International Focus Programme

About the International Focus Programme
  • Specific theme

    The IFP aims at raising awareness on a specific theme for whole ELSA Network over a fixed term.

  • Forum

    The IFP creates a forum where law students and young lawyers can combine their efforts, discuss and participate in various activities within a current theme. 

  • Topical area

    This specific theme is a topical area of law that is versatile,  internationally relevant, academically interesting and with impact on civil society.

The International Focus Programme on Law and Technology

There is no set definition of “Law and Technology” as this is not a set area of law, rather the topic seeks to explore (1) how technology may affect law and (2) how law and regulation may affect the realisation of the full potential of technology and innovation.


Technology has become a core element of today’s society. From email to smart vehicles, almost every part of our daily lives is dependent on technology in a form or another. Importantly, apart from everyday routines, technology is here to change the substance and the form of the legal profession as we know it.

Fourth Industrial Revolution

The topic of Law and Technology is wide and encompasses all aspects of law necessary to analyse properly the challenges and opportunities posed by the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The topic is inherently intertwined with human rights. 

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Biotechnology law
Data protection law
E-commerce law
Energy technology law

Intellectual property law
Internet law
Legal Technology (LegalTech)
Disinformation, propaganda and fake news

History of the International Focus Programme

The International Focus Programme was introduced in 1995 to provide the ELSA network an opportunity to work together on different “hot legal topics”. There have been different specific themes since its introduction:

Human Rights

Each year, ELSA organises a human rights campaign falling under the topic of the IFP.

Freedom of Expression Online

In 2019/2020, ELSA is organising an information campaign on the importance of Freedom of Expression Online. This campaign included:

  • An awareness survey among more than 1,000 students across Europe.
  • A webinar with the Council of Europe on the topic.
  • A comparative research report on Internet Censorship.
Artificial Intelligence and Human Rights

In 2020/2021, the ELSA Network will dedicate its attention to the interplay between artificial intelligence and human rights to highlight issues caused by i.a. processing of large data group and discriminatory algorithms. Stay tuned!


The European Legal Tech Association is an International Focus Programme Partner of ELSA.

The European Legal Technology Association (ELTA) is an international organization focused on innovation and digital transformation of the legal sector at a European level. Our goal is to represent the interests of our members. ELTA is actively involved in social and political debate. ELTA promotes science and research and encourages a dialogue between legal technology users and developers. ELTA regularly informs its members about trends and developments. In addition, there are regular in-person and online events.

  • Law Schools

    Every year, ELSA organises Winter and Summer Law Schools on topics related to the IFP. Click see learn more.

  • Traineeships

    ELSA offers traineeships globally to give students and young lawyers a chance to interact practically with law and technology. See more here.

  • Research reports

    Through ELSA’s comparative research reports, law students and young lawyers get to learn more about the IFP topic from an academic perspective. Click to learn more.

  • Webinars

    Why not use technology to learn about law? ELSA offers webinars on various topics of law. Click to see more.

  • Law Review

    ELSA’s Law Review is internationally published and peer-review. It accepts submissions on the topic of law and technology and may be read here.

  • Delegations

    ELSA offers our members to attend sessions of various international organisations, and to honour our dedication to law and technology, delegations may even be attended online. Click to see the options.


For more information contact us at or contact the relevant Key Area Officer:

Vice President in charge of Academic

Vice President in charge of ELSA Moot Court

Vice President in charge of Seminars &

Vice President in charge of the Student Trainee Exchange Programme: