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Inaugural lecture of the Institute of Neurotechnology & Law

The pioneering Institute of Neurotechnology and Law will host its inaugural lecture on Friday 5 July 2024.

Posted on 02 July 2024

Institute president, Dr Allan McCay, deputy director of the Sydney Institute of Criminology and Academic Fellow at the University of Sydney Law School and President of INL will deliver the lecture at 5pm.

Dr McCay is the author of the influential book, Free Will and the Law, as well as the 2022 Law Society report on neurotechnology.

Believed to be the first of its kind in the world, the Institute of Neurotechnology and Law (INL) was launched on 3 May 2024 to explore the intersection of neurotechnology and the law. Established with the vision to foster a deeper understanding of how technological advancements in neuroscience can inform and transform legal practices, INL strives to bridge the gap between these two critical fields.

Neurotechnology connects a human’s nervous system with electronic devices and therefore creates an interface between the brain and computers. It has the potential to treat a range of neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.  However, by monitoring, recording, influencing, or even controlling, neural activity in non-therapeutic settings, its potential impact is far greater.  This, in turn, gives rise to a range of profound ethical, social, political and economic issues.

The INL has been created with key input from Leigh Day partners and human rights lawyers Gene Matthews and Sean Humber who will serve as treasurer and secretary respectively. The INL currently has 26 expert panel members from throughout the world.

The institute aims to:

  • Raise awareness on legal issues relating to neurotechnology.
  • Promote and provide a forum for healthy, balanced debate on legal issues relating to neurotechnology, and a multidisciplinary cross fertilization of ideas.
  • Educate and provide learning opportunities for those interested in the technical or scientific aspects of neurotechnology and its interplay with the law.
  • Promote and foster the protection of human rights in the digital age.
  • Encourage and support neurotechnology companies who act with integrity and whose products enable human flourishing
  • Work with Big Tech and government to align neurotechnology with humanity’s best interests.
  • Foster and promote an international dialogue and co-operation.

The INL will post regular podcasts, host events and provide key educational resources.  

Leigh Day partner Gene Matthews, treasurer of the INL, said:

“It is vital that the regulatory systems keep pace with this fast-moving area of scientific development.  While members of INL may not always agree on all issues, it is important to have these debates in public and for lawyers to maximise the upsides and address the potential downsides.”

Leigh Day partner Sean Humber, secretary of the INL, added:

“Advances in neurotechnology raise important issues about the privacy of ‘brain data’ as well as the use and misuse of this information.  At an even more fundamental level, the potential manipulation of people’s behaviour raises fundamental issues about autonomy and personal responsibility.”

The inaugural lecture will be hosted at the offices of Clifford Chance in London Canary Wharf. It will begin at 5pm.

For more details on attending the lecture, go to events@neurotechlaw.com 

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Sean Humber
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Sean Humber

Sean is an experienced human rights lawyer and privacy breach compensation claims specialist

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Gene Matthews
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Gene Matthews

Gene specialises in consumer law, product liability and data protection claims mainly brought as group claims/ multi-party actions

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