Journal of Law, Information and Science
I am extremely pleased to be writing the editorial for a second issue of the 2010 edition of the Journal of Law, Information & Science. In fact, we produced not two, but three issues of JLIS this year over two volumes, due to the hard work and efforts of our publications team, especially our Managing Editor, Bruce Newey. As a result of these invaluable efforts I am happy to say the journal is now back to full production. We have now also completed our website update and are publishing papers online as soon as they are peer reviewed and copy edited. If you have not yet viewed our website, I would encourage you to visit it at http://www.jlisjournal.org.
I would also like to thank the whole of our Editorial Board for their contribution to peer reviewing the large volume of works we have received this year. I think it can be fairly said that the integrity of a journal lies not in the quantity of work it publishes but the discretion applied to the material it receives. Our capacity to exercise that discretion is completely reliant upon the wide-ranging knowledge and expertise of our Board Members as well as their dedication to the journal and the academic process more generally, especially given the blind nature of peer reviewing means that those who contribute their time cannot be identified personally.
We have selected five important articles to add to our twentieth volume covering a range of issues in law and technology. As with the previous issue, our lead article is provided by our Chairman, Hon Michael Kirby, AC CMG, who, amongst a multitude of other roles was previously the Chairman of the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) expert group on transborder data flows and the protection of privacy (1978-1980). In his retrospective article, The History, Achievement and Future of the 1980 OECD Guidelines on Privacy [pp 1-14], Hon Kirby describes the thirty-year history of the Guidelines, their successes and challenges, and considers how they can be built upon to respond to developments in the technology in the future.
Jason Allen examines a different area of international law and policy; specifically the conundrum of race within genomics and bioethics. In his paper, Group Consent and the Nature of Group Belonging: Genomics, Race and Indigenous Rights [pp 28-59] Jason argues that the group consent principle in international and domestic bioethics guidelines endangers other aspects of the Indigenous rights project. He argues for a reformulation of the principle to better meet the underlying principles and objectives of bioethics.
One area of technology that has not yet been subject to a great deal of regulatory or policy debate is wastewater monitoring. In Prichard et al’s paper Developing a Method for Site-Specific Wastewater Analysis: Implications for Prisons and Other Agencies with an Interest in Illicit Drug Use [15-27] a multi-disciplinary team working towards implementing this new monitoring technology discuss how it might be used to analyse prison wastewater to determine not only the prevalence of specific drugs, but also the effectiveness of prison anti-drug strategies. This research is incredibly important for prison management, but it also has much wider implications for monitoring of other sites by law enforcement (and indeed other) agencies. We hope this article might form the basis for a subsequent special edition of this journal on that topic.
Whilst technology can certainly assist those charged with institutional responsibilities it can also undermine their roles or even challenge those roles directly. This is particularly evident in the education arena where the technological abilities of youth can often outstrip those responsible for them. In the penultimate paper of this edition, Kift, Campbell and Butler examine some of these problems in Cyberbullying in Social Networking Sites and Blogs: Legal Issues for Young People and Schools’ [pp 60-97]. In their paper, the authors consider some of the dangers that interactive web-technologies pose to at risk youth and those responsible for their care. They consider current legal problems with controlling such behaviour in this medium and make practical and legal recommendations about how to deal with them.
Also discussing the integration and impact of Internet technology within established institutions is Val Barrett, Manager of the ACT Hansard. In her paper Releasing the Record of Parliamentary Proceedings: Identifying and Controlling the Risks [p 98-118], she considers the risks associated with the rapid dissemination of the parliamentary record through modern information communication technologies.
We are certain that these articles each make a unique and important contribution to the field. We hope that 2011, our thirtieth anniversary year results in an equally important and wide-ranging series of articles on law, science and technology.