BILETA2012: conference essay

by Paul Maharg on 27/03/2012


‘Too many laws, too few examples’.  Our conference theme is a quotation from the French revolutionary, Louis Antoine Léon de Saint-Just.  It goes to the heart of a long debate about regulation – how best to regulate human activities, and inspire good conduct.  Saint-Just was in no doubt: he states the case in words that echo a complex debate about the nature of regulation in human affairs that stretches back over two millennia, and is ever more critical to the technological issues of the twenty-first century.

Do too many laws stifle human aspiration and creativity?  Or do we have the wrong laws?  Is legal regulation the best or only way to achieve justice in our technological societies?  Are our lives happier because we have ever more laws governing our use of technology?  In relation to legal education, one of the key areas of interest for BILETA, regulators internationally are opening debate on their regulatory regimes – how best can technology be regulated for educational and ethical purposes in learning justice?

These are the first paragraphs of our brief conference essay, included in the conference handbook.  An extended version of the essay is available here.

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