Quantum Law Conference: An interdisciplinary exploration of quantum theory, law, regulation and ethics

Editor’s Note: CRE staff have been asked to participate in the Quantum Law conference.

From: Quantum Law Conference

Conference to be hosted by St Mary’s University, London, UK on Tuesday 26th June 2018.

Conference overview:

Quantum theory, the study of the nature and behaviour of matter and energy on the atomic and subatomic level, has come to occupy a dominant position in physics. It is however increasingly important also as both the basis of new or potential technologies and as a broader idea outside of subatomic physics itself, as both an artefact of popular culture but also a means of explaining other complex phenomena. The need for quantum theory to engage directly with other areas is pressing for various reasons, both in order to prevent the misuse of its ideas in inappropriate ways, but also in order to consider how its models for understanding can be fruitfully applied to other areas of study. Legal and ethical theory is an obvious candidate for various reasons, yet this relationship has been almost entirely neglected. At the same time, the legal regulation of the application and use of quantum theory and technologies is on the verge of becoming a pressing regulatory concern of public policy given the novel regulatory dilemmas and ethical concerns which such technologies pose. This workshop proposes to create a unique and necessary environment where quantum theorists and scholars of law and legal and ethical theory can discuss these matters in order to articulate ideas, problems and solutions in a manner which reflects the needs, ideas, limits and potential of all concerned parties.


Similarly, the overlapping question of the legal regulation of the application of quantum theory within new and potential quantum technologies and the carrying out of research in quantum mechanics poses an exciting and important set of questions which require legal scholars and physicists, among others, to discuss the potential problems, goals and solutions. The uptake of new applications based on nanotechnology was greatly slowed by a lack of such discussion and consequent public and policy-maker fears induced by misunderstanding. Conversely the massive success of mobile communications technology was produced by rapid and early agreement global standards. The impending development of quantum technology poses a potentially novel set of problems for policy makers regarding the goals, methods and viability of any existing or future legal regulatory framework. Such discussions will allow the development of ideal models for regulation. This project also fits in with the European Commission’s ‘Better regulation for new technologies’ agenda, and can draw upon and inform the expertise of that project. Drawing on the expertise, requirements and goals of physicists working in the area of quantum theory and legal scholars and people engaged in public policy in the field of regulation will allow discussion of topics including the following:

Read Complete Conference Announcement

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