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Hin-Yan Liu

Hin-Yan Liu

Associate Professor

  • Centre for international law, Conflict and Crisis

    Karen Blixens Plads 16, 2300 København S, Søndre Campus, Building: 6A-4-16

    Phone: +45 35 33 76 96

Dr Hin-Yan Liu joined the Faculty of Law as an Associate Professor in 2015. Before coming to Copenhagen, he was first a Max Weber Fellow and subsequently a Research Fellow at the European University Institute in Florence, while concurrently holding a permanent appointment at New York University (NYU) in Florence. He had previously held academic positions at King’s College London and the University of Westminster, and has visited the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law in Freiberg on a Max Planck Society Scholarship.

His doctoral work at King’s College London was supported by grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, King’s College London and the Government of Alberta. Controversially arguing that ordinary legal processes were at the source of the impunity enjoyed by the modern private military company, his thesis was passed without amendments and has been adapted into a monography to be published by Hart in September 2015. He was awarded his LL.M. in Human Rights Law by University College London (UCL) with distinction, and also holds degrees in law and psychology.

Dr Liu’s research interests lie at the frontiers of emerging technology governance, and in law and policy for existential risks. His core agenda focuses upon the myriad challenges posed by artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics regulation at their nexus, and his perspective is centred upon the law. Thus, AI becomes problematic only to the extent where it causes the law ‘run out’ or otherwise disrupts its societal functioning. Similarly, existential question marks hang over humanity not only through direct calamities, but also through ‘second order’ threats from friction in coordination and control. Issac Asimov succinctly captured the technology governance gap: “The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.” Dr Liu’s research projects prise open law and policy niches in an attempt to narrow this gulf. He is currently exploring the ramifications of this approach with fervour, and welcomes the prospect for interdisciplinary collaboration to meet these emerging challenges.

Given the time and opportunity, he would like to begin investigations into legal and regulatory innovation: how might the law leverage insights into creativity and innovation in the arts and sciences to maintain its relevance and adequacy in an era of accelerating technological advancement? This relates to the Behavioual Law project which Dr Liu is currently engaged in, bridging psychological and neurological insights to improve the efficacy of legal processes and policy objectives.


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