Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute (SICI) Conference and Lecture Series Grant “Artificial Intelligence and legal regime: Addressing issues of Ethics, Justice Administration, Privacy and Transparency”.
19th – 20th March 2022


 In the digital era, data occupies a central place; used for various purposes including strengthening citizenry and good governance, boosting economy, reducing human labour, and so on. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has made swift inroads in policy regime across the world, Canada and India are no exceptions. AI since its inception has been promoted as to build data based solutions for the common citizens use. In the given discourse, the policy regime promotes AI and AI based market economy  in a sacrosanct manner, which has given a consistent push – we are moving upward from the age of information to artificial intelligence.

AI products are believed to be game changers and overwhelmingly applauded by its users in Canada and India, especially its application in prediction of individual behaviours and preferences, natural language processing, reinforcement of learning techniques. However, examining AI with legal AI, it has raised several ethical questions about the manner in which AI trains and functions. Today, AI is used across several sectors such as the finance, healthcare, judiciary, administration, and many more. The problems discussed are in the context of data input into AI; the   way its programming is done, and therefore questions are raised looking at the final outcome, i.e. they suffer from bias, security, and privacy violations; lack of transparency is felt; etc. Such observations on outcomes using AI are linked with a range of issues associated with AI – ethics, accountability, responsibility and transparency.


 Mutual learning through lecture series: Planning, execution, and outcomes

As a Law School, aims to organise this lecture series on AI/IT Enabled Services and concerns of ethics and accountability, which will become a medium for dialogue, deliberation, discussion, and building up a discourse with interdisciplinary approach including Law, IT, Science & Technology Studies, Liberal Arts, Governance and policy regime, etc. This lecture series will be coordinated on two axis – with a group of people in India and between Canada and India.

We propose total four lectures in this series. Four themes related to AI are: (i)Issues of ethics and morality in AI;

(ii)Big data & Data Privacy – opportunity and risks; (iii)AI and Justice Administration; and

(iv)Accountability, Responsibility, and Transparency issues in AI.

We will ensure participation of law academia, practitioners, industry actors, and others for dialogue, deliberation, discussion, and building up a discourse on AI and associated concerns/ issues.

Each lecture will have a speaker from one country and a discussant from the other country. Thus, in two lectures two Canadian speakers and two Indian discussants  will participate and in the other two lectures, two Indian speakers and two Canadian discussants will deliberate on current legal and ethical issues on AI, discuss on research findings observations and deliberate on legal in their respective country with comparative interdisciplinary approach on a given topic.

The outcome (publication plan) will be:

  • A multi-media package (lectures uploaded on YouTube channel, animated clips, podcast, print medium) for educational purpose and
  • Policy brief  –  propose  a     policy   framework           to     Think   Tank of India       under     its #AIforAll


Prof. Luke Starke,

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Information and Media Studies at the University of Western Ontario

Luke Stark is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Information and Media Studies at the University of Western Ontario. His work interrogates the historical, social, and ethical impacts of computing and artificial intelligence technologies, particularly those mediating social and emotional expression. He completed his PhD  in  the  Department of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University in 2016 and holds an Honours BA and MA in History from the University of Toronto. Prior to joining FIMS, he was a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Fairness, Accountability, Transparency and Ethics (FATE) Group at Microsoft Research in Montreal, QC, a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Sociology at Dartmouth College, and a Fellow and Affiliate of  the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.

Dr. Abbas Poorhashemi , President, Canadian Institute for

International Law Expertise (CIFILE), Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Dr. Poorhashemi is the President of the Canadian Institute for International Law Expertise  (CIFILE).  He  is  academic and expert in international law. His practice, teaching and research interests are in the areas of Public International Law, International Criminal Law and Interational Environmental Law. He has published many books and articles in each of these areas. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the CIFILE Journal of International Law (CJIL), Canada. he has practiced law as a lawyer (barrister and solicitor), expert and legal adviser in International law, Criminal Law and family law in many different jurisdictions.

Tushar Bhatnagar,

Scientist – A.I., Co-Founder and CEO Alpha

Founder CEO -Alpha AI Ltd.: Alpha AI is an Artificial Intelligence (AI) Research and Consulting company that   aims to introduce AI through strategy and consultation using machine learning tools in Healthcare, Energy, Travel, Legal, Space Technology and Defence industries. Amazing things Tushar’s made State  of  art  recommendation engine – MEETLINK, User-behaviour analysis using user’s behavioral data, Tripsero – Community travel platform, QuickKart – Ride aggregation model. Cognixa Engine – An AI on-demand platform.

Professor Nicolas Vermeys,

Assistant director of the Cyberjustice Lab and vice-dean at the Faculty of Law, University of Montreal.

Nicolas W. Vermeys, LL. D. (Université de Montréal), LL. M. (Université de Montréal), CISSP, is the Dean of Programs at the Université de Montréal’s Faculté de droit, a researcher at the Centre de recherche en droit public (CRDP), and the associate director of the Cyberjustice Laboratory. He is also a visiting professor of law at both William & Mary (USA) and the University of Fortaleza (Brazil).

Mr. Vermeys is a member of the Quebec Bar, as well as a certified information  system  security  professional (CISSP) as recognized by (ISC)2, and is the author of numerous publications relating to the impact of technology     on the law, including Droit codifié et nouvelles technologies : le Code civil (Yvon Blais, 2015), and Responsabilité civile et sécurité informationnelle (Yvon Blais, 2010). He also sits as a member of the board of SOQUIJ, and serves  as a member of the Scientific Panel of different law journals, including Lex Electronica, (for which he served as editor-in-chief from 2001 to 2003).

Mr. Vermeys’ research focuses on legal issues pertaining to artificial intelligence,  information  security, developments in the field of cyberjustice, and other questions relating to the impact of technological innovations on the law. He is often invited to speak on these topics by the media, and regularly lectures for judges, lawyers, professional orders, and government organizations, in Canada and abroad.

Ms. Sharda Balaji, Partner, Novo Juris, Banglore

Sharda founded NovoJuris in 2008 with a primary focus of making legal easy for entrepreneurs from starting up to scaling up and beyond.

Previously, Sharda has worked with large Indian conglomerates and MNCs as their in-house attorney on various projects including – IPO, cross border transactions, acquisitions, takeovers, mergers, collaborations and intellectual property for nearly 12 years. During Sharda’s earlier employment with Intel in India, she was responsible for the South Asia Operations and in the Puravanakara Projects, she raised about Rs. 900 crores through IPO. Her stint with Manipal Group was in a range of businesses like – education, healthcare, lifestyle and consumer goods, brand valuations, real estate and more.

Sharda has special interests in women businesses and chaired TIE’s Special Interest Group for Women  Entrepreneurs. She is the India Trustee for ‘Baalemane’ – a loving home for orphan girls.

Sébastien Lafrance,

Crown Counsel / Prosecutor – Public Prosecution Service of Canada

Sébastien Lafrance is a Crown Counsel (Prosecutor) for the Public Prosecution Service of Canada. He was a part-  time Professor of Law at the University of Ottawa and is currently an adjunct lecturer at  the  Ho  Chi  Minh University of Law, Vietnam. He clerked for the Honourable Marie Deschamps of the Supreme Court of Canada and for the Honourable Michel Robert, Chief Judge of the Quebec Court of Appeal. Sébastien also worked as counsel    for the Law Branch of the Supreme Court of Canada. He has published book chapters and articles (in Australia, Canada, France, India, Indonesia, the United Kingdom and Vietnam; in English, French and  Vietnamese)  on  criminal law, constitutional law, public international law, civil law, competition law, artificial intelligence and the  law, international trade law, energy law, and also labour law, one of which was awarded a national first prize. He   won the first international position at the Charles-Rousseau Public International Law Moot Court competition with  his teammates and has lectured on various legal topics around the world, in 22 countries so far. Sébastien completed the courses for a Master in Law, Laval University, and studied international law at the Hague Academy of International Law, Netherlands. He holds a degree in law (LLB) from the University of Quebec at Montreal and a degree in political science (BSc) from the University of Montreal. He also studied international law at The Hague Academy of International Law in the Netherlands; Russian and Slavic Studies at McGill University; and Chinese Mandarin at the University of Toronto. He is a hyperpolyglot. Sébastien is a member of the Law Society of Ontario and of the Law Society of Quebec (Barreau du Québec).

Pablo Sanz (LLB, LLM, PhD in Law) joined the Law School of Comillas Pontifical University (Madrid, Spain) in September 2015 as Lecturer in Commercial Law. Pablo has spent significant research time at the Law School of the University of Cambridge (UK), the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law (Hamburg), China-EU School of Law at the China University of Political Science and Law (Beijing), Centre for Corporate Law and Securities Regulation (University of Melbourne) and Ross Parsons Centre (University of Sydney).

His research interests are in the field of Law and economics, especially regarding corporate law and economic analysis of Law, on which he completed his PhD. Pablo has had international teaching  experiences  at  the  Kozminski University (Poland), the International University of Business and Economics (Beijing) and Externado University of Colombia (Bogotá).

In the last year he has been a speaker at various international events, including the 2017 Legal Scholars Roundtable organized in Seoul (South Korea), organized by the Korea Legislation Research Institute, and in 2018 at the International Legal Informatics Symposium held at the University of Salzburg, the  International  Congress  “Corporate Governance: Ownership and control” held at the La Sapienza University in Rome (Italy) and the 2nd International Forum on Cross-Border E-Commerce and Dispute Resolution”, organized by the University  of  Zhejiang (Hangzhou).

In the field of regulation of digital technologies applied to the financial sector, Pablo has recently published two academic papers: “Automated Investment Advice: Legal Challenges and Regulatory Questions”, in Banking & Financial Services Policy Report (Wolters Kluwer) and “A legal framework for robo-advisors” in Datenschutz/LegalTech, Weblaw Editions (Switzerland).

R. Raghvendra –

Joint Secretary, Department of Justice, Ministry of Law & Justice, Government of India.

Joint Secretary at Department of Justice Ministry of Law & Justice. Joint Secretary at Department of Industrial   Policy & Promotion Ministry of Commerce & Industry Government of India. Director at Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion Ministry of Commerce & Industry Government of India. Registrar of Copyrights and Director    at Government of India Ministry of Human Resource Development

Dr. Gregor Wolbring

Professor at the University of Calgary’s Cumming School of Medicine

Dr. Gregor Wolbring is a tenured Professor at the University of Calgary’s Cumming School of  Medicine  (Community Health Science, Program in Community Rehabilitation and Disability Studies). He is presently  a member of the Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS), Karlsruhe,  Germany  and  a fellow of the Institute for Science, Policy and Society, University of Ottawa, Canada.

Some of his areas of engagement are: ability studies including governance of ability expectations, disability studies, governance of emerging and existing sciences and technologies (e.g. nanoscale science and technology, molecular manufacturing, aging, longevity and immortality, cognitive sciences, neuromorphic engineering, genetics, synthetic biology, robotics, artificial intelligence, automatization, brain machine interfaces, sensors), impact of science and technology on marginalized populations, especially people with disabilities he governance of bodily enhancement, sustainability issues, EcoHealth, resilience, ethics issues, health policy issues, human rights and sport.

Zameer Nathani,

Senior Vice President and General Counsel, UFO Moviez India Limited, Mumbai

Mr. Zameer Nathani is an LLB, LLM (Civil, Corporate, Criminal, Customs, International Laws, UN, WTO), PLD from Harvard Business School, Executive MBA from NMIMS, US IP Laws from Stanford University, Intellectual Property Rights and ADR Certifications from WIPO (United Nations), Private Equity  from  London  Business  School and M&A from Harvard Business School. Mr. Nathani was a Law Firm Attorney for renowned and global corporates such as Eureka Forbes, LG Electronics, TCL India, Motul Oils, Ginger Hotels, Kale  Consultants  Software, Johnson & Johnson, other MNCs from US, UK, Asia Pacific etc. He was Associate Vice President, Reliance Entertainment (Digital Businesses- Global, Gaming, OTT, E-Commerce), Head – Legal, Balaji Telefilms (India’s No. 1 TV Show Co. and OTT) and Director – Legal, Raymond Limited (World’s Largest Producer of  Worsted Suiting Fabrics). He is presently Senior Vice President and General Counsel for UFO  Moviez  India Limited, India’s pioneering and disruptive technology developer for digital format of all movies and other contents  for movie theatres, and new OTT and UGC Platforms.Mr. Nathani is a recipient of  the  prestigious  “Harvard Business School – Alumni Challenge Award” from Harvard Business School, “Alumni Achievement Award” from Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, and in addition to other renowned awards in the past he is also a recipient of the “General Counsel of the Year Award” from Indian National Bar Association at the gracious hands     of Justice Srikrishna, Ex-Judge, Supreme Court of India and Chairman of the Committee on Data Protection Laws.

For more information and registration: Click here

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