The Wellington Young Lawyers Committee organised a discussion on ‘A rule of law for the unruly world of cyber? Curbing information power in the 21st century’, which took place on May 14th, 5:30pm, Russell McVeagh, level 24 Vodafone on the Quay, Wellington. You can check out the poster for the event here.
The panel discussed the following questions in a dialogue with the attendees:
1. How has cyber and new information technology changed information flows?
2. Can we apply traditional rule of law principles to contain the excesses of information power?
3. How might we regulate global information flows, at a supranational level?
The panel included:
Paul Ash (Director of the National Cyber Policy Office in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet)
Joy Liddicoat (Assistant Commissioner Policy and Operations in the Office of the Privacy Commissioner)
Dr Nicole Moreham (Faculty of Law, Victoria University of Wellington)
Peter Dengate Thrush (Barrister and internet law specialist)
Hayden Glass (InternetNZ Council member)
Marcin Bektier (PhD candidate, Victoria University of Wellington)
The following review was sent through courtesy of Jelena Gligorijević, solicitor, Russell McVeagh
The Young Lawyers’ Committee and Russell McVeagh held a very successful and well attended panel discussion on Information, Power and the Rule of Law on 14 May. Organised by Jelena Gligorijević (Young Lawyers’ Convenor and solicitor at Russell McVeagh), the event was initially overbooked, with overwhelming levels of interest from junior and senior lawyers, policy makers, and many from the media and telecommunications sectors, from Wellington and beyond.
The panellists included Paul Ash (Director National Cyber Policy Office), Joy Liddicoat (Assistant Privacy Commissioner), Dr Nicole Moreham (VUW Associate Professor of Law and authority privacy and media law), Peter Dengate Thrush (barrister and internet law specialist, whom we beamed in via Skype from Washington), Hayden Glass (InternetNZ Council member), and Marcin Betkier (VUW PhD candidate in online privacy).
The panellists and audience tackled issues ranging from how advances in cyber- and information-technology have changed information flows, individuals’ ability control their personal data, businesses’ data security and privacy obligations, and the state’s capacity to monitor security and address cyber-crime. We discussed whether privacy laws are adequate or need to be amplified to address imbalances and harms caused by increased information and internet power, and whether we can in the cyber-context draw on traditional principles of the rule of law to achieve this. On the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta we also acknowledged the importance of the rule of law in the unruly world of cyber, and critically looked at how useful the original principles are to us today. We also discussed the issue of international governance of the internet, and what stage we are at today with states engaging on the issue of regulating and combating cross-border cyber-crime and abuse of internet power.
We look forward to continuing these conversations on other occasions in the future.
Feedback from lawyers, academics, New Zealand Law Society members, internet / communications specialists, policy makers and NZ Inc:
“I really enjoyed the panel discussion and it was great to see how relevant the content is to a rapidly changing world of technology. As lawyers I think it is in our nature to honour traditions and look to precedent, but this approach isn’t necessarily conducive to keeping up with the times. It’s important to have panel discussions like these which assess the law and its relevance in the context of everyday life.”
“Congratulations on a very well organised, informative and fun event. Very well done.”
“It’s lovely to come across someone similarly interested in the importance of Magna Carta and all things rule of law!”
“My compliments on an excellent event tonight. Well done!”
“I thought it was an outstanding event, packed full of valuable insights.”