Professor Abhilash Nair
Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Business Engagement and Innovation / Associate Professor of Internet Law
Abhilash's principal area of research is internet law, specifically the regulation of illegal and harmful content, internet pornography, and online safety. He is an internationally recognised expert on online child safety laws, and has advised various international and national bodies on regulating illegal content, online child sexual abuse material, and content-related cybercrime. He has published widely on aspects of internet law and regulation, and has been a regular speaker at international conferences and panels. Abhilash's research monograph titled 'The Regulation of Internet Pornography: Issues and Challenges' (Routledge) examines how the internet has necessitated a fundamental change in the regulation of pornography.
Abhilash holds a number of external appointments outside the University. He is the Editor in Chief of the European Journal of Law and Technology, one of the oldest open access law journals in Europe (formerly published as JILT). In addition, he serves as the Deputy Editor of the International Review of Law, Computers and Technology (Routledge), and an Associate Editor of the European Journal of Current Legal Issues. Abhilash is Vice Chair of the British and Irish Law, Education and Technology Association and has served as a member of the Technology Law and Practice Committee of the Law Society of Scotland. Abhilash is a member of the Evidence Working Group of the UK Council for Internet Safety (UKCIS) and a member of the UN-IGF Dynamic Coalition on Child Online Safety.
Abhilash is currently leading the academic research team on a significant interdisciplinary project on creating an infrastructure for age verification and parental consent, for child protection on the internet. This EUR 1.47 million project funded by the European Commission (PPPA-AGEVER-01-2020) is part of a consortium of leading academics (LSE, Leiden University, Aston University), and industry partners. For further details of the project, see www.euconsent.eu
You can follow Abhilash on Twitter @abhicm
Abhilash has extensive experience of contributing to both written and broadcast media outlets. Notable media contributions include:
BBC News (National), to comment on online extremism and the role of tech giants.
BBC 2 (Victoria Derbyshire), on the use of shared child sexual abuse image databases among police forces.
• Radio 5 Live, to comment on the Government Online Harms White Paper
• BBC Asian Network, on facial recognition technology
• BBC Sounds/Radio 1, 'On Love', podcast on revenge pornography
A number of BBC regional radio stations across the UK on a broad range of topics on internet safety/regulation of illegal content. For e.g. BBC Radio WM, BBC Radio Stoke, BBC Radio Surrey, BBC Radio Merseyside, BBC Radio Cornwall, BBC Radio Ulster, BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Radio 3C, BBC Radio Leeds, BBC Radio Liverpool, BBC Radio Cumbria, etc.
• Glamour, Age verification for pornography sites could soon become a reality, but will it help solve the UK's rape culture problem?
• The News Minute, Madras High Court suggests moral education to tackle child pornography: why this doesn’t work
• The Telegraph, 'German police are using fake child abuse images to catch abusers, but critics warn of dangers'
• Glamour, 'Why you should think twice before posting photos of your children on social media?'
• The Conversation, 'When a drawing or cartoon image can land you in jail'
• The Conversation, 'Policing porn and the new enforcement of moral standards that don’t exist'
• The Economic Times, 'The real issue India needs to tackle is child pornography, not pornography'
Editor-in-Chief, European Journal of Law and Technology
Deputy Editor, International Review of Law, Computers and Technology
Associate Editor, European Journal of Current Legal Issues (www.ejocli.org)
International Advisory Board Member, Journal of Law, Technology and Trust
Membership of Professional Bodies
• Fellow, Higher Education Academy
• Vice Chair, BILETA (www.bileta.ac.uk)
• Member, Dynamic Coalition on Child Online Safety, United Nations Internet Governance Forum
• Member, UK Council for Internet Safety Evidence Working Group
• Academic Observer, Digital Policy Alliance (formerly, EURIM)
euCONSENT, PI: This EUR 1.47 million project funded by the European Commission (Grant Agreement LC-01622116) is part of a consortium of leading academics (LSE, Leiden University, Aston University), and industry partners. Abhilash is currently leading the academic research team for this significant interdisciplinary project that aims to create an interoperable infrastructure for age verification and parental consent for child protection on the internet.
BILETA Seminar (£1500, PI): to organise a research and engagement seminar on internet content crimes. The seminar was held in June 2019 at Aston University, formally opened by the Vice-Chancellor, and brought together key policy influencers, influential organisations (Revenge Porn Helpline & Internet Watch Foundation), and leading senior academics. The seminar explored the themes of online misogyny and online child sexual abuse material.
EJLT Funding (£1000 each year on an ongoing basis, PI). The funding is granted by BILETA to support the European Journal of Law and Technology, to further its mission of free and open access publishing for the dissemination of high-quality legal scholarship to the public with no paywall barriers.
BILETA research grant for developing an innovative online conference social networking strategy (£2,500, 'Co-PI with Maharg, P) (2012).
Northumbria University Research Conference Support Fund (£2000, Co-PI, with Maharg, P) (2012).
BILETA/SCRIPT Centre small grant to lead a response to the European Commission Consultation on Online Gambling on behalf of BILETA (2011).
In addition to the above, I have also undertaken several personal consultancies advising governments, internet regulators, international NGOs and industry partners globally.
Nair, A, Regulation of Internet Pornography: Issues and Challenges (Routledge: 2019)
Nair A, ‘Apps, AI, and Law’, (editorial) European Journal of Law and Technology Vol 11, No. 3, 2020
Nair A, ‘Ethics, Transparency, and Safeguarding Privacy’, European Journal of Law and Technology Vol 11, No. 2, 2020
Nair A, ‘Techonolgy in cars, classrooms, and software’ (editorial), European Journal of Law and Technology Vol 10, No. 2, 2019
Maharg P, Nair, A, and Easton C 'Legal scholarship and open access publishing: Developing radical pathways to free, open models', European Journal of Law and Technology, Vol 9, Issue 1, 2018.
Maharg, P, Nair, A, ‘Open legal journals in the space of flows: the future of legal journal publication’ (editorial), European Journal of Law and Technology, Vol 7, No. 3, 2016
Nair, A and Griffin, J, ‘Regulation of online pornography: Purposive teleology (in) action, International Journal of Law and Information Technology (Oxford Journals) Vol 21 No 4 Dec 2013
Griffin J and Nair, A, ‘Scientia potentia est: Making threats of copyright infringement’, International Review of Law, Computers and Technology, Vol 27 No 3 2013
Nair, A, ‘Online gambling, children and the law’, EJLT 3:3, 2012
Jones R, Nair, A, ‘Too many laws, too few examples: Law, technology and legal education’ IRLCT, 27:3, 2013
Nair, A, Mendis, D, ‘Response to the Consultation on online gambling in the Internal Market’, European Journal of Law and Technology, Vol 3, No 1, 2012
Nair, A, ‘Technology: Used or misused?’ IRLCT, 26:1, 2012
Nair, A, 'Caveat Viewer!: The rationale of the possession offence, International Review of Law, Computers and Technology, Vol 22, Nos 1&2, 20
Nair, A, ‘Internet Content Regulation: Is a global community standard a fallacy or the only way out?’ International Review of Law, Computers and Technology, Vol 21, No. 1, 2007
Nair, A, ‘Mobile phones and the internet: Legal issues in the protection of children’, International Review of Law, Computers and Technology, Vol 20, Nos 1-2, 2006.
Nair A, ‘E-commerce Law in Developing Countries: An Indian Perspective’, Information and Communications Technology Law, Vol 11, 2002
‘Intellectual Property Law’, with Griffin, J & Ying, J., Hodder Arnold, 2007 (I contributed the chapters on privacy and breach of confidence).
Cagar, C and Nair, A*, EU Legal Framework for Age Verification, euCONSENT project report (European Commission:2021) mapping the age verification laws spanning content, online gambling and online sale of tobacco & alcohol in all EU Member States and the UK (50,800 words). *Principal Investigator.
Contributor, Criminal Law Reform Now (CLRN) Report on the Review of the Computer Misuse Act 1990 (funded by the AHRC). The report identifies key areas for reform in the existing computer misuse legislation and made recommendations for primary legislative reform of offence definitions and the creation of new defences, and guidance for prosecutors and courts. The report was launched in Jan 2020 in Westminster.
Nair, A, Written evidence to the House of Lords Communications Committee Inquiry on Children and the Internet, (CHI0037), Oct 2016.
Nair, A, Foreword, in De Miguel M, Santamarina Campos V (eds), Ethics and Civil Drones Springer 2017
Journal Issues/Edited collections:
• Nair, A (2020), European Journal of Law and Technology, Issue 3 2020
• Nair, A (2020), European Journal of Law and Technology, Issue 2 2020
• Nair, A (2019), European Journal of Law and Technology, Issue 3 2019
• Nair, A (2019), European Journal of Law and Technology, Issue 2 2019
• Nair, A (2018), European Journal of Law and Technology, Issue 3 2018
• Nair, A (2018), European Journal of Law and Technology, Issue 2 2018
• Nair, A (2017), European Journal of Law and Technology, Issue 3 2017
• Maharg M & Nair, A (2017), European Journal of Law and Technology, Issue 2 2017
• Griffin J & Nair, A (2017), European Journal of Law and Technology, Issue 1 2017
• Maharg, P & Nair, A (2016) European Journal of Law and Technology, Issue 3 2016
• Nair, A (2016), European Journal of Law and Technology, Issue 2 2016
• Maharg, P & Nair, A (2015) European Journal of Law and Technology, Issue 3 2015
• Maharg, P & Nair, A (2014) European Journal of Law and Technology, Issue 3 2014
• Maharg, P & Nair, A (2014) European Journal of Law and Technology, Issue 2 2014
• Jones, R & Nair, A, (2013) BILETA Special Issue, International Review of Law, Computers and Technology Vol 27, Nos 1 & 2 2013
• Nair, A (2012) International Review of Law, Computers and Technology Vol 26, No 1, pp 1-107; (Guest Editor)