LAW5468 - Emerging technologies, global data flows and the law - 2019

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Chief examiner(s)

Dr Joshua Paul Meltzer

Unit guides


City (Melbourne)

  • Term 3 2019 (On-campus)


This unit is aimed at giving students the skills applicable in government, regulatory bodies, private practice and international organizations, a thorough theoretical and practical grounding in the importance of the internet and cross-border data flows for access to and the development of emerging technologies such as AI, cloud computing and the internet-of-things and the impact of data and technology on economic growth and international trade. The course will equip students with the analytical ability to apply international law to emerging technologies and to understand the broader policy challenges confronting government when seeking to support the economic and trade opportunities while also achieving other goals such as privacy

and cybersecurity. The course will provide students with an understanding of the different approaches to regulating these technologies and data glows being taken globally (focusing on the U.S., the EU, China and Australia) and the various international approaches in forum such as APEC, the G20 and bilaterally between countries that are being developed in areas such as privacy, cybersecurity and law enforcement and their implications for global data flows. Students will analyse in depth these evolving international law rules and norms, including understanding the legal gaps and will assess the various international law options that government can take as they navigate an increasingly digital world, as well as the political constraints on what may be possible.


On successful completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Apply knowledge of developments with the internet, global data flows and technologies such as cloud computing and AI to international law.
  2. Demonstrate skills of investigation, analysis and synthesis of complex information, concepts and theories in relation to the interaction between domestic regulation in areas such as privacy, cybersecurity and law enforcement to international rules and norms such as in bilateral trade agreements, APEC and other international law treaties.
  3. Apply these international rules to domestic regulation, identifying the trade-offs being made in the domestic approaches and making recommendations to reform current laws or create new ones as appropriate.
  4. Through critical reflection, demonstrate knowledge of the interaction between international law, domestic regulation and international politics in the development of new international rules and norms government digital technologies and global data flows.


  1. In class group work 20% equivalent of 1500 words
  2. Class test 25%
  3. Research assignment 55% 5000 words

Workload requirements

24 contact hours per teaching period

(either intensive, semi-intensive or

semester long, depending on the

Faculty resources, timetabling and