PhD in Law, Science and Technology

Academic Year 2020-2021
Subject area Legal, Politological, Economic and Statistical Sciences
Cycle 36
Coordinator Prof.ssa Monica Palmirani
Language English
Duration 3 years
Positions 9 positions. More information in the PhD Programme Table
Application deadline May 21, 2020 at 01:00 PM (Expired)
Enrolment period From Jul 08, 2020 to Jul 20, 2020
Doctoral programme start date Nov 01, 2020
Operating centre
Erasmus Mundus Programme
Main Department
Department of Legal Studies - DSG
Associated Departments
Alma Mater Research Institute For Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (Alma Human AI)
Associated locations (agreements)
Università di Torino (UNITO)
Autonoma Universidad de Barcelona (UAB)
University of Luxembourg (UL)
Mykolas Romeris University (MRU)
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
Leibniz Universität Hannover (LUH)
University of Vienna (UNIVIE)
Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM)
Mobility abroad
12 months
Research topics
  • Human Rights and Ethical Principles in new and emerging technologies
  • Ethics and law in Genetics
  • Biotechnology and law
  • Biobanks, DNA and research
  • E-health and Privacy by Design applying AI and Big Data
  • Privacy and eHealth information systems
  • Ethical, Legal and Social Issues in Health
  • Semantic Web and Legal ontologies modelling
  • Legal Analytics and AI for Legal Sources
  • Legal Design techniques for transparency
  • Data Science for Law
  • Digital Humanities and legal sources
  • LegalXML for legal document and knowledge modelling
  • Information Systems for eJustice, eGovernment, and eLegislation
  • Computational models of legal and ethical reasoning
  • Intelligent Information extraction and NLP of legal resources
  • e-Discovery and data mining in Legal domain
  • Legal knowledge extraction using ML
  • Formal Models of Norms and Legal Reasoning Logic-based models of norms and legal knowledge
  • Legal reasoning, including argumentation and reasoning
  • Argumentation systems
  • Game theory as applied to the law
  • Normative Multi-Agent Systems and e-Institutions Regulatory Compliance
  • Automotive Self-driving system and liability
  • Regulation of Robotics and Related Ethical Issues
  • Privacy and Security with New Technology Cybercrime and Computer Forensics
  • Computer forensics and security
  • e-Business and Consumer Law
  • e-Governance and e-Democracy social modelling
  • IPR and New Technology
  • Protection of children online for a safer Internet
  • Digital citizenship and vulnerability of the minor digital identity
  • Blockchain for legal domain
  • eDemocracy: theoretical and technical models
  • Artificial intelligence and democracy in the data society
  • Artificial intelligence and eJustice: legal and technical solutions
  • Big Data governance and law regulation balancing economical and individual rights
Job opportunities and potential areas of employment
The doctoral programme offers innovative and up-to-date integrated training enabling candidates to carry out cutting-edge research in different subjects, such as bioethics and law & computer science, in topics that require a genuine interdisciplinary approach. It includes an internship in the third year offered by 14 industries, where candidates can apply their research and complement it with a professional experience. Upon completing the programme, graduates will become highly skilled researchers and professionals, meeting the requirements of the public and private sectors. They will be able qualified to seek employment, for example, in:
- law firms working on IPR, privacy, e-commerce, and patenting;
- high-tech software houses where artificial intelligence is applied;
- specialised research centres such as medical genetic centres, nanotechnology centres, and robotics laboratories;
- government offices that manage innovative ICT and eGovernment, eJustice, and eParliament projects;
- ethics committees that analyse scientific innovations and write policy documents.
Admission Board

Surname Name Institution Role email
Durante Massimo  Università di Torino Member
Górriz López  Carlos  Autonoma de Barcelona Member
Loreggia Andrea European University Institute Member
Palmirani Monica Università di Bologna Member
Roversi Corrado Università di Bologna Member
Van Der Torre Leon  University of Luxembourg Member
Vedder Anton  Katholieke Universiteit Leuven Member
Artosi Alberto Università di Bologna Substitute
Baldoni Matteo Università degli Studi di Torino Substitute
Bouvry Pascal Université du Luxembourg  Substitute
Caso Roberto Università di Trento Substitute
Heinze Christian Leibniz Universität Hannover Substitute
Sartor Giovanni Università di Bologna Substitute
Learning outcomes
The objective of the doctoral programme in Law, Science and Technology (LAST-JD) is to offer interdisciplinary integrated competences making it possible to deal with the new challenges the information society and the newly emerging technologies will increasingly pose in the future in the legal domain and the socio-ethical field. Upon completing of the doctoral programme, participants will be able to become legal professionals in specific ICT domains like software, databases, big data, AI, blockchain, robotics; government officials capable of managing eGovernment projects; researchers in specialised laboratories (medical genetic or nanotechnology); members of ethics committees; computer-forensics and security experts; legal-knowledge engineers. IoE technologies are viewed through the lens of the law, ethics, and human rights. Particular attention is dedicated to the Internet of Data, the Internet of Things, the Internet of Persons, the Internet of Health, the Internet of Money.
Activities to be carried out by Doctoral candidates
The first year is spent at UNIBO, providing the methodological instruments needed to do research, while harmonizing the educational stock of knowledge that doctoral students bring from different backgrounds.
The first semester is organized as follows:
- 12 ECTS of lecture courses
- 2 ECTS for Personal Career Development Plan (PCDP)
- 16 ECTS of research.
In the second semester students are to research their thesis topic in depth at either UNITO or UAB:
- 12 ECTS of lecture courses
- 18 ECTS of research.
In the third term candidates choose a location - UL, MRU, KUL, LUH, UNIVIE, or UPM - which in their assessment is best suited for an internship pertaining to the thesis domain:
- 12 ECTS of lecture courses
- 18 ECTS of research.
In the remaining semesters we have the following activities:
- 24 ECTS of research
- 24 ECTS for internships
- 2 ECTS for PCDP
- 40 ECTS for thesis writing.
Research training activities compliant with the Doctoral programme's learning outcomes
Bologna University
20 hours of lectures for a methodological course on doctoral research instruments
40 hours of lectures providing an overview of the main topics, or specific courses for each type of degree background in order to fill gaps in students’ knowledge not provided by previous education.
Torino University
20 hours of lectures
20 hours of a high-level methodological workshop.
Mykolas Romeris University
20 hours of lectures on International Legal Framework for E-Business
20 hours of lectures on Legal Framework and Strategic Aspects of E-Democracy
20 hours of lectures on International Legal Framework of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
University of Luxembourg
20 hours of lectures – Deontic Logic
20 hours of lectures – Legal Argumentation
20 hours of lectures – Regulation of the Internet; a trans-national challenge (offered by the Law Faculty)
Internationalization features
The LAST-JD-RIoE is an International PhD programme under the Horizon 2020 EU project 814177, MSCA ITN (Marie Sklodowska-Curie actions European Joint Doctorates). Doctoral candidates will acquire joint degrees in INTERNATIONAL DOCTORAL DEGREE IN LAW, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY. The consortium is composed of 29 partners (9 beneficiaries, 2 research centers, 4 associate universities, 14 industries) with seven EU countries (Italy, Luxembourg, Lithuania, Spain, Austria, Germany, Belgium) and two non-EU countries (Australia, USA). The nine universities are: the universities of Bologna, Turin, Luxembourg, the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Mykolas Romeris University, the Centre for IT and IP Law, KU Leuven, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Universität Wien. Three terms of mobility, for a total of 18 months, are required to ensure that all students follow courses in an integrated way and can benefit from the specific expertise available at partners universities, providing in particular an opportunity to experience research activity in departments of different kinds (law, computer science, bioethics, genetics) and to familiarize with local languages and the different legal systems of the EU. The research topics are fixed and they concern the Internet of Things coupled with the rights and freedoms. We have also six associated partners, two research centers (ITTIG-CNR, Data61- CSIRO), and four associate universities (Univ. del Piemonte Orientale, Univ. of Pittsburgh, La Trobe, and Observatorio de Bioética y Derecho of UB). They guarantee a connection with a high-technology centre from an international perspective.
Expected research results and products
By end of first semester:
Literature and archival map presented to, discussed with, and approved by, the Academic Committee
By end of second semester:
Review of archival work completed and draft outline of the dissertation approved by the Academic Committee.
By end of third semester: analytical table of contents presented to , and approved by, the Academic Committee.
By end of fourth semester: completed chapter presented to, and approved by, the Academic Committee.
By end of fifth semester: majority of chapters complete and presented in pre-final draft to Committee.
By middle of sixth semester:
written text entirely completed in pre-final form; then archival checks and polishing of prose, work ready for defence.
At the end the doctoral candidate must achieve two papers published in conference proceedings or journal, and to attend at least two international or national conferences.
Doctoral programme Academic Board
Cognome Nome Ateneo/Ente Qualifica
Artosi Alberto Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
Baldoni Matteo Università degli Studi di Torino Professore Associato
Baroglio Cristina Università degli Studi di Torino Professore Associato
Biasiotti Mariangela CNR-ITTIG Ricercatore Ente
Boella Guido Università degli Studi di Torino Professore Associato
Bouvry Pascal Université du Luxembourg   Professore Ordinario
Brighi Raffaella Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Casanovas Pompeu La Trobe University Professore Ordinario
Caso Roberto Università degli Studi di Trento Professore Associato
Cole Mark Luxembourg University Professore Ordinario
De Lecuona Itziar Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona Professore Associato
Di Caro Luigi Università degli Studi di Torino Ricercatore Universitario
Durante Massimo Università degli Studi di Torino Professore Associato
Faro Sebastiano CNR-ITTIG Ricercatore Ente
Finocchiaro Giusella Dolores Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
Górriz López  Carlos  Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona Professore Ordinario
Heinze Christian Leibniz Universität Hannover Professore Ordinario
Kiskis Mindaugas Mykolas Romeris University Professore Associato
Krügel Tina Leibniz Universität Hannover Professore Associato
Limba Tadas Mykolas Romeris Professore Associato
Loreggia Andrea  European University Institute Ricercatore Ente
Pagallo Ugo Università degli Studi di Torino Professore Ordinario
Palmirani Monica Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
Poblet Marta Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona Professore Ordinario
Rodríguez Doncel Víctor Universidad Politécnica de Madrid Ricercatore Universitario
Roversi Corrado Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Sartor Giovanni Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
Schweighofer Erich University of Vienna Professore Ordinario
Van Der Torre Leon University of Luxembourg Professore Ordinario
Vedder Anton Katholieke Universiteit Leuven Professore Ordinario
Ziccardi Giovanni Università degli Studi di Milano Professore Associato
Zullo Silvia Università di Bologna Ricercatore A Tempo Determinato