Universität Basel
Juristische Fakultät

Conference: Regulating International Transfers of Data

Time: 7. April 2016, 08:30 - 19:00 Uhr

Place: PRO IURE Auditorium, Law Faculty, University of Basel, Peter Merian-Weg 8, 4002 Basel




Data is the foundation of the Digital Age. Referring simply to information or facts, the term “data” has historically been considered as something collected, analyzed and systematized by scientists. Today, computerization has succeeded in exponentially multiplying the amounts of data collected and systematized, while simultaneously lowering the financial and temporal cost of its analysis. More importantly still, technologies available today generate data from data, purposefully or not.

With the amount of transboundary data exchange close to one petabyte per minute, it is clear that cross-border data transfer is a major fact of contemporary life. Yet concerns with what types of data are being transferred, to whom, and for what purposes the data is being (or could be) used has stimulated a popular debate about the unimpeded flow of information. When restrictions on data transfer are proposed, questions of how to ensure privacy conflict with questions of how to protect economic growth and national security.

Legal regulation of data is struggling to catch up with the technical developments of the digital world. Today, both policymakers and the legal community are faced with a pressing need to reassess cross-cutting questions of whether, when, to what extent, and how data transfer between (and among) countries should be limited or liberalized.

To begin the conversation on how to regulate international trade in data, this conference will gather national and international experts from academia, practice, and government to explain and debate some of today’s most pressing legal questions, from e-commerce, competition law,  exchanges of tax information, national security, and privacy interests, the speakers will explain and analyze the latest concerns and regulatory efforts being made to control and direct data flows. An expert roundtable will then examine these issues in light of international trade and investment rules – seeking to find where the WTO, regional trade agreements, and the rules of international investment treaties may limit states’ moves to restrict data transfers. A keynote speech by one of the world’s foremost international criminal law practitioners and the International Bar Association Working Group leader on Cybersecurity will round out the day.

This event is open to the public at a fee of 90CHF for the day, including two coffee breaks and an apéro following the conference closing. Due to the limited availability of space, we may only accept the registration of the first 100 persons. If you would like to attend, please send a message by March 25, 2016 to: office-nadakavukaren-ius at unibas.ch



08:30 - 09:00

Introduction: Data as a Good? a Service? Property? a Resource? Which Legal Rules Might Apply?

Krista Nadakavukaren Schefer, University of Basel; Franz Werro, University of Fribourg; Georgetown University Law Center

09:00 - 10:30

Regulating the international transfer of data to protect markets

Moderator: Constanze Semmelmann, Swiss Federal Institute for Intellectual Property

Mira Burri, World Trade Institute (e-commerce); Marek Martyniszyn, University of Belfast Law School (competition law)

Comment from Practice: Sean Doherty, WEF

Coffee Break
11:00 - 12:30

Regulating the international transfer of data to protect states

Moderator: Sabine Gless, University of Basel

Allison Christians, McGill University Law School (international tax law); Reto Müller, University of Basel (exchanges of national intelligence)

Comment from Practice: David Rosenthal, Homburger

14:00 - 15:45

Regulating the international transfer of data to protect privacy

Moderator: Wakako Oshima, Nokia

Rolf H. Weber, University of Zürich (EU law and US approaches); Malavika Jayaram, Harvard University Berkman Center (Asia/APEC regulations); Alessandro Mantelero, Torino Polytechnic (Big Data and the Regulation of Privacy)

Comment from Practice: Alan Cleis, Deloitte

Coffee Break
16:15 - 18:00

International Economic Law Roundtable: Data, WTO Law, and Investment Law

Lee Tuthill (WTO); Andrew Lang (LSE); Henri Culot (Strelia/Univ. Louvain); Jonathan Gass; Andrew Mitchell (Univ. Melbourne); Jarrod Hepburn (Univ. Melbourne); Nadia Darwazeh (Curtis Mallet-Provost, Colt & Mosle)

18:15 - 19:00


Eduardo Reyes

Keynote Presentation: Monty Raphael (QC), Peters & Peters
Open Discussion (All participants)




Letzte Änderung: 02.03.2016

Öffnungszeiten der Bibliothek

Mo - Fr 8:00 - 20:00 Uhr

Sa 8:00 - 18:00 Uhr


Universität Basel
Juristische Fakultät
Peter Merian-Weg 8
Postfach 4002 Basel
Tel: +41 61 207 25 00
Fax: +41 61 207 25 08
Dekanat-Ius at unibas.ch