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15 January 2024

Professor Sylvie Delacroix appointed as inaugural Jeff Price Chair in Digital Law

Professor Sylvie Delacroix has been appointed as the inaugural Jeff Price Chair in Digital Law at The Dickson Poon School of Law.

A photo of Professor Sylvie Delacroix speaking at an event

The Jeff Price Chair in Digital Law was established following a generous donation from Michael Abbott FKC and his family, named in honour of Jeff Price, a former staff member who passed away in 2001. The new role will drive forward an expanded programme of research and education at King’s and deliver actionable global insights. It will equip future generations of law practitioners with an understanding of the challenges and opportunities inherent in the way data-reliant infrastructure (whether it be powered by artificial intelligence or not) is transforming legal practices.

We are very pleased to welcome Professor Delacroix as our inaugural Jeff Price Chair in Digital Law. This role is critical in shaping the future of legal practice in this age of massive technological disruption, leading the evolution of a community of scholars driving extraordinary changes in the way we understand digital innovations in the context of the law.

Professor Dan Hunter, Executive Dean, The Dickson Poon School of Law

Currently a professor in Law and Ethics at the University of Birmingham, Professor Delacroix is also a fellow of the Alan Turing Institute. Her research focuses on the role played by habit within ethical agency, the social sustainability of the data ecosystem that makes generative AI possible and bottom-up data empowerment. The latter work led to the first data trusts pilots worldwide being launched in 2022 in the context of the Data Trusts initiative www.datatrusts.uk, which she co-chairs. Prior to her professorship in Birmingham, Sylvie was a reader in UCL, where she founded the Centre for Ethics and Law and the Centre for Virtual Environments and the Professions.

The public policy dimensions of her work have led her to being invited to contribute to multiple policy initiatives, including, most recently, the ‘International computation and AI network of excellence initiative’ (an initiative led by the Swiss Foreign Ministry and ETH, EPFL and SCSC) and the ‘Council for a Fair Data Future’ (Aspen Institute). She has also acted as an expert for public bodies, such as the UK’s DCMS Department, and served on the Public Policy Commission on the use of algorithms in the criminal justice system (Law Society of England and Wales).

Her current work on agency-enhancing, participatory infrastructure and the communication of uncertainty in the context of large language models is funded by Omidyar Network. Previously, Professor Delacroix's work has been funded by the Wellcome Trust, the NHS, Mozilla Foundation and the Leverhulme Trust, from whom she received the Leverhulme Prize. Her latest book Habitual Ethics? was published by Bloomsbury in 2022.

My family and I are thrilled about Professor Sylvie Delacroix’s appointment to the role of the Jeff Price Digital Chair. Sylvie is an extraordinarily accomplished practitioner who will ably lead this exciting new initiative. With a rapidly changing digital landscape, the need to analyse, regulate and build ethical frameworks for digital innovations is needed now more than ever. This role will be crucial in creating the next generation of scholars and law practitioners who will support a future where digital innovation truly benefits society. The opportunity to contribute to this important area of research whilst recognising an inspiring teacher and mentor is one we are proud to have been part of.

Michael Abbott

I am honored to assume this role at a pivotal point, as emerging technologies stand to reshape legal and social realities. My priority will be spearheading efforts to build participatory infrastructure that enables collective contestation around algorithmic systems influencing legal and social practices. This presents rich possibilities: by interweaving public participation, technology can enhance civic agency rather than undermine it. I look forward to equipping students with an understanding of the great challenges and opportunities before us—crafting human-AI partnerships within law that consciously align innovation with justice and democracy. As the inaugural Jeff Price Chair in Digital Law, I am committed to nurturing a community of grassroots organizations, public servants and scholars to collaborate on building infrastructure that responsively empowers citizens.

Professor Sylvie Delacroix, Jeff Price Chair in Digital Law

Professor Delacroix will start in the role on 1 March 2024.