Future Law Working Papers

The Future Law Working Papers was established in 2022 to offer a forum for cutting-edge research on legal topics connected to the challenges of the future. As the German Constitutional Court recently ruled, we have to act today to save the freedoms of tomorrow.



2023  •  3: The Pandemic's Comparative Impact on Constitutional Checks and Balances within the EU: Update and Perspectives

This working paper is produced within the framework of the the Horizon Europe project REGROUP (Rebuilding governance and resilience out of the pandemic), funded by the European Union. At the same time, it draws from a 2022 volume entitled Pandemocracy, edited by Konrad Lachmayer and Matthias C. Kettemann. Pandemocracy in Europe -Power, Parliaments and People in Times of COVID-19 engaged the challenges of pandemics for democracies at the example of the COVID-19 crisis and had contributors ask and answer a key question: How has the fight against COVID-19 and the individual and collective responses of states influenced the relationship of publics, people and parliaments. Does democracy take step back and let pandemocracy reign? Literally, like in Hungary? Or more subtly, like in Austria and Germany where Nationalrat and Bundestag, respectively, quickly passed legislation the government had proposed. After the crisis had passed, did relations swing back to normal? Or has the crisis fundamentally impacted the relations of democratic actors in countries from Sweden to Italy?

A year after publication and after the worst of the COVID-19 crisis seems over, a workshop in Innsbruck united authors from the Pandemocracy team and members of REGROUP to reflect on the normative road travelled and the impacts of the pandemic response – and its impact on constitutional checks and balances.

After the introduction, a number of country reports analyze whether and how societies have ‘swung back’ from the pandemic response and whether lasting damage to the separation of powers was done during the height of the pandemic.

  Future Law Working Papers 2023 #3


2023  •  2: Reframing Political Power in the Digital Constellation: Taking Technopolitics Seriously

The development of new technologies brings with it "technical superiority", but new technologies can also be a stress test for existing political systems, which may fail as a result, leading to cascading effects that threaten fundamental precepts of democratic societies and their key institutions. If policymakers fail to recognise these challenges, the damage could be massive and human development could be drastically curtailed. The problem, then, is that technological means and their demands on political systems may not be sufficiently understood. Today, the close connection between technological and human development necessitates an eco-systematic approach: technopolitics is based on the interaction and mutual dependency of the dominions of technology and politics – and the normative responses to navigate their interaction. Technological developments and their use make it possible to impact political constellations across the world and have emerged as arenas of political conflicts on a system level. Technopolitics, based on Mayer et.al., is introduced and further conceptualised in this article to capture this phenomenon – and normative responses to it. The article highlights essential developments that underpin the concept. It shows cases how power plays in the role at each stage of development of the technologies of societal interaction, including in early phases like design and standardisation. Just as law is code, tech is power. Technological innovation therefore needs to be politically and normatively framed.

  Future Law Working Papers 2023 #2


2023  •  1: How do we design a sustainable digital economy law? Securing livelihoods in an automated world

It is now 50 years since the Club of Rome proclaimed the "Limits to Growth". From the point of view of research funding, a great success. The study preceding the report of the same name, prepared at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) was made possible by a grant of one million marks from the Volkswagen Foundation. Judging by the reception of the report, which began with its publication and continues up to this lecture, there have certainly hardly ever been third-party funds better invested. But is the reception of the report to the present day also justified because of its content? And do the assumptions about the limits to growth actually still have any significance for the age of the digital economy in which we find ourselves? These are the questions addressed in this article.


  Future Law Working Papers 2023 #1




#1: A Treatment for Viral Deception? Automated Moderation of COVID-19 Disinformation

By Julia Haas

Julia is an international law and human rights expert. In her work, she has focused on international relations, the intersection of technology and human rights, and the
prevention of marginalization. At the Office of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Julia particularly focuses on policy research and development in the field of internet governance and digital participation, with a focus on the impact of artificial intelligence on freedom of expression, digital and legal safety of journalists, gender and online pluralism. Previously, she worked as legal officer and human rights adviser at the Austrian Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Julia sits on the advisory board for the Vienna Forum for Democracy and Human Rights, holds a Master’s degree in Law from the University of Vienna, an Information and Media Law LLM and is a PhD candidate on the impact of digital innovations on freedom of the media.


  Future Law Working Papers 2022 #1


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