LEGAL COMPUTER SCIENCE
Learning outcomes of the course unit
By attending the lectures and/or by studying the handbook, the students
shall be able to: 1. Know and understand the basic concepts and
paradigmatic issues of legal computer science, from a theoretical point of
view; 2. Know and understand how information technology is changing
the legal systems and the practice of law; 3. Apply the acquired
knowledge to some problems addressed in the current practice of law; 4.
Understand the special vocabulary of legal computer science; 5. Develop
a critical approach to the addressed issues.
The course aims to achieve a good command in computer and information technology and communication to perform activities of study and work.
The lessons and exercises in the Laboratory and through the use of information technologies, taking into account the initial knowledge base of students, will have as their objective the achievement of competence, skill and autonomy in the use of the software tool and the main applications in view of the formation of the jurist.
The aspects most closely linked to the legal sector (forexample, drafting a thesis in law, finding legal precedents and normativereferences, the editing of legal proceedings and knowledge of essential paths in the “online civil trial”) will be within the program provided, at European level, to pass the ECDL test (ECDL - European Computer Driving Licence).
This setting will also allow students to earn a useful training for the eventual preparation of the official ECDL, at one of the accredited test centre.
From academic year 2016-2017 no prerequisite is required for this
examination, whereas former students have to pass the examination of
Philosophy of Law.
Course contents summary
The course of Legal Computer Science (6 CFU) consists of two modules. The first module is theoretical (3 CFU), the second module is both theoretical and practical (3 CFU). The first and second module, although different in content, aims and teaching method, are directly connetted: to take the examination on the second module students have to pass the examination on the first module. Both examinations shall be scheduled on the same day and mark obtained in each of the two examinations shall contribute to the final mark.
This course concerns the very theoretical and normative features of legal
computer science, and it aims to analyze the transformations of legal
systems following the developments in information technology, and the
solutions provided by the law to the new problems arising from
information technology. Main issues: 1. privacy and data protection; 2.
digital document and digital signatures; 3. Information technology and
criminal justice system; 4. telematic trial; 5. social network sites; 6.
deterritorialization, destatalization, dematerialization of law in the digital
The course will focus on the following subjects, for which one can refer tothe analytical descriptions contained in the modules of the syllabus for the ECDL certificate (European Computer Driving Licence) according to the indications in the syllabus version 5.0:
- Basic concepts in information technology (ICT);
- Computer use and file management;
- Word processing;
- Computer networks, Internet and email;
- Use of databases and legal searches on internet;
- Basic concepts on IT security;
- Outline of the main features of Excel and PowerPoint.
For students attending, the course will also focus on specific themes relating to the Computer law and legal computer science subjects: legal protection of software and databases; computer crimes; computer forensics; computer investigations; computer documents; digital signatures and certified email.
The practice will take place using the Microsoft Office 2010 and Windows 8.
The handbook is the same for bot attending and non attending students:
G. PASCUZZI (a cura di), Il diritto dell’era digitale, il Mulino, Bologna 2016:
Introduzione, pp. 13-30 e 32-39; Chapt. I, pp. 43-75; Chapt. II, pp. 77-94;
Chapt. IX, pp. 197-206; Chapt. X, pp. 209-214; Chapt. XV, only pp. 269-
273 and 278-288; Chapt. XVIII, only pp. 323, 331-332; Chapt. XIX, pp.
333-339; Chapt. XX, pp. 341-344; Chapt. XXI pp. 345- 347; Conclusioni, p.
357. Please note that this handbook refers to the academic years 2016-
2017 and 2017-2018. Former students may choose between this
bibliography and theirs.
In order to prepare for the exam it is recommended to choose one of the manuals available to prepare the ECDL Full Standard (seven modules). Among the manuals on the market:
TIBONE, La Patente del Computer. Nuova ECDL con Windows 7 e Office 2010, Zanichelli, 2017.
LUGHEZZANI-PRINCIVALLE, Nuova ECDL Base + Full Standard Extension, volume unico, Hoepli, 2016
Or any other manual useful for the preparation of the ECDL FULL STANDARD (AICA).
Additional resources regarding online legal research databases will be available on the University teaching platform "Elly" (http://elly.giurisprudenza.unipr.it).
In addition, for further information on Computer law and Legal computer science: DEL SOLE-SARCINELLA, Appunti di diritto e informatica, currently being published.
During the lessons, notes and material will be provided to students attending.
Lectures shall be scheduled during three weeks, and shall be basically
intended to guide the students to master the subjects addressed in the
handbook. Teaching shall therefore follow the treatment of the
subjects as it is developed in the handbook. For attending
students a preliminary test shall be scheduled between the end of the
course and the beginning of the examinations (see below).
The course will take the form of traditional lessons, and practice in the Computer Laboratory. Seminars may also be organised during the course.
For students attending the course: some topics in Computer law and Legal computer science may be explored further during the lessons.
Mid-term tests will be carried out for students who attend the course.
Assessment methods and criteria
The students have to pass the exam on bot Module I and Module II on the same day.
EXAMINATION: Examination on the first module shall be
a written multiple choice test, consisting of 15 questions concerning the
issues addressed in the handbook. Different kinds of questions: - broad
and general questions intended to test the knowledge of basic concepts
of legal computer science; - more specific questions intended to test the
ability to compare and distinguish the different topics. Immediately after
the call, all students shall take the test simultaneously. They shall have
15 minutes to complete the test. Each test shall be immediately marked
(2 points for each correct answer). Mark list: 15 correct answers: 30/30;
14 correct answers: 28/30; 13 correct answers: 26/30; 12 correct
answers: 24/30; 11 correct answers 22/30); 10 correct answers: 20/30; 9
correct answers: 18/30 (pass mark); less than 9 correct answers:
examination not passed. If a student does not pass the test (or if he want
to improve the obtained mark), he may apply for next examination.
Passing this test on the first module allows the students to take
immediately the examination on the second module. Final mark shall be
the average of marks obtained in examinations on first and second
module. After passing the examination on the second module, the
students may answer a further oral question in order to improve the mark
or to obtain the mention. PRELIMINARY TEST: A preliminary test on the
first module shall be scheduled, for attending students, between the end of
the course and the beginning of final examinations. This test shall have
the same structure as the final examination. The students shall apply during the lessons. Mark obtained in this test
shall contribute to the final mark (if satisfactory), or it shall serve as a
self-assessment tool (if not satisfactory), in order to make the student
able to improve his knowledge and learning method toward the final
Theoretical and practical exams.
The student, you sign up via the Internet, will do before the test on the Module I; in case of a positive outcome he/she will be admitted to the test on the same day the exam on Module II. There will be a final assessment on thirty, resulting outcome of both tests and possible integration oral final.
Having passed the test on Module I, the student who does not attend the same day the test on the Module II will have to retake the entire exam.
The student, who has passed the test on Module I, undertakes the same day the test on Module II. If he does not pass it, he should retake the entire exam (Module I and Module II).
Students who have attended the course of Legal computer science during the academic year 2015-2016, and followings, and holding a final certificate ECDL may do only the part of the examination covering the search for legal documents in databases and on the Internet, while the remaining part of the program of the module II of Legal computer science will be recognised; in this case, students will have to register via the Internet (in the notes it is to be indicated the ECDL) and present the ECDL certification on the examination day. To students holding a final certificate ECDL and who have attended the course of Legal computer science before the academic year 2015-2016, will continue to apply the previous rules (ECDL recognition as Module II of Legal computer science, by enrolment via internet and presentation of the certificate on the day of examination).
To take the exam, it is necessary that each student brings with him/her the day of the exam of e-credentials of the University "Appost @ perte", i.e. those formed by firstname.lastname @ studenti.unipr.it and password.