SCRIPT celebrates 10 pioneering years

The impact of new technologies over the last decade, such as the internet’s increasing centrality to everyday life, has required the law to constantly adapt and respond.

The SCRIPT law and technology research centre in the Edinburgh Law School has led the field in articulating a reply to this changing world.

Since 2002 it has brought together colleagues from a variety of disciplines interested in the legal and wider regulatory challenges generated by new and emerging technologies.

This year the Centre celebrates the tenth anniversary of major funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

To mark this milestone SCRIPT will host an international conference on the theme of Law and Transformation in June 2012.


SCRIPT was initially set up in 1998 with the support of the Scottish law firm Shepherd and Wedderburn. The AHRC SCRIPT centre was established on 1 April 2002 with the support of the AHRC.

Since 2002 SCRIPT has become internationally renowned for its research excellence, a leader in online distance learning, and the home of the online journal SCRIPT-ed. It has grown into an international community of scholars contributing to fields as diverse as intellectual property law, information technology law, medical law and all aspects of technological regulation.


In its ten years of AHRC funding the SCRIPT Centre has had some notable achievements. It has generated in excess of £1.2 million of additional research income hosting visiting academics from 14 countries and five continents. The Centre and its academic staff have received numerous prizes and awards including:

  • Professor Graeme Laurie – Royal Society of Edinburgh BP Lectureship Prize for contributions to the Arts and Humanties (2006)
  • Professor Burkhard Schafer - Lexis Nexis Best Paper Award (IRIS Conference, 2011)

It has contributed to public consultations, reviews and expert advisory bodies to parliaments, and NGOs at home and abroad. It has helped in shaping policy to prepare Scotland and other countries for the challenges of modern societies and their economies.

The Centre has also played a key role in training the next generation of researchers, producing over 25 doctoral graduates.

Through its open access journal SCRIPTed it has reached out to academic communities abroad who historically struggle with the cost of access to high quality research.

SCRIPT has throughout its life sought to understand, and respond to, the inter-relationship between systems of innovation, technological development, the law and regulation.

Professor Burkhard SchaferDirector, SCRIPT Centre

Online Distance Learning

The Centre was also instrumental in setting up Edinburgh Law School’s first online distance learning Master of Laws (LLM) programmes in September 2005. These cutting-edge programmes have been heavily influenced by the research conducted at the Centre and cover intellectual property law, information technology law and law and medical ethics.

Edinburgh Law School now offers five LLM programmes, a postgraduate certificate in Law and a variety CPD courses by online distance learning.

The Future

The SCRIPT Centre will continue its work after the end of the grant period, with new confirmed projects on Authority, Authorship and Voice and Identity and Technology. It also looks forward in particular to continued work with the AHRC.

Script Conference 2012

To celebrate ten years of AHRC funded achievements the Centre will host an international conference on the theme of ‘Law and Transformation’ from the 6 to 8 June 2012.

The conference will welcome back past collaborators from around the world, bringing together once again leading academics, key political decision makers and industry figures around one table.

If you are interested in attending the conference please visit the SCRIPT Conference website.