EU funded) and privacy/data protection and trust issues in eGovernment, a field where private and public law meet. The latter also involved participation as the legal expert in the EU funded Huwy project. Professor Leith currently edits the journal The European Journal of Law and Technology.
Teaching: Professor Leith has taught a variety of subjects during his time at Queen’s – jurisprudence, computer and law applications, employment law, research methods, etc. but his current teaching in the law school includes the modules: IT Law; Press Privacy and New Technology. He has supervised several PhD students and is currently supervising in the field of legal aid and access to justice.
External Links: Professor Leith has been a Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies in London, a visiting professor at the Maximillians University in Munich, a Research Associate at the AHRB IP Centre in Edinburgh University, and Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Governance at Queen’s. He has been an active member of the EU funded summer school, LEGIS held in Istanbul.
He has been an active developer of exchange programmes for the law school since the 1980s including Erasmus, the ESF programme, Eulisp programme, and Alfa programme (South American developments in IT Law).
He has been active with the British & Irish Law and Technology Association (BILETA) since its inception (including having been Chair), is currently a Trustee of the British & Irish Legal Information Institute (BAILII ) where he was responsible for initiating the OpenLaw project funded by JISC, was active with the Society for Computers and Law, both in Northern Ireland and as a council member.
He has been external examiner for a number of universities focusing on intellectual property and information technology courses at QMW, Cork, Galway, UCD and Strathclyde. He is currently an external for the University of London on various LLM programmes.
He is member of the Advisory Board of ScriptEd; member of the Advisory Board, Information and Communications Law, an Associate Editor of the Int. Rev. of Law Computers and Technology, Chair, Open Access Law Group; and a member of the Management Board, LEFIS (Legal Framework for the Information Society).
Recent articles include:
Chapters in Books
"Automated Documentation and Law: Developing Schweighofer's" Strukturierung der Juristischen Semantik - Structuring Legal Semantics (Editions Weblaw, Bern) , 2011
"Richard de Mulder: the path of jurimetrics" Something bigger than yourself: Essays in honour of Richard de Mulder (Erasmus University) , 2011
"Privacy as Slogan" Legal Privacy (Prensas Universitarias, Zaragoza) , 2008
“Can Jurisprudence Without Empiricism Ever be a Science?" Jurisprudence or Legal Science? (Hart, with John Morison), 2005
"Europe’s Information Society project and Digital Inclusion: universal service obligations or social solidarity?" International Journal of Law and Information Technology, Vol. 20, pp. 1-25, August 2012
"E-Participation and E-Participants: solving the patent ‘crisis’." International Review Of Law Computers And Technology, Vol. 25(3), 2011
"Enabling Free On-line Access to UK Law Reports: The Copyright Problem" International Journal of Law and Information Technology, Vol. 18, pp. 72-93, 2010
"The Rise and Fall of the Legal Expert System" European Journal of Law and Technology, Vol. 1, pp. 1-16, 2010
"Re-engineering Sources of Law for Unaided Litigants" European Journal of Law and Technology, Vol. 1, pp. 1-9, 2010
"New Technology and Researchers’ Access to Court and Tribunal Information: the need for European analysis" SCRIPT-ed, Vol. 6, pp. 1-23, 2009
"Patenting programs as machines" SCRIPT-ed, Vol. 3(4), 2007
"The Socio-legal Context of Privacy" International Journal of Law in Context
Vol. 2(2), pp. 105-136, June 2006
"Squeezing Information out of the Information Commissioner: Mapping and Measuring through On-Line Public Registers" SCRIPT-ed, Vol. 3 (4), pp. 389-411, June 2006
"Developing European Legal Information Markets based on Government Information" International Journal of Law and Information Technology,
Vol. 12(3), pp. 247-281, January 2004 (with Karen McCullagh)
"“Communication and Dialogue: What Government Websites might tell us about Citizenship and Governance”" International Review of Law, Computers And Technology, Vol. 18, pp. 25-36, March 2004 (with John Morison)