On Thursday 3 June the 4th edition of the Master in Information Technologies Law, organised by the Observatory - Studies Centre for Legal Informatics of Florence, was concluded in the splendid setting of “Villa del Poggio Imperiale” in Florence.
On this occasion and with an impeccable organisation, they summoned a study-day with the title “The Web for the citizen: legal informatics in defence of free access”, during which representatives of institutions and important authorities reported and tackled each other on the manifold aspects of information technologies law in front of a large and attentive audience and those enrolled in the Master (lawyers, articled clerks, information
technologists, representatives of public administration, members of associations working on the ground).
Since the first lesson on 3 March the Master has been seeing the alternation of authoritative speakers, who were able to catch the audience’s interest neatly and often winningly, illustrating the different aspects of information law: civil, penal and administrative.
The success of the Master was attested by the presence of these qualified speakers and by a sizeable number of entry coming not only from Florence and Tuscany, but also from other Italian regions.
Just as in the spirit of the Csig (Studies Centre for Legal Informatics) and of Mr. Massimo Melica, President of the Csig and lawyer, the target of the Observatory - Studies Centre of Florence and of Mrs. Barbara Gualtieri, Executive Director and lawyer, has been successfully achieved once again: i.e. the education of professional figures able to support the businesses, public administration and the citizen which are grappling with problems resulting from the impact of new technologies on economic and social life.
Another signal, which occurred on the closing day of the 3 June and demonstrates the success of the Studies Centre and of the aims underlying its existence, is the will by the people present at the conference coming from other regions to strive for the birth of further Observatories CSIG in other towns.
The seeds sowed in his own good time by Mr. Massimo Melica are still bearing fruit and, as the peasant tradition teaches, “it happens not only owing to the quality of the land, but also thanks to the man who watches, supervises and guides the growth of the seed and its transformation into fruit day after day, season after season.” (Alfonso Buccini)
The subjects broached by the speakers fully outlined the situation of new technologies and of their operativeness area, ranging from right to communication, from art to E-Government, from open source projects to relations between public administration and citizens/professionals/businesses.
During the closing day of the Master legists met with sociologists, magistrates, information technologists, experts and academics and allowed the audience to learn about the numerous, different and kaleidoscopic aspects by means of which the web can act and interact with the various users.
Even if it is a trite term, we can but define the whole day of the 3 June as the product of a synergy of many kinds of knowledge coming from different education and different places of origin, which, despite their diversity, were united by believing and supporting that free circulation of knowledge represents an inestimable source of richness; that free approach to knowledge is a resource to defend; and the principle of web-sharing a target to pursue.
Mr. Eugenio Handjaras, person in charge of the Informative Systems Organizational Department of Tuscany Region, neatly and accurately illustrated the role assumed by this Region nowadays, as well as the forthcoming goals which will be pursued by putting services and results at the disposal of citizen, professionals and businesses thanks to the effective and efficient usage of new technologies and of web-services. He underlined also the premises and the grounds which led to the preference for free software.
Mr. Enrico Bisenzi, on behalf of www.infoaccessibile.com, pointed out that the quality of a software product doesn’t lie in its lack of defects, richness of functionality or technological innovation, but in its “reachability”, considering the users’ needs in regard to the use context; and therefore that the contemporaneous existence of qualitative features for softwares and websites is indispensable, such as accessibility of contents and usability, which have to be moulded
in such a way as to respect and surmount all the users’ disabilities, whether these are technological, personal or physiological. He also depicted the current critical situation of the sites of public administration with regard
to the above-mentioned parameters.
On behalf of Firenze Tecnologia, Mr. Nicola Giosmin successfully illustrated the development pathway carried out by Firenze Tecnologia in relations with businesses, and neatly depicted the theory and practice of Open Source and
Free Software, to which Firenze Tecnologia applied itself.
Mr. Giorgio Mantovano, Executive Director of the Observatory - Studies Centre for Legal Informatics of Lecce, astonished that portion of the audience which hadn’t got to know the project www.iusimpresa.com yet, telling accurately and passionately about the troubles he had run into at the origin of the project and, first, at the proposal of the same to academics and institutions: most of them had been highly dubious and had judged the project something very serviceable, but also very difficult to put into practice.
But since the baptism which took place on 8 March 2003 www.iusimpresa.com has been growing in contents, consensus, moral supports, entries and consultations which today are facilitated by the introduction of the sixth language, Portuguese, heralding new interesting contacts with the Brazilian world and Portuguese universities.
After the presentation in Brussels at the European Parliament on 28 January 2004, the attention of the academic world has been growing, which is testified by the current constitution of the scientific committee.
Mr. Giorgio Mantovano illustrated the portal www.iusimpresa.com:
- on 17 May in Reggio Calabria at the Master in Law and New Technologies, organized by the Observatory CSIG
of Reggio Calabria;
- on 10 May in Barcelona at the Autònoma University, on the occasion of a seminar on law and new technologies, organized by the chair of constitutional law and by Professor Perez Francesch, in front of the Faculty of Law and Professor Ernesto Capobianco, on behalf of the University of Lecce and of the scientific committee of the Observatory – Studies Centre for Legal Informatics of Lecce;
- on 13 May at the University of Pavia, on the occasion of the international seminar on administrative law with the title “Economic activities and social activities in the services of general interest”, at the invitation of Professor Erminio Ferrari at Collegio Ghisleri, attended by the Legal Studies Department of the University of Pavia, with the participation of many professors from the Universities of Barcelona, Orleans, Poitiers, Madrid, Munich, Jena, London (LSE), Frankfurt;
- on 14 May in Milan at the State University, on the occasion of a seminar on legal research, organized by Professor Giovanni Ziccardi.
Further important meetings in all Europe are waiting for the portal in the next months.
But let us return to the speakers: Mr. Fulvio Sarzana, lawyer, brilliantly reported with self-assurance on the
progress of juridical relations between citizens-users-professionals and public administration in the E-government and E-procurement age, and stated theories and problems successfully and passionately.
Mrs. Anna Carola Freschi, Professor of “Sociology of Organization” and “Technology and Society” at the Faculty of Political Sciences in Florence and at the present time coordinator of CAMBIO (Research Laboratory on social transformations), stressed the concepts of participation, participative processes, digital citizenship and E-democracy.
The Professors Luca Toschi (President of the Specialist Degree Course “Communications Theory” at the Faculty of Education Science of the University of Florence) and Tommaso Tozzi (Coordinator of the Multimedia Arts Department at the Academy of Fine Arts of Carrara) outlined their experiences in education thanks to the usage of the web, urged enterprise in the elaboration and production of projects and gave hints of work and discussion.
Mt. Antonino Attanasio, lawyer of Cesena Court, raised then critical and arguable aspects in the relations between ICT and taxation law; and Mr. Elio Fameli, Research Executive at ITTG – CNR, skilfully illustrated the “Siam” project, an integrated system of juridical knowledge acquisition and management.
The speech of Mr. Gennaro Francione (magistrate at the Criminal Division of Rome Court) about the anti-copyright theory provoked thunderous, heartfelt, endless and moved applause for the particularity, the passionate and accurate discussion, as well as for the freshness and novelty of the enunciated theories, which come out from the formulation of the well-known anti-copyright judgement pronounced by he himself.
The noteworthy speeches of two well-known professors of legal informatics appealingly closed the day: Professor Ernesto Cianciola (University of Bari) and Professor Giancarlo Taddei Elmi (University of Florence) broached and discussed the philosophical, juridical and ethical aspects of digital communications, of the so-called intelligent agents and of the web.
The conclusion of the study-day saw also the brief but rapturous speech of the President Massimo Melica and the moved and moving delivery of the attendance certificates. Moreover, the Ministry for Innovation and Technologies and the well-known journalist Lilli Gruber sent their best wishes; in addition, some moments of the day were documented by the RAI.
And finally, I would like to greet and thank also Toscana Congressi of Elena Finocchietti, very precious organizational secretary of the event and of the Master.
Let this occasion be just the beginning of a progress of collaboration, growth and sharing towards common goals.