The Institute for Information Law (IViR), operational since 1986 and officially established in 1989 by decree of the University of Amsterdam (UvA) Executive Board, is the oldest research institute within the Faculty of Law. The institute is one the largest research centres in the field of information law in the world. IViR has a strong presence in European and international academic networks through a broad array of activities, regularly engages in national and international research collaborations, and collaborates with non-legal disciplines such as economics, communications science, computer science, philosophy, digital humanities and the arts.
Mission and vision
The institute’s mission is to further the development of information law into a balanced framework that accommodates the needs and interests of the information society while respecting fundamental rights and freedoms. Information law is a normative concept that integrates the law relating to the production, marketing, distribution and use of information. The essence of the information law paradigm is that formerly distinct issues and sectors, which are intrinsically connected or converging, are treated within a single and coherent normative framework. The institute has played a pioneering role in this approach, which has been followed at home and abroad.
The institute’s mission is reflected in its research strategy, which aims at producing scholarly output that lives up to rigorous academic standards, while feeding into societal discussions and policy debates on information law-related issues at the national, European and international levels. This “360 degree approach” towards research and valorization is reflected in IViR’s research strategy that values both cutting-edge scholarly publications and groundbreaking policy-oriented studies and reports. IViR initiates research only on the conditions that a new project, first, is situated within the domain defined in its research program, second, tackles an important research question of scientific value, and, third, has potential impact on the shaping of the information society. Following these principles, commissioned research contributes both to producing scientific excellence and societal relevance, while allowing the institute to grow even in times of tightening faculty budgets.
Information law is one of the Research Priority Areas (RPA’s) of the University of Amsterdam and of the Faculty of Law, and as such the institute’s research program is publicly financed (eerste geldstroom). IViR also participates in various research projects specifically financed by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and the European Union (tweede geldstroom). A third source of financing is commissioned research (derde geldstroom), usually for governmental organizations, such as the Dutch government, the Council of Europe, the European Parliament and Commission, the OECD, WIPO, etc. Occasionally, research is commissioned by non-governmental organisations or private actors. All research activities undertaken by IViR are conform to the Declaration of Scientific Independence of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) and the relevant European principles on research integrity. IViR, therefore, refrains from providing consultancy services.
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