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Bart Custers appointed as the new chair Law and Data Science

As of 1 July 2019, Bart Custers is appointed as Professor of Law and Data Science at Leiden University. The chair is established at eLaw, the center for Law and Digital Technologies at the Faculty of Law. Bart Custers will focus on the intersection of law and digital technologies, on the one hand on regulating data science and on the other hand at applying data science in legal research and practice.

Bart Custers

Large amounts of data and the tools for analyzing such data play an increasingly important role in our society. Although this may create many opportunities, new digital technologies may also yield undesirable or unintended effects, raising a need for regulation. From a public law perspective, relevant legal areas include criminal law, administrative law and human rights law, most notable privacy and data protection law and non-discrimination law. From a private law perspective, relevant legal areas include company law, property law, liability/tort law, consumer law, competition law, and data protection law. However, the intersection of law and data science also comprises another important research area, which is that of data science in legal research. Typical examples here are quantitative legal predictions, accelerating legal research and improving regulation based on empirical legal research. Data scientists are currently analyzing large amounts of legal data, such as legislation, case law, journal articles, policy documents, etc. to find novel patterns and insights that may contribute to legal research and practice.

Bart Custers studied both applied physics and law. He is an expert in the area of law and digital technologies, including topics like profiling, big data, privacy, discrimination, cybercrime, technology in policing and artificial intelligence. He is a seasoned researcher and project manager who acquired and executed research for the European Commission, NWO (the National Research Council in the Netherlands), the Dutch national government, local government agencies, large corporations and SMEs. Until 2016 he was the head of the research department on Crime, Law enforcement and Sanctions of the scientific research center (WODC) of the ministry of security and justice in the Netherlands. Before that, he worked for the national government as a senior policy advisor for consecutive ministers of justice (2009-2013) and for a large consultancy firm as a senior management consultant on information strategies (2005-2009).

On behalf of the Faculty of Law, dr. Custers is the coordinator of the SAILS project. This project, funded by the Executive Board of Leiden University, deals with the societal and legal implications of Artificial Intelligence. All faculties and the Leiden University Medical Center are involved in this project. Dr. Custers is one of the SAILS professors.


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