Ninian Stephen Law Program: New Legal Thinking for Emerging Technologies?

In 2021 CAIDE recieved funding from the Menzies Foundation for the Ninian Stephen Law Program: New Legal Thinking for Emerging Technologies? This four-year initiative brings together the new collaboration between the Melbourne Law School and the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology, under CAIDE.

Welcome to the Ninian Stephen Law Program

Research Fellow Fahimeh Abedi and Co-Director of CAIDE Professor Tim Miller, in discussion with Laureate Professor Emeritus Cheryl Saunders AO, introduce the Ninian Stephen Law Program, and reflect on the project's namesake Sir Ninian Stephen, the 20th governor-general of Australia, former justice of the High Court of Australia and International Court of Justice.


The program aims to build capacity in the legal profession to provide effective responses to the challenges of emerging technologies. The program is premised on a model of systems thinking, commonly learnt by engineering and computer science students, that studies how people and human-artifacts interact. This program asserts that systems thinking can be used to testing the limits and possibilities to regulation of technology.

It will bring together leading thinkers from the legal profession, and those from information technology, computing and engineering. It will investigate the ways in which these cohorts understand the ramifications of emerging technologies; the risks of harm arising from reliance on such technologies; and the most effective ways of building resilient legal, regulatory and governance approaches to those technologies. The program is built on a holistic approach to cyber and AI in Australian organisations and will use these insights to develop thought leadership, policy, training and education packages in Australia. In the coming years, the project will build collaborations and regional expertise in the Asia Pacific.

This collaborative program of research, dissemination and engagement aims to build capacity in the legal profession in responding to the challenges of rapid sociotechnical change, now and into the future.

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Project Team

ChatGPT: Law, Legal Advice and Other Integrity Challenges

Ninian Stephen Law Program Oration 2022

Ninian Stephen Law Program Oration and Launch 2021