09945 - Legal Computer Science (A-C)

Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Moduli: Monica Palmirani (Modulo 1) Michela Rossi (Modulo 2)
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures (Modulo 1) Traditional lectures (Modulo 2)
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: Single cycle degree programme (LMCU) in Law (cod. 9232)

    Also valid for Single cycle degree programme (LMCU) in Law (cod. 9232)

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course students will have learned the basic principles of computer science and how they apply to the law. Students will gain a grasp of the way information technology is used in the economy, in government, and in society, especially when dealing with the law. They will be able to critically analyse the social and legal implications of the use of such technologies. They will also learn the law applying to information technology and will be able to analyse information and technological systems in light of the evolving national, European, and international legal framework. They will understand the use of concepts in computer science and will be enabled to gain new skills in that area as technology and the law develop, and they will learn to bring information technology to bear on the legal profession.

Course contents

The course is divided into two parts: legal informatics and IT law

Legal Informatics - module prof. Monica Palmirani

  • introduction to legal informatics: concept, evolution of the discipline, applications, prospects;

  • informational and IT system: the knowledge society model and its application to legal information systems;

  • computers and information processing: hardware, from algorithms to software, software lifecycle;

  • structuring and archiving of data and texts: archives, databases, and document management (HTML, XML);

  • distributed knowledge society: telematics, computer networks, the Internet, the Web, the semantic Web, Web 2.0, peer-to-peer and cloud computing;

  • dematerialization society: domain names, cryptography, digital signatures;

  • artificial intelligence and law: artificial intelligence, rule-based, big data and legal reasoning systems;

  • blockchain and smart contract.

    IT Law

  • protection of IT goods under trademark and copyright law: software, databases, multimedia works , domain names;

  • e-commerce and online contracts: online contracts; e-commerce, consumer protection

  • new legal regimes for digital content: open source and creative commons;

  • personal data protection: privacy and personality rights; freedom and information; data security;

  • IT documents and electronic signatures: cryptography, legal force, probatory value;

  • legal issues related to artificial intelligence, big data, blockchain, smart contract.

The programme is the same for all the students (attendees or not attendees), including also the ERASMUS students.

The student that needs integration of credits has to contact the professor via email for defining modality of the exam and the appropriate material according to the number of credits.


The course is based on the following two texts:

  • G. Sartor, Corso di Informatica Giuridica. L'informatica giuridica e le tecnologie dell'informazione,Giappichelli, Torino, 2016 ISBN 978-88-9210593-5.
  • AA.VV., Temi di diritto dell'informatica, a cura di Claudio di Cocco e Giovanni Sartor, Giappichelli, 22020 (Nuova edizione), ISBN 978-88-9213320-4.

Students are highly recommended to read the following text expecially if they have the intention to attend to the "Rights of the Net" seminars:

  • A. Masera and G. Scorza, Internet: Ii nostril diritti (Bari: Laterza, 2016), ISBN: 9788858123737.

The coursepack and material provided on the course webpage are only meant to provide guidance for students investigating the course contents on their own (see the section "Teaching tools").

For those who attend the course, we focus on topics emerging by the emerging case-law.

Teaching methods

Frontal Lectures and Online

The course includes frontal and online lectures following one of the modality described in this Web page:https://dsg.unibo.it/en/teaching/projects-and-teaching-methodologies/teaching-modes-at-dsg-on-i-semester-a-y-2020-2021.

During the lectures the teacher uses slides, that are an outline of the main topics, including videos, practical sections. During the course the teacher may propose additional seminars about new emerging topics that are strongly connected with the discipline.

Attendance Rule

The attendance is not mandatory, but strongly reccomended for coping with the goals and the objectives of the course. Attending the lectures the student may acquire rapidaly the technical terminology, the fundationals, the basis, and so to make progresses in the autonomous study methodology.

The students that not are able to attend the course should in any case download all the material, including slides, that the teacher provides during the lectures (see the section "Teaching tools"),and in any case please contact the teachers for any problem that you may have.

Assessment methods


The student’s grasp of the material tested through a final exam consisting of a two-hour written test consisting of 4+1 (optional) open-ended questions covering the entire syllabus.

Each question awards maximum of 8 points. The maximum is reachable only if the answer include definitions, examples, argumentation and critical analysis. The average is calculated summing all the scores excluding the lower score. The test is passed with a score of at least 18 points. Example: 7+6,3+5+3 +6-3 =24,3 the final vote is 25.

In case of necessity (e.g., COVID-19 emergency) the exams are provided online following the modality explained in this Web page: https://www.unibo.it/sitoweb/monica.palmirani/avvisi/8b19cc34

The test is to be taken without books, codes, notes, or digital instruments. In case the assistants or the teacher find some of the abovementioned material, the evaluation is annulled.


Students who pass the written test, with a score of at least 18/30, can take the option of completing the evaluation by taking the oral exam, which is evaluated on a pass/fail basis.

The oral exam will consist in discussing the written test by going deeper into the open-ended questions. The oral exam will last about 15 minutes.

In case of necessity (e.g., emergenza COVID-19) the oral exam is performed online using TEAMS platform.

Students who on the written test score 16/30 or 16/30 will then be required to take the oral exam so as to demonstrate that they have gained the knowledge necessary to pass the course.

Test scores will be posted on the course website at <https://virtuale.unibo.it/course/> within 10 days from the writtne exam.

The assessment is aimed at determining whether students have an adequate grasp of the concepts and technologies in legal computer science covered in the course, as well as their ability to reason in a critical and interdisciplinary way on technology and the law.

Foreign students or students who have certified writing disabilities will be assessed on the basis of an oral exam lasting at least 40 minutes.

Please use the information system of UNIBO "Almaesami" for subscribing to the written or oral exames.

Teaching tools

In the resources section of this website—which can also be reached at <https://virtuale.unibo.it/course/>—students will find materials useful to further investigate the issues and topics treated in the course. However, these materials do not replace the mandatory readings, on which basis alone the assessment of student learning will be based.

Students are not required to attend classes but are highly recommended to do so, for this will make it easier to quickly learn the concepts and basic principles needed for an independent and critical investigation of the subject matter.

During the course, focus seminars may be offered, and students are highly encouraged to attend them regularly, for this will be taken into account when making student assessments, as will active participation in all course activities.

The online lectures are disseminated using TEAMS platform.


We offer thesis on the main emerging topics of the discipline. For a recent list of topics you can visit the section "Dissertations" in the professor's web page.

For requesting a thesis in Legal Informatics you must send an email with the following information: name, surname, degree name, year of enrolment, average of exams, number of exams missing, proposal of title and topic.

Office hours

See the website of Monica Palmirani

See the website of Michela Rossi


Quality education Industry, innovation and infrastructure Reduced inequalities Sustainable cities

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.