International Center on Law Science and New Technologies - ICLT


Inspiring idea of the Center

Science and technology are rapidly producing transformative effects in our societies, the quantitative and qualitative aspects of which can only be understood and directed to socially useful ends through a convergent effort of all the knowledge at our disposal. Biology, philosophy, biotechnology, neuroscience, linguistics, medicine, bioengineering, sociology, law, and other disciplines are involved.
Today we are aware that experiences gained in one field of knowledge can be applied to other realities and other fields, revealing deep, hitherto unsuspected connections in human scientific and social experience, connections that digital technologies and artificial intelligence are now making visible.
Law, in particular, is implicated in artificial intelligence and digital technologies in two fundamental ways. In the first sense, in how it regulates or fails to regulate, by accident or design, the largely technologized social reality. In the second sense, it is the law itself that, in a reflexive stance, questions itself and its transformations from a perspective of great theoretical and practical complexity. And similar dynamics can be found and studied in other traditional disciplines as well.
The International Center on Law Science and New Technologies (ICLT) aims to contribute to these developments. Information, education, curiosity, and above all an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approach are our inspiration.


Proponente principale
Amedeo Santosuosso

Altri proponenti
Nicola Canessa
Mario Martina
Amedeo Santosuosso


Diretttore pro tempore
Amedeo Santosuosso

Consiglio scientifico
Nicola Canessa (IUSS)
Mario Martina (IUSS)
Alberto Monti (IUSS)
Riccardo Pietrabissa (IUSS)

Kevin Ashley (Pittsburgh Un.)
Riccardo Bellazzi (UNIPV)
Gabriella Bottini (UNIPV)
Silvana Castano (UNIMI)
Diana Urania Galetta (UNIMI)
Margaret Hagan (Legal Design Lab, Stanford Un.)

Silvia Garagna (UNIPV)
Oliver Goodenough (VLS and Stanford Un.)
Roberto Navigli (La Sapienza, Roma)
Fabio Puglia (OVERSONIC)
Carola Ricci (UNIPV)
Giovanni Sartor (UNIBO)
Marta Tomasi (UNITN)
Francesco Sciaudone (Grimaldi Alliance)
Maurizio Zuccotti (UNIPV)
Roland Vogl (CODEX Stanford Un.)



The research activity is focused on the interaction between science-technology-social rules and law. The research topics will be mainly (but not exclusively) the following: the analysis of conceptual problems, neuroscientific components (from neurophysiological models to integrated neural systems) and regulatory aspects of cognitive robots; the analysis of ethical and legal problems raised by neuroscientific applications in the field of advanced diagnosis and rehabilitation treatments; the analysis of the impact of the use of AI techniques on public decision-making processes and the impact on key disciplinary categories (in the fields of economics, administration, law and justice); the analysis of cognitive processes in scientific research and its applications in the biological and biomedical fields; the study of ethical and legal problems in the biological and medical fields, in particular in the field of medically assisted reproduction; the study of the effects of the artificialization of social contexts and the prospects for research through simulation on the development of the co-evolution of humans, non-human animals and machines.

General Objectives

The main objectives will be the following:

  • The implementation of research projects, also with external funding.
  • Interaction with institutions and research centers in Italy and abroad to carry out large and interdisciplinary projects in the field of technological applications in different disciplinary areas.
  • Interaction with the IUSS Doctoral School, in its articulations, and with the National Doctoral Program on Sustainable Development and Climate Change.
  • Supporting research through interdisciplinary and international training activities (winter and summer schools,
  • intensive courses) aimed at doctoral students, young researchers, or professionals, also in collaboration with the Ghislieri College (Pavia, I).
  • To support the research and teaching activities of the IUSS with contributions from the world of business and the professions.
  • The scientific support of professional and economic activities.

The Centers activity is organized into Initiatives, each of which relates to a field of research. However, the organizational model is dynamic: new research topics can generate new disciplinary interactions and cultural approaches, including through collaboration with academic and non-academic entities, both Italian and from other countries. The unity of the Center is ensured by a common inspiration, which is transversal to the different initiatives and can take additional forms depending on the topics addressed.

Thematic initiatives

  • Artificial Intelligence Rules Observatory and Archive (AIOA)

A joint initiative of ICLT and Grimaldi Alliance

Giulia Lovaste (Brussels GA) and Giulia Pinotti.

The project of Artificial Intelligence Rules Observatory and Archive (AIOA) is the result of the strategic partnership between Grimaldi Alliance and IUSS Pavia. It is a virtual archive intended to host materials related to AI and digital, with the aim of providing a reference point on trends in regulation, trends that are not always easy to decipher. The AIOA is based on a system of ontologies that allows lawyers, researchers, policy makers, practitioners, citizens, and companies to obtain comprehensive information and a customized research experience. Grimaldi Alliance (Brussels office) and ICLT at IUSS Pavia combine their expertise to create a platform capable of promoting education and offering individuals and organizations the opportunity to navigate the complexities of artificial intelligence and digital regulation, helping to create a true archive of future legal content.


  • Neuroscience, cognitive robots, and the law

 In cooperation with Oversonic srl

Gabriella Bottini and Fabio Puglia, with the collaboration of Beatrice Marone

To develop research on patterns of complex behaviors relevant to social interaction, as inferred from neurophysiology (explored by
neuropsychology and neuroimaging) and robotics. To identify problems engendered by seemingly irreducible human-robot cognitive differences, such as the emotional component and its role in decision-making processes. To study the ethical aspects of socio-professional relationships and interactions between the humans and robotic components in the new co-evolution scenario.
The activity is carried out in collaboration with Oversonic srl, a leader in the field of cognitive robotics and manufacturer of the robot Robee.


  •  AI, decision making and the law

In cooperation with the CODEX Center at Stanford University Computable contract and insurance Initiative

Oliver Goodenough, Nicola Canessa and Amedeo Santosuosso, with the collaboration of Beatrice Marone and Giulia Pinotti

Artificial Intelligence affects decision-making processes in various domains, from scientific research, medicine, public decisions, public administration activities, to legal and judicial decisions. Work is needed to analyze decision-making processes in different domains, grasping their complexity and, at the same time, the common explanatory possibilities offered by data-driven techniques (e.g., in the legal sphere, with the shift from documents to data), as well as to explore the degree of congruence between decisions made by humans and those made by AI-based systems, which endogenous and/or exogenous factors can modulate it, and to what extent. All interactions, both theoretical and practical, between artificial intelligence and law, are involved.
The topic of computable contracts, especially in insurance, plays an important role in cooperation with the CODEX Center at Stanford University.


  •  AI, biotechnologies, and medicine


Riccardo Bellazzi and Silvia Garagna, in collaboration with Sara Azzini

Automation and Artificial Intelligence are deeply penetrating the world of medicine and biology, with important technical, diagnostic, and prognostic, social and philosophical implications, improving the objectivity, quantity and quality of information and its processing in both scientific-academic and clinical-application fields.
Reproductive medicine and biology have recently opened to this multidisciplinarity. At this turning point, it is crucial to build a network of specialists with diverse expertise to maximize the effectiveness, efficiency, and scientific and clinical value of automation and artificial intelligence applied to the reproductive world. The interaction with the context of ethical and legal rules is of paramount importance.


  • Sustainable Development and governance

In cooperation with the Doctoral School on Sustainable Development and Climate change (PhD SDC)

Mario Martina and Amedeo Santosuosso

The current international legal system, largely based on nation-states, shows problems in agreeing on what climate action to take, how to distribute burdens and benefits, and more. Governance appears to be one of the most sensitive issues for climate action and there is a need to develop innovative approaches. International law has so far been ineffective in mitigating climate change, although several multilateral agreements are potentially relevant. For these reasons, governance requires appropriate research, that considers its multidisciplinary and multilevel dimension. This initiative, in collaboration with the Italian National PhD in Sustainable Development and Climate Change (PhD SDC), aims to promote innovative research in this area.