Newcastle Law School

Law, Innovation, & Society School Research Group

Law, Innovation, & Society School Research Group


The Law, Innovation, and Society (LIS) group is a new research cluster based in Newcastle Law School.

The group aims to address challenges broadly relating to:

  • the role of law in regulating innovation, and
  • innovation within law and legal institutions.

There is a tendency amongst legal scholars to approach innovation in fairly narrow terms, treating is being about either commercial-technological phenomena or techno-scientific ones. The concept of innovation, however, is much wider than this. In its most general sense it is about finding novel solutions to important problems or challenges. These problems can be complex and have significant implications for society as a whole, as well as a variety of actors within it. The LIS group thus explicitly looks beyond the boundaries of traditional scholarship in its conception of the interrelationship between the law, innovation, and society. It is an exciting new vehicle for exploring a range of social, cultural, political, and other responses to change across a breadth of legal and other scholarship.

Part of this involves going beyond disciplinary boundaries in our research. This is necessary because scholarship regarding innovation and change is often fragmented, commonly taking place either within rather than across different sub-discipline areas; for example, emerging (bio)technologies, science and medicine, environment, finance and markets, and so on. The LIS research group takes an interdisciplinary approach. We recognise that multi- and interdisciplinary conversations and perspectives can enrich current debates, be crucial in identifying general issues and challenges for the law, and themselves lead to innovative scholarship. As such, group members are drawn from a variety of legal sub-disciplines. Several also have backgrounds in other disciplines, as well as outside academia.

For any queries please contact LIS's Acting Director - Dr Ilke Turkmendag


We welcome new members from Newcastle University. Please contact Ilke Turkmendag if you are interested in joining the research group or if you have other inquiries.‌


Upcoming seminars will be on:

Past Seminars

Workshop reports:

  • Friday 13th July 2018, 10am - Keynote: - “Implementation, Compliance and Planning: New Topics for a New Approach to Legal Scholarship” - Prof Edward Rubin. Vanderbilt University, Vanderbilt Law School

Event information: LIS Poster July 18‌ | LIS Conference Programme 2018LIS Abstract booklet July 18

Past Events:

  • 11th October 2017 - 'Regulating the Tyrell Corporation: Company Law and the Emergence of Novel Beings' - Dr. David Lawrence and Dr. Sarah Morley (Newcastle Law School)
  • 3rd May 2017 - Professor Colin Gavaghan, University of Otago School of Law - Verordnung durch Technik? The prospect of techno-regulation and ‘law by design’.

Technology law, to date, has tended to focus on regulatory targets: what should the law have to say about new technologies like gene editing, robot cars, or the internet? But the relationship between technology and law can also work in the other direction. From interlocks and speed-limiters, to surveillance devices and web filters, technologies are also providing new opportunities for those who make and enforce laws. On the horizon are claims being made on behalf of neuroscience, genetics and artificial intelligence, that promise greater enforceability and safety – but at what cost? In this address, Prof. Gavaghan will consider some of these opportunities, from the relatively familiar to the less obvious and more speculative. He will also consider the prospects for such interventions, before suggesting a possible approach for evaluating their acceptability.

Associate Professor Gavaghan heads the Centre for Law and Policy in Emerging Technologies, the only New Zealand-based research centre that examines the legal, ethical and policy issues around new technologies. These include biotechnology, nanotechnology, alternative bio-energy, information and communication technologies, robotics and artificial intelligence.  Associate Professor Gavaghan is also co-Director of the Centre for Society, Governance & Science. The Centre promotes and undertakes research on the challenges of integrating medical and scientific advancements with society in the face of changing approaches being used to govern citizens and institutions, as well as their rights, relationships and responsibilities.

  • 8th February 2017 - Dr Nayha Sethi, Edinburgh University on ‘Regulating for Uncertainty in Research and Experimentation’