Professor Valsamis Mitsilegas: The Privatisation of Pre-emption in the Digital Age , Queen Mary University of London

Technology has transformative power – and this is generally a power for good. To rein in new technologies’ potential, we must think if and how to regulate them: through industry-wide codes of conduct, other soft or hard law mechanisms, co-regulation or perhaps through code itself. We should think hard so as not to overregulate – lest we stifle innovation; but we should think harder not to underregulate – lest we lose our personal freedoms.

This speaker series explores the relationship between law and technology focusing on selected topics such as online speech & intermediaries, artificial intelligence (AI), and data protection.
We will engage with relevant case law and discuss the institutional legitimacy of the  judiciary, administrative agencies and other supervisory (non)elected bodies in that field. We seek to uncover what role familiar institutions of the law play and whether others can be adapted to the technological context.

The Privatisation of Pre-emption in the Digital Age: A Critical Appraisal of EU Proposals on the Prevention of the Dissemination of Terrorist Content Online

Private actors are increasingly called upon to co-operate with law enforcement authorities in the fight against crime and terrorism. This is particularly the case in the digital age, where access to and regulation of persona data and digital behaviour of citizens is a priority for the state in developing a pre-emptive paradigm of security governance. The seminar will address this privatisation of pre-emption by evaluating critically EU proposals for a legal framework on the prevention of the dissemination of terrorist content online. By focusing on the changing nature of obligations imposed upon the private sector in this context, the seminar will explore the consequences of the privatisation of pre-emption on fundamental rights and the rule of law.

About Valsamis Mitsilegas

Valsamis Mitsilegas is Professor of European Criminal Law and Global Security and Deputy Dean for Global Engagement (Europe) at Queen Mary University of London. He has served in a number of senior leadership roles at Queen Mary. He was also the Inaugural Director of the Queen Mary Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (IHSS) from January to December 2017 and has been the Director of the Queen Mary Criminal Justice Centre since 2011. From 2001 to 2005 he served as legal adviser to the House of Lords European Union Committee. His research interests and expertise lie in the fields of European criminal law; migration, asylum and borders; security and human rights, including the impact of mass surveillance on privacy; and legal responses to transnational crime, including organised crime and money laundering. He is the author of six monographs and over 100 articles and chapters in academic volumes. He is a regular adviser to think-tanks, parliaments, governments and EU institutions including the European Commission, the European Parliament and the EU Fundamental Rights Agency and is currently serving for a third term as a member of the European Commission’s Expert Group on Criminal Policy. Professor Mitsilegas has been actively involved in the policy debate on the consequences of Brexit for security and criminal justice co-operation.