Burkhard Schafer

University of Edinburgh
Senior Lecturer in Computational Legal Theory

School of Law
University of Edinburgh


I studied Logic, Theoretical Linguistics, Philosophy and Law at the Universities of Mainz, Munich, Florence and Lancaster. My main field of interest is the interaction between law, science and computer technology, especially computer linguistics. How can law, understood as a system, communicate with systems external to it, be it the law of other countries (comparative law and its methodology) or science (evidence, proof and trial process). As a co-founder of the Joseph Bell Centre for Legal Reasoning and Forensic Statistics, I help to develop mathematically sound methods to evaluate scientific evidence, develop computer models which embody these techniques, and provide assistance to police and lawyers to interpret and apply scientific evidence, A special interest here is the development of computer systems that help law enforcement agencies to co-operate more efficiently across jurisdictions, assisting them in the interpretation of the legal environment within which evidence in other jurisdictions is collected. This research is linked to my wider interest in comparative law and its methodology, the idea of a "Chomsky turn in comparative law", and the project of a "computational legal theory" My Research Centre is the Joseph Bell Centre.


Burkhard Schafer, Tamsin Maxwell 'Natural language processing and query expansion in legal information retrieval: Challenges and a response' (2010) International Review of Law, Computers and Technology Pages 63 ? 72


Burkhard Schafer 'Schlafwandelnd in den ?berwachungsstaat?' (2009) Datenschutz und Datensicherheit Vol. 8 pp 483-489


Burkhard Schafer, Wiebke Abel 'The German Constitutional Court on the Right in Confidentiality and Integrity of Information Technology Systems' (2009) SCRIPT-ed pp.106-123 Vol 6


Burkhard Schafer, Wiebke Abel 'Il trojan "di stato" tedesco - sfide tra la legge e la tecnologia' (2009) Teutas - Diritto e Tecnologia Vol 2 pp. 30-44

Last Updated: Thu 29 Jul 10