Web and E-Commerce Law

A University of Turin undergraduate course (BA in Global Law and Transnational Legal Studies) aiming to provide students with a critical understanding of law, regulation and governance of the web. The course covers legal issues of the internet as a means of communication, as a global marketplace and as a tool of mass-surveillance.

The BA course in Global Law and Transnational Legal Studies is part of the Department of Law of the University of Turin. The course is a 3-years degree entirely taught in English, which aims to train students to be able to complete different professional tasks in the international context. The fields of expertise can go from business work to an institutional career, as well as careers in the world on NGOs and the third sector. 

The course Web and E-Commerce Law is an elective course taught at year 3. It aims to provide students with a critical understanding of the web as a global marketplace in its own right. Students acquire knowledge of the applicable legal framework to online transactions and awareness of the main policy and regulatory issues of the web. They are introduced to the challenges of applying legal principles of human rights, private law, informational privacy and data protection in relation to factual scenarios emerging from the latest developments of the internet and so-called “artificial intelligence”.

Students are expected to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of: 

  • Regulatory mechanisms and key actors of governance in relation to the internet technical infrastructure, operative standards and content. 
  • Legislative instruments and remedies to resolve controversies arising in the context of e-commerce transactions. 
  • The fundamental rights and obligations that apply to processing and transfer of data within and beyond the European Union. 
  • The main legal and technical instruments to control and moderate content online, including liability rules for internet intermediaries such as hosting services, social media platforms and messaging apps. 

There were 170 students enrolled for the 2023 edition of the course, (amounting to around a half of the BA cohort). 

The course was divided into three parts, addressing i) the web as a means of communication, ii) the web as a global marketplace, and iii) the web as a mass-surveillance instruments. Each part included frontal lectures, seminar exercises and guest lectures with external experts covering a range of challenging subjects. 

The 2023 course featured the presence of a visiting professor, Prof. Dr. Pedro-José Bueso Guillén from the University of Zaragoza, who conducted three sessions on EU competition law and the internet. Additionally, two affiliates from Nexa delivered guest lectures in the course: