Patricia Bellia

William J. and Dorothy K. O’Neill Professor of Law

Patricia Bellia

Notre Dame has embraced the promise but also sensed the perils of emerging information technologies for human well-being. Across a range of disciplines, the University’s faculty is contributing to these advances while studying their impact on our ability to craft sound public policy. My own research focuses largely on the intersection of law and communications technologies.

From a legal perspective, the Internet has unsettled traditional paradigms by disrupting concepts of sovereignty and jurisdiction, blurring the distinction between public and private regulation, and permitting technology itself to encode or supplant legal rules. Internet-related legal questions demand that we constantly reassess our general assumptions about how the law develops and operates, and “cyberlaw,” as my field is called, provides a lens for doing just that.

The Notre Dame Law School's strengths in public law, constitutional structure, and institutional design provide the ideal environment in which to examine the legal challenges presented by fundamental shifts in how we are communicating. Moreover, the University’s commitment to cross-disciplinary collaborations—including my own with engineers, economists, political scientists, and others—enriches not only the value of research but the experience of day-to-day student learning.

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