Legal Design Roundtable – call for papers and project outlines

Over the last few years, the term “Legal Design” has been widely popularised. From its first steps rooted in information design, the concept has been applied in a variety of sectors, from contract drafting to access to justice, online dispute resolution, development of privacy indicators, prototyping for policy, etc. In its evolution, the field of legal design has grown borrowing from the practice, different disciplines and methodologies.
The time is now ripe to bring together all these experiences, understand, study and discuss them.
With the Legal Design Manifesto, a first working definition of Legal Design has been formulated: Legal Design is “an interdisciplinary approach to apply human-centred design to prevent or solve legal problems”. It is a purpose-oriented discipline that identifies the gaps of protection created by emerging technologies, social phenomena or legal rules and proposes (aka: design) innovative solutions to empower citizens operating in a given legal system. Legal Design Studies can contribute to create new legal services, test existing legal categories and theories, propose innovative methods and approaches in legal studies.
The Roundtable aims precisely to critically explore convergences and divergences among the experiences emerged so far and draft a blueprint for the Legal Design methodology.


The Legal Design Roundtable accepts contributions in two forms:
1. Input methodological papers
2. Legal Design project outlines

Input methodological papers are short contributions (max 4.000 words) where the authors can address specific issues as how a method or an approach from a certain discipline can contribute to Legal Design Studies. Such papers can take a theoretical perspective and do not necessarily need to be related to an ongoing project. Contributions are welcome in – but not limited to – the following domains:
– Law (legal informatics, empirical legal studies, proactive/preventive law, intellectual property, comparative law, etc.);
– Arts;
– Information design;
– UX design;
– Human-computer interaction;
– Behavioural and Cognitive sciences;
– Ethnography;
– Linguistics;
– Rhetoric and argumentation techniques;
– Sociology.

Legal Design project outline must provide i) an overview of a finalized research (or, at least, close to a conclusion) and ii) a way to implement a legal design methodology.

The outline has to emphasise the methodological aspects followed in the study, clearly describing the research design and the method used in each single phase of the project. To favour the discussion and the comparability of the approaches, authors will be asked to follow the templates included in Annex I.

While preparing your contribution, please ensure to follow the OSCOLA style.


The Legal Design Roundtable is a 2-days forum for discussion.
Papers will be shared among the participants (speakers and attendants) before the event. All participants are expected to read and be prepared to discuss the contributions.

DAY 1 (Wednesday, April 1) will be dedicated to the presentation of the accepted contributions. The roundtable is meant to be highly dynamic and the discussion will be facilitated by one or more moderators per session. This event is going to be open to the public.
DAY 2 (Thursday, April 2) will be devoted to the discussion of the draft paper “Legal Design Methodology: A Blueprint” (see below, section “Outcome”). The participation to this event is reserved to the accepted contributors only.


The expected outcome of the Legal Design Roundtable is a collective paper on the methodological foundations of legal design that will summarise the results of the discussion. The paper will be published in an international peer-reviewed journal and available in open access.
A draft of the paper, prepared by the scientific committee, will be shared among the selected participants before the event. Such a draft will contain a first elaboration of the main inputs coming from the accepted contributions. Authors will be invited to comment and make suggestions to the draft on April 2, 2020.
Authors are free to re-publish their input methodological papers and legal design project outlines after the roundtable.


31 December 2019: Expression of interest. An abstract of max 1000 words should be submitted through Easychair:

– The abstract should specify for which track the author intends to send her contribution (1. input methodological paper; or 2. legal design project outline).
– Please remember that the roundtable is dedicated to the methodological aspects: make sure to emphasise this perspective in your abstract.

14 January 2020: Notification of acceptance

14 February 2020: Deadline for sending the input methodological paper/legal design project outline. For the legal design project outline, authors are kindly invited to follow the format provided in Annex I.


There are no participation fees.

Participants are responsible for organising and paying their own travel and accommodation costs.


Rossana Ducato (UCLouvain, Université Saint-Louis – Bruxelles) and Alain Strowel (UCLouvain, Université Saint-Louis – Bruxelles, KULeuven, IP Munich Centre).


For any question or query about the roundtable, you can write at the following address:


The Legal Design Roundtable is an event promoted within the Jean Monnet Module “European IT Law by Design”, co-funded by the Erasmus+ Program of the European Union.

Download the Legal Design Roundtable Call for papers

Download the Annex I

Posted by rossana

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