The IRI§ Symposium 2024

Connecting Law and Computer Science in Salzburg

Automatisch gespeicherter Entwurf 520

The International Legal Informatics Symposium IRIS (also IRI§) took place for the 27th time from Wednesday 14th of February till Saturday 17th of February in 2024 at the University of Salzburg, law faculty. The IRIS has established itself as an academic conference in Austria and Central Europe in the field of legal informatics, but also more generally connecting law and computer science.

In addition to continuing previous topics, notably data protection and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), IRIS 24 put a focus on Large Linguistic Models (LLM) in Law. The expertise of researchers is now more and more often provided by legal databases, assisted by so-called artificial intelligence (AI). Just like information retrieval and databases, artificial intelligence is based on language models, and the legal system must face these developments.

The FH JOANNEUM is a regular visitor and participant at the conference. This year, the team Dawn Branley-Bell (University of Northumbria), Johannes Feiner und Sabine Proßnegg were happy to deliver their thoughts on Ethical Implications of AI-powered Chatbots Considerations for the AI Act: A Case Study of TESSA. Tessa was a chatbot that was supposed to support people with eating disorders but that went astray and started giving dieting advice instead. The team used this real case from the US to analyze what did go wrong and if the envisaged AI Act could have prevented that. The other speakers in the panel that was chaired by Michael Sonntag were Aleksander Smywiński-Pohl and Tomer Libal, who talked about Automated Examples Computation for Legal Research and Leon Qiu, Yiwei Lu and Burkhard Schafer who delivered their truly interesting research results on Formalisation Memories: Towards a Pattern Approach to Legal Design. The chair Michael Sonntag from the Johannes Kepler University of Linz shared in another session his fascinating research results on AI Language Models: IT Security and Use in Programming.

On the occasion, Dietmar Jahnel, a highly respected University professor at the University of Salzburg who had not only published intensively with a focus on legal informatics and data protection law but also developed and published legal information systems himself (RIDA plus II, RIDA online) gave a talk on 40 Years of Data Protection and IT Law, (Datenschutz und Rechtsinformatik - 40 Jahre Rückblick und Ausblick). We were particularly pleased when he mentioned the two Master Studies of the FH JOANNEUM, Data Science and IT-Law &-Management, since both connect computer science and law (ie data protection), a combination that is not that common as it should be these days.

All the papers are published in the conference proceedings IRIS 2024, Weblaw Edition, Bern 2024 (ISBN: 978-3-03916-222-2). The program, most of the presentations as well as the information for next year’s event can be found on at More information about the FH JOANNEUM Masterstudies combining computer science and Law please, Data Science and IT-Law&-Management go to: FH JOANNEUM . Check out and join in.

Finally, we would also like to thank Prof. Erich Schweighofer from the University of Vienna who is one of the main initiators of IRIS and we are really looking forward to next year’s event that will take place in Vienna, February 2025.