Digital Legal Lab

The Digital Legal Lab is a leading research hub that pioneers the understanding of how digital technologies interact with law and justice. Each of the four Dutch law schools participating in the research collaboration bring their own unique scientific focus and expertise. Discover more about our research here.

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What we are working on

Discover our research
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The Digital Legal Lab brings together four scientific institutions across the Netherlands specializing in law & technology, each with their own unique research strengths and expertise. Keep scrolling to find out more about the research at each of our collaboration's participating partner institutions.

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Digital Legal Studies at

Tilburg University
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From Regulating Human Behavior to Regulating Data

Tilburg University is the coordinating partner of the Digital Legal Lab. The consortium is hosted by the Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society (TILT) at Tilburg Law School. Led by dr. Inge Graef and dr. Bart van der Sloot, the Tilburg team focuses on the shifting paradigm of regulation in the era of big data, artificial intelligence, and robotics. Researchers across different disciplines aim to map, understand and – if possible – help shape the shift from human-centric regulation to data-centric regulation.

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Digital Legal Studies at

University of Amsterdam
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The Digital Transformation of Decision-Making

At the University of Amsterdam, the Digital Legal Lab consortium is hosted by the Institute for Information Law (IViR). Led by prof. dr. Natali Helberger, prof. dr. Mireille van Eechoud and prof. dr. Joris van Hoboken, the Amsterdam team focuses on automated decision-making (ADM) systems, which are set to replace human decision makers in a range of areas, from justice, to media, commerce, health and labor.

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Digital Legal Studies at

Radboud University
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Digital Conflict Resolution

At Radboud University, the Digital Legal Lab consortium is hosted by the university’s Faculty of Law. Led by prof. dr. André Janssen, prof. dr. Pietro Ortolani and dr. Pieter Wolters, the Nijmegen team explores the ways in which digitalisation affects (legal) conflict resolution. Researchers with different backgrounds and perspectives jointly focus on 4 main research topics: the digitalisation of courts and legal practice, alternative digital conflict resolution, enforcement in a digital world, and the legal requirements of digital information security.

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Digital Legal Studies at

Maastricht University
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Developing Technology for Law

The Maastricht Law & Tech Lab that hosts the consortium at Maastricht University is a unique research group with 7 computer scientists in residence. The Maastricht team, led by prof. dr. Gijs van Dijck, focuses on creating sustainable digital-legal research infrastructures. The highly interdisciplinary team’s aim is to create a database that stores and links metadata – initially focusing on publicly available judicial and legislative datasets – that is suitable for testing and developing analytical tools (AI), in order to answer (empirical) legal research questions.

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research themes

What is the impact of AI, data, data science and automation on the legal system?
How can new technologies help manage the pandemic while respecting fundamental rights?
What challenges emerge when AI becomes embedded in healthcare, and how can fundamental values be safeguarded by the use of "code"?
What regulatory and legal challenges must be addressed to protect digital information, privacy and trust?
How can the shift from human to automated decision-making be mapped, understood and perhaps even shaped?
What is the role of human autonomy in a data-driven society, and how can it be protected?

Curious about our research output? Below, you can find a list of relevant recent publications by our researchers and associates.


T. Tombal (2022). The rationale for compulsory B2B data sharing and its underlying balancing exercises. Revue du Droit des Technologies de l’information.

T. Tombal (2022). Imposing data sharing among private actors: a tale of evolving balances. Kluwer Law International.

B. van der Sloot, Y. Wagensveld & B.-J. Koops (2021). Deepfakes – The legal challenges of a synthetic societyReport commissioned by the WODC.

P. Leerssen, T. Dobber, N. Helberger, C. de Vreese (2021). News from the ad archive: how journalists use the Facebook Ad Library to hold online advertising accountableInformation, Communication & Society.

N. Helberger, M. Sax, J. Strycharz & H.-W. Micklitz (2021). Choice Architectures in the Digital Economy: Towards a New Understanding of Digital VulnerabilityJournal of Consumer Policy.

T. Tombal (2021). Ensuring contestability and fairness in digital markets through regulation: a comparative analysis of the EU, UK and US approaches. European Competition Journal.

R. Fahy, N. Appelman & N. Helberger (2021). The perils of legally defining disinformation. Internet Policy Review.

R. Fahy, T. DobberF. Zuiderveen BorgesiusJ. Shires (2021). Microtargeted propaganda by foreign actors: An interdisciplinary exploration. Maastricht Journal of European and Comparative Law.

E. Kosta (2021). Report on the implications for data protection of mechanisms for inter-state exchanges of data for Anti-Money Laundering/Countering Financing of Terrorism, and tax purposesReport for the Council of Europe.

M. van Eechoud, J. Ausloos, M. Loos, C. Mak, B. Reinhartz, L. Schumacher & L. Pol (2021). Data na de dood | Data after death. Report for the Dutch Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations.

M. Veale & F. Zuiderveen Borgesius (2021). Demystifying the Draft EU Artificial Intelligence Act. Preprint & forthcoming in Computer Law Review International.

B. van der Sloot, E. Keymolen, M. Noorman, M. Pechenizkiy, H. Weerts, Y. Wagensveld, B. Visser & in collaboration with the Netherlands Institute for Human Rights. Non-discrimination by design. Study commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations.

B. Beems (2021). VQ v Land Hessen: From ‘Court or Tribunal’ in the Meaning of Article 267 TFEU to the GDPR’s Concept of a ‘Controller’. Case Notes, European Data Protection Law Review.

J. van Hoboken & R. Ó Fathaigh (2021). Smartphone platforms as privacy regulators. Computer & Law Security Review.

R. Gellert P.T.J. Wolters (2021). The revision of the European framework for the liability and responsibilities of hosting service providers: Towards a better limitation of the dissemination of illegal content. Report for the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy.

P.T.J. Wolters (2021). ‘Know-your-customer’ in het DSA voorstel. Tijdschrift voor Consumentenrecht & handelspraktijken (TvC)

C. Rosca, B. Covrig, C. Goanta, G. Spanakis, G. Acar (2021). Digital monitoring of unlawful dark patterns. What role for public interest technology? CHI 2021 position paper.

G. Monti & A. Ruiz Feases (2021). The Case Against Google: Has the U.S. Department of Justice Become European? Antitrust Magazine.

F. Zuiderveen Borgesius (2021). Protected grounds and the system of non-discrimination law in the context of algorithmic decision-making and artificial intelligence. Colorado Technology Law Journal.

John Danaher, James Maclaurin, Colin Gavaghan, Alistair Knott, Joy Liddicoat, & Merel Noorman (2021). A Citizen’s Guide to Artificial Intelligence. MIT Press.

P. Friesen, R. Douglas-Jones, M. Marks, R. Pierce, K. Fletcher, A. Mishra, J. Lorimer, C. Veliz, N. Hallowell, M. Graham, M.S. Chan, H. Davies & T. Sallamuddin (2021). Governing AI-driven health research: Are IRBs up to the task? Ethics and Human Research.

V. Lehdonvirta, B. Rieder, E. Raguseo, D.S. Jeon, I. Graef & J. van Hoboken (2021). Measurement & economic indicators: Final report. European Commission. 

I. Graef (2021). Essential facility. In D. Healey, W. Kovacic, P. Trevisán, & R. Whish (Eds.), Global dictionary of competition law. Concurrences. 

N. Helberger, M. van Drunen, S. Vrijenhoek & J. Moeller (2021). Regulation of news recommenders in the Digital Services Act: empowering David against the Very Large Online GoliathInternet Policy Review.

N. Purtova (2021). From knowing by name to personalisation: Meaning of identification under the GDPR. Manuscript submitted for publication to International Data Privacy Law.

C. Colombo & C. Goanta (2021). Airbnb in the European Union: The theory and practice of interpreting elements of algorithmic governance. European Journal of Risk Regulation.

L. Taylor (2021). Public Actors Without Public Values: Legitimacy, Domination and the Regulation of the Technology SectorPhilosophy & Technology.

B. van der Sloot & S. van Schendel (2021). Procedural law for the data-driven society. Information & Communications Technology Law.

I. Graef & J. Prüfer (2021). Governance of Data Sharing: a Law & Economics Proposal. TILEC Discussion Paper.

N. Helberger, M. van Drunen, S. Eskens, M. Bastian & J. Moeller (2020). A freedom of expression perspective on AI in the media – with a special focus on editorial decision making on social media platforms and in the news mediaEuropean Journal of Law and Technology.

M. Noorman (2020). Controle met en over slimme technologieën. Tijdschrift voor Gezondheidszorg en Ethiek.

I. Graef & Sean van Berlo (2020). Towards Smarter Regulation in the Areas of Competition, Data Protection and Consumer Law: Why Greater Power Should Come with Greater Responsibility. European Journal of Risk Regulation.

D. Odekerken & F. Bex (2020). Towards transparent human-in-the-loop classification of fraudulent web shops. In Serena Villata, Jakub Harašta & Petr Křemen (Eds.), Legal Knowledge and Information Systems (pp. 239-242). IOS Press.

J. van Hoboken, A. van Duin, N. Appelman, R. Fahy, N. Helberger, T. Blom, M. Steel, B. Zarouali & E. Stringhi (2020). WODC-onderzoek: Voorziening voor verzoeken tot snelle verwijdering van onrechtmatige online content. English summary here.

R. Fahy, & N. Appelman (2020). Netherlands. In F. Chiusi, S. Fischer, N. Kayser-Bril, & M. Spielkamp (Eds.), Automating Society Report 2020 (pp. 164-175). AW AlgorithmWatch GmbH. Full report in English here.

R. Gellert (2020). The Risk-Based Approach to Data Protection. Oxford University Press.

L. Taylor (2020). Exploitation as innovation: research ethics and the governance of experimentation in the urban living labRegional Studies.

M.Z. van Drunen, J. Ausloos, N. AppelmanN. Helberger (2020). News recommenders and cooperative explainability: Confronting the contextual complexity in AI explanations. Knowledge Centre Data & Society.

P.T.J. Wolters (2020). Search engines, digitalization and national private lawEuropean Review of Private Law

A. Martin & L. Taylor (2020). Exclusion and inclusion in identification: Regulation, displacement, and data justiceInformation Technology for Development.

L. Taylor, G. Sharma, A. Martin & S. Jameson (Eds.) (2020). Data Justice and COVID-19: Global Perspectives. Meatspace Press.

D. van Kuppevelt, G. van Dijck & M. Schaper (2020). ‘Purposes and challenges of legal citation network analysis on case law’, in Computational Legal Studies: The Promise and Challenge of Data-Driven Research. R. Whalen (ed.). Edward Elgar Publishing.

R. Gellert (2020). Comparing definitions of data and information in data protection law and machine learning: A useful way forward to meaningfully regulate algorithms? Regulation & Governance.

I. Graef (2020). Paving the Way Forward for Data Governance: a Story of Checks and Balances. Technology and Regulation.

M. Galič, M. NoormanB. van der Sloot, B.J. Koops, C. Cuijpers, R. Gellert, E. Keymolen, T. van Delden (2020). Spying with hobby drones and other technologies by citizens: An exploratory study of privacy risks and possibilities for regulation. A report for the Research and Documentation Centre (WODC) of the Ministry of Justice and Security.

C. Goanta (2020). The private governance of identity on the Silk Road. Frontiers in Blockchain.

N. Appelman, R. Fahy, N. Helberger, P. Leerssen, T. McGonagle, N. van Eijk, & J. van Hoboken (2020). The legal framework on the dissemination of disinformation through Internet services and the regulation of political advertising. A report for the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations. English version here.

C. Rosca, B. Covrig, C. Goanta, G. van Dijck & G. Spanakis (2020). Return of the AI: An analysis of legal research on Artificial Intelligence using topic modeling. In N. Aletras, I. Androutsopoulos, L. Barrett, A. Meyers, & D. Preoţiuc-Pietro (Eds.), Proceedings of the Natural Legal Language Processing Workshop 2020.

F. Bex & H. Prakken (2020) De Juridische Voorspelindustrie: onzinnige hype of nuttige ontwikkeling? Ars Aequi 69 (March 2020), 255-259. (In Dutch. English title: ‘The legal prediction industry: meaningsless hype or useful development?’). 

I. Graef & F. Costa-Cabral (2020). To regulate or not to regulate Big Tech. Concurrences.

B. Covrig, C. Goanta & G. Spanakis (2020). Influencers and social media recommender systems, in AI and the Media: Reconsidering Rights and Responsibilities. K. Havu (ed.). Edward Elgar Publishing (forthcoming).

T.B. Araujo, N. Helberger, S. Kruikemeier & C.H. de Vreese (2020). In AI we trust? Perceptions about automated decision-making by artificial intelligenceAI & Society.

N. Helberger, J. Poort, & M. Makhortykh (2020). Four tales of sci-fi and information lawInternet Policy Review.

E. Kosta (2020). Algorithmic state surveillance: Challenging the notion of agency in human rights. Regulation & Governance.

E. Keymolen, M. Noorman, B. van der Sloot, B-J. Koops, C. Cuijpers, & B. Zhao (2020). Op het eerste gezicht: Een verkenning van gezichtsherkenning en privacyrisico’s in horizontale relaties. WODC / Ministry of Justice. 

P.T.J. Wolters & T.F. Walree (2020). Het recht op schadevergoeding van een concurrent bij een schending van de AVGTijdschrift voor Europees en economisch recht.

C. Behrens, E. Brouwer, M. van Eechoud &  J. Witteman (2020). Toegang tot data uit apparaten: Praktijk, marktfalen en publieke belangen. SEO-rapport nr. 2019-29.

J. van Hoboken (2020). The Privacy Disconnect, in Human Rights in the Age of Platforms. Jørgensen, R.F. (ed.). Cambridge: The MIT Press, 255-284.

L. Taylor & F. Meissner (2020). A crisis of opportunity: Market‐making, big data, and the consolidation of migration as risk. Antipode. 

S. Ranchordas & C. Goanta (2019). The new city regulators: platform and public values in smart and sharing cities. Computer & Security Review.

Appelman, N., Fahy, R., Helberger, N., Leerssen, P., McGonagle, T., van Eijk, N., van Hoboken, J. (2019). De verspreiding van desinformatie via internetdiensten en de regulering van politieke advertenties. Rapport in opdracht van het Ministerie van Binnenlandse Zaken en Koninkrijksrelaties, bijlage bij Kamerstuk 2019-2020, 30821, nr. 91, Tweede Kamer.

J. Bijlsma, F. Bex & G. Meynen (2019). Artificiële intelligentie en risicotaxatie. Drie kernvragen voor strafrechtjuristenNederlands Juristenblad, Kluwer, p. 3313-3319. (In Dutch. English title: ‘Artificial Intelligence and Risk Assessment. Three core questions for criminal law’). 

F. Bex (2019). Artificiële intelligentie in de praktijk: Lessen uit onderzoek bij de politieRechtstreeks, 2019(2), pp. 26-34. (In Dutch. English title: ‘Artificial Intelligence in Practice: Lessons from Research at the Police’).