IDHEAP’s Public Law and Regulation Unit focuses on three areas of research:

Regulating digital platforms and technologies: Digital platforms and technologies are now omnipresent, forming integral parts of our economic and social environment. However, although they undoubtedly generate positive economic and societal effects, they can also harm our political, cultural and social foundations. This first area of research examines how digital platforms and technologies affect the workings of the State and society more broadly.
Regulation using digital technologies: Digital technologies can be tools for influencing individual and group behaviours. They thus have a regulatory effect on private individuals. Today, these technologies are principally developed by private actors but are used by private and public ones. However, public administrations’ widespread use of digital technologies has generated new challenges for them. Indeed, digital technologies, especially systems incorporating artificial intelligence, are often described as black boxes. Using this new form of regulation thus raises questions about the principles of the rule of law, especially transparency, access to information, equality, and non-discrimination.
Data governance: Data is essential to the functioning of the economy and public administration. Managing this ‘new’ resource generates many issues for its custodians and those who process it, whether the data are public, personal and private, or highly sensitive. This third area of research examines the institutions and procedures that enable public administrations to use this resource in their organisation and functioning and even make it available to different private and public actors.
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Prof. Sophie Weerts
Unit director
+41 21 692 69 60


Rue de la Mouline 28 - CH-1022 Chavannes-près-Renens
Tel. +41 21 692 68 00
Fax +41 21 692 68 09