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Cyberspace en Cyberlaw


Please note that the following description of the course is only provisional and therefore subject to change.

Admission requirements



Cyberspace & Cyberlaw is about regulatory issues in relation to information and communication technologies (ICTs), and especially the internet. ICT has become a vital infrastructure in our modern society. We use the internet at home, at work, and when in transit, to email, look up information on Google, or check in which friends via Facbook. These technologies have enriched our lives and made them more fun and more efficient. But they also raise a host of regulatory questions. Is our privacy safe in a world of interconnected, always on technologies? What is the balance between freedom of expression and harassment or bullying online? How can we regulate the behaviours of individuals in a network that spans the globe and knows no boundaries?

Technological developments occur at dazzling speed, and this entails that regulators and policy makers need to be able to think creatively and flexibly about solutions for potential problems. This course will provide students with an understanding of the complexity of some of the fundamental regulatory issues in relation to the internet, and it will equip them for the multidisciplinary dialogue with policy makers and ICT specialists that is necessary to tackle these issues.

Course objectives

Objectives of the course
The objective of this course is to equip students for the multidisciplinary dialogue with policy makers and ICT specialists that is necessary to tackle the regulatory issues that are raised by the internet.

Achievement levels
The following achievement levels apply with regard to the course:

  • Understanding the basic architecture and operation of the internet and the directions in which it will develop in the near future;

  • Understanding the fundamental regulatory issues that have emerged in relation to the internet, and the relevance of design choices in the architecture of the network for the both the creation and solution of these issues.

  • Understanding the complexity of balancing of different values in and across the internet, for example privacy and security, or freedom of expression and online harassment.

  • Understanding the complexity of the regulatory and policital landscape to tackle regulatory issues on the internet.

This knowledge should equip students with the ability to weigh and evaluate the development of specific ICT services or applications, to see where potential legal/regulatory issues might arise in their use or deployment, and to give advice on designing technologies in a way that avoids or diminshes such issues.


The timetable of this course can be found in uSis.

Mode of instruction


  • Number of (2 hour) lectures: 5

  • Names of lecturers: Dr. B. van den Berg

  • Required preparation by students: Reading the required materials on Blackboard, submitting three assignments


  • Number of (2 hour) seminars: 5

  • Names of instructors: Dr. B. van den Berg

  • Required preparation by students:

Other methods of instruction

Assessment method

Examination form(s)

  • 3 Assigments

  • 1 Final paper

Submission procedures

  • All assignments will be made available through Blackboard and should be submitted to Dr. Van den Berg by email within a week after becoming available.

  • Each assignment counts for 10% of the final grade; the final paper counts for 70% of the final grade.

  • The final paper has to be submitted to Dr. Van den Berg via email before the deadline, which will be announced on Blackboard.

Areas to be tested within the exam
The examination syllabus consists of the required reading (literature) for the course, the course information guide and the subjects taught in the lectures, the seminars and all other instructions which are part of the course.


More information on this course is offered in Blackboard.

Reading list

Obligatory course materials

  • All required readings are available via Blackboard in week-by-week folders.

Course information guide:

  • All course information can be found on Blackboard.


  • None.

Recommended course materials

  • Recommended readings are available via Blackboard in week-by-week folders, alongside the required readings. These can be used, e.g., when writing the final paper or the assignments.


Students have to register for courses and exams through uSis.

Contact information


  • Institute: Meta Juridica

  • Department: eLaw@Leiden, Centrum voor recht in de informatiemaatschappij, Universiteit Leiden

  • Room number secretary: KOG, room B3. 28

  • Opening hours: Dagelijks van 10.00 – 15.00 uur

  • Telephone number secretary: 071 – 527 7873

  • E-mail: elaw@law.leidenuniv.nl




Not applicable