Posted on February 20, 2018

Qatar University (QU) yesterday launched the international conference on “Law and Digital Age” organized under the patronage and in the presence of H.E. Mr Jassim Saif Ahmed Al Sulaiti, Minister of Transport and Communications.

Organized by QU colleges of Law (LAWC) and Engineering (CENG) and sponsored by Ooredoo Qatar, the 2-day event (February 19-20) aimed to highlight the fast development and legal challenges in the field of digital technology and to find ways to develop the country’s legal system. It also aimed to underline the effectiveness of legal regulations to solve these issues and challenges and the necessity to propose legislative and technical approaches that keep with the fast technological and technical development in the area of information and communication technology.

Attending the opening ceremony were H.E. Mr Jassim Saif Ahmed Al Sulaiti, Minister of Justice H.E. Dr Hassan Lahdan Saqr Al-Mohannadi, QU President Dr Hassan Al Derham, LAWC Dean Dr Mohamed Abdulaziz Al-Khulaifi, CENG Dean Dr Khalifa Al-Khalifa, Ooredoo Qatar Chief New Business Officer H.E. Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad bin Nasser Al Thani, and QU officials, as well as LAWC and CENG faculty, students and staff. The program agenda featured five panel sessions titled “Novelties related to electronic transactions”, “Rights related to the digital world”, “Contemporary trends on counter-cyber terrorism and cyber security”, “Data protection and privacy in the digital age”, and “Electronic means of dispute settlement”.

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It also included numerous presentations by speakers from QU, École Normale Supérieure, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), International & Government Engagement Division Cybersecurity Malaysia, Indian Society of International Law, Ital-IoT Centre for Multidisciplinary Research on the Internet of Things, Nexa Center for Internet and Society, Northumbria University, Police College Qatar, Purdue University, Sultan Qaboos University, Supreme Court of India, The Australian National University, The Chinese University of Hong Kong - Faculty of Law, TÜBİTAK BİLGEM, University of New South Wales Faculty of Law, and University Yahia Fares Medea.

Discussion focused on a wide range of issues such as “Smart Economy: Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies”, “Specificities of contracting via electronic means of communications – Analytical study in the light of the Qatari decree-law No. (16) for the year 2010 on transactions and electronic commerce”, “The Legal Framework for International Electronic Contracts”, “Cyber Security Capabilities Malaysian Perspective”, “Property Ownership: Towards a Legal Personhood of Artificial Intelligence”, “Cyber Security Trends and Solutions”, “Criminal protection of the personal data privacy processed electronically – Analytical comparative study”, and more.

In his remarks, Dr Hassan Al Derham said: “Community engagement is one of the important goals of QU Strategy (2018-2022). QU strives to excel in serving the society and to promote its role as a source of expertise to serve the nation’s needs in various areas. In this regard, the University continues in its efforts to provide solutions to the society’s issues and challenges. The latest situation has shown QU’s commitment to solve the challenges facing the society through scientific and methodical criteria and to provide its students and the various sectors of society with the necessary support. Additionally, the University offered sustainable solutions to overcome the negative impact of the crisis. H.H. the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani stated in his speech last July: "This crisis has driven Qatari society not only to explore its human values as I have indicated, but also to draw on its sources of strength that lie in its unity, will and determination."”

He added: “This timely conference highlights numerous issues that are of the interest of society such as the contemporary trends to combat cyberterrorism and promote cybersecurity, the rights of digital age, privacy protection, and electronic means in conflicts resolution. We look forward to the vibrant discussions and recommendations that will emanate from the conference’s sessions.”

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Dr Mohamed Abdulaziz Al-Khulaifi said: “This conference comes at a time when the world is witnessing a major transition towards digital knowledge and technology. The world is currently facing serious challenges to manage knowledge, the methods to deal with its tools, and how to invest it in engineering and legal fields. The development of knowledge in the field of digital technologies should not make us forget the legislative wisdom to understand these phenomena. Despite their innovative characteristics, digital programs remain a physical response to human will, which is the source of legislative discourse in civil, criminal and administrative responsibilities. Through organizing this conference, the colleges of Law and Engineering reveal the correlation between engineering and law as the design of digital applications and the usage of electronic devices are at the heart of engineering sciences, and their usage and activities are subject to the rules of regular assets that are addressed by legal sciences.”

H.E. Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad bin Nasser Al Thani said: “In the light of the current tremendous technological development, digital transformation is not only limited to legal professions. However, it has become a necessity for various institutions working in this field in order to keep abreast of the growing needs of their customers and to facilitate their access to safe services. With the electronic threats faced by various institutions across the world, cyber security has become an important priority for the institutions working in the field of law and other areas. Hence, institutions need more than ever to strengthen their information security systems. Over the past few years, Ooredoo launched a number of techniques for information security in Qatar, while its data centers play an important role in the provision of cloud computing and security services. Ooredoo also provides various institutions in Qatar with security control through the Security Operations Centre. This service enables institutions to investigate and respond to the incidents to which they are exposed, conduct the necessary analysis, and maintain continuity of work, even if their data are hacked.”