The Institute for Legal Informatics (Institut für Rechtsinformatik, IRI) of the Leibniz Universität Hannover is one of the oldest research institutes for legal informatics in Germany.
The IRI has its roots in the legal informatics movement of the late 1960's and 1970's. From the very beginning, the development of information technology has raised questions which could not be answered fully by the classical disciplines of law. A comprehensive analysis of the legal consequences of information technology required and still does require the close cooperation of lawyers, information scientists and economists. Since its establishment in 1983, the IRI has been committed to this interdisciplinary approach.
Today, the IRI provides research and education in information technology law covering the full spectrum of this still emerging discipline from data protection law and legal aspects of electronic commerce to all questions of intellectual property (copyright, trademark and patent law). A further focus is placed on legal theoretical issues raised by information technology. These topics are international by their very nature and can not be dealt with from a purely national perspective. Therefore, the IRI is taking part in a network of research institutions from all over the European Union. This network enables students to attend classes in Hanover and abroad to earn a European Master of Laws degree (LL.M.) in information technology law. The IRI also works in cooperation with other European Universities in order to enhance its research.