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Cyber Law


Admission requirements

None, but please note that this class is based on European and international law, not Dutch law. All lectures will be given in English.


This course addresses some of the most urgent policy issues in connection with information technologies, with a focus on the Internet. After an introduction into the functioning and governance of global information technology infrastructures, the course tackles a series of specific subject matters and inquires how regulatory regimes on the international and European level respond to these challenges. These subject matters include in particular:

  • The right to privacy, data protection, and its relationship to surveillance by private and state actors

  • Mis- and disinformation online and the ways it is addressed in international and European law, especially through platform regulation

  • Hate speech, incitement to violence, and atrocity crimes

  • User-generated social media content and its evidentiary value in crisis situations

  • Artificial intelligence, machine learning, and approaches to its regulation in Europe

  • The increasing use of AI in state security and its status under international human rights law and other international legal frameworks


Please note that attendance in this class is mandatory.

Course objectives

The course Cyber Law has the following main objectives:

  • To provide students with basic insights into the most urgent policy challenges in the context of contemporary digital technologies

  • To enable students to identify different approaches to governing contemporary digital technologies on the European and international level

  • To provide students with the intellectual tools to critically interrogate current approaches to regulating digital technologies

  • To empower students to imagine alternative ways to regulate contemporary digital technologies in light of current and future political and societal challenges

By the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • Describe the most relevant policy considerations to increase the governance density concerning digital technologies

  • Give an overview of the most important legislative interventions regarding digital technologies internationally and in Europe

  • Critically evaluate regulatory solutions to the identified policy challenges in the context of digital technologies

  • Anticipate future developments in the field of governing digital technologies

  • Provide written assessments of existing legal frameworks on the international and European level


Check MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Number of (2 hour) lectures: 10

  • Names of lecturers: Dr. H.C. Lahmann, with the possibility of guest lecturers

  • Required preparation by students: Reading the obligatory study materials on Brightspace

  • Interactive lectures for which attendance is mandatory. Registration is required (in MyStudymap/Usis all interactive lectures are mentioned as working groups).

Assessment method

  • Written exam.

Submission procedures
Will be announced on Brightspace.

Regulation retake passed exams
In this course it is possible to retake an exam that has been passed (cf. art. 4.1.8 and further of the Course and Examination Regulations). Students who have passed the exam may retake the final written assessment (test) of the course if they meet certain requirements. For more information, go to the website > ‘Law’ tab > ‘Retake a passed exam’.

Reading list

Obligatory course materials

Relevant information on this course, including many of the required study materials, is available on Brightspace. Students must have obtain access to the class textbook. A couple of copies are available in the Leiden Law Library. However, it is highly recommended that students purchase the class textbook. Online copies are not available for download.


  • The reading list will be made available via the Class Page on Brightspace.

  • Class Textbook: Andrew Murray’s Information Technology and the Law (5th Edition, scheduled to be published in June 2023). Please do not buy earlier editions. Information Technology Law is a fast-moving area and earlier editions will be out-of-date.

Course information guide:

  • See Brightspace


  • See Brightspace

Recommended course materials

  • See Brightspace


Registration for courses and exams takes place via MyStudymap. If you do not have access to MyStudymap (guest students), look here (under the Law-tab) for more information on the registration procedure in your situation.

When the maximum number of students have registered a waiting list will be opened at the secretariat. You should send an e-mail to



  • Institution: Meta Juridica / eLaw Center for Law and Digital Technologies

  • Division: eLaw@Leiden, Center for Law and Digital Technologies

  • Telephone number secretariat: +31 (0)71 527 8838

  • E-mail: