Professor Lorna Woods

School of Law
Professor Lorna Woods



Lorna Woods is Professor of Internet Law. She started her career as a practising solicitor in a technology, media and telecommunications practice in the City of London. She has extensive experience in the field of media policy and communications regulation, including data protection, social media and the Internet, and she has published widely in this area (see list of publications) as well as contributed to a range of commissioned studies, including the RAND Study on Options for and Effectiveness of Internet Self- and Co-Regulation’ (2007)) and the Hans Bredow Study on Co-regulation and the Media. She has been invited to give oral evidence to a number of parliamentary committees in respect of inquiries right across the TMT field, including House of Lords Communications Committee on Regulation of the Internet; the House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee on security cooperation and data protection post Brexit; and the International Grand Committee on Disinformation and Fake News. Her current research project with Carnegie UK Trust is on reducing harm arising on social media and she was awarded an OBE in recognition of her work. She also has a long-standing interest in privacy and the law relating to surveillance. She is serving a second term as a member of the ESRC Peer Review College, is a member of the Digital Freedom Fund's Panel of Experts, is a senior associate research fellow at the Information Law and Policy Centre, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of London and a fellow of the Royal Society for Arts. She is a member of a group of advisors who support the Surveillance Camera Commissioner in his role (a group established by virtue of paragraph 5.7 of the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice) and has sat on the Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) National User Group, advising the Surveillance Camera Commissioner and the police since 2015. She was also a member of the IMPRESS Code Committee (2015-2020).


  • LLB

  • LLM

  • solicitor

Research and professional activities

Research interests

Media regulation

Internet Law


Analysis of the regulatory framework for state surveillance, especially dataveillance and surveillance in public spaces

Current research

Impact of positive obligations under freedom of expression on media and telecommunications regulation

Challenges of social media

Conferences and presentations

Plenary panel: 'A digital strategy for the common good?

Invited presentation, IPPR Oxford Media Convention, IPPR, 20/7/2021

Panel Discussion: Policing Online Content and Social Media

Invited presentation, Policing Cybercrime Conference, Westminster Insight, 16/7/2021

Panel discussion: Regulatory independence and the Duty of Care in the Online Safety Bill

LSE Online Safety Bill Briefing, London, 8/7/2021

Intoduction to draft OSB

Invited presentation, GMF Roundtable on OSB and DSA, German Marshall Fund, 23/6/2021

Responsibilities of Social Media Platforms under International Human Rights Law

Invited presentation, Roundtable Discussion on Human Rights Responsibilities of Social Media Platforms, Brussels, Belgium, 24/3/2021

2021 and Beyond: Regulations on the Horizon

Invited presentation, PrivSec Gloobal 2021, 24/3/2021

Regulatory Compliance

Invited presentation, Safety Tech Expo 2021, 24/3/2021

The UK: Online Safety Bill and Other Initiatives

Invited presentation, Digital Workshop on Platform and Media Regulation – New Trends in Western Democracies, 23/2/2021

Remarks on the Statutory Duty of Care

The UK's New Online Safety Bill, London, United Kingdom, 10/2/2021

The UK's New Online Safety Bill - Introductory Remarks

Invited presentation, The UK's New Online Safety Bill, London, United Kingdom, 10/2/2021

Online Harms - An Overview

Invited presentation, Society for Computers and Law Online Harms Webinar, Society for Computers and Law, London, 29/10/2020

roundtable participation

Invited presentation, Online Harms Roundtable - Our Digital Future Consultation (Labour Party), 18/9/2020

Latest Thinking on reducing harmful content online

Invited presentation, Protecting Children online: content regulatopm, age verification and latest thinking on industry responsibility, Westminster eForum Policy Conference, 10/12/2019

Conceptualising the Problem: Policy changes in comparative perspective

Invited presentation, Dealling with Digital Diminance: Joining up the Policy Solutions, London, United Kingdom, 9/12/2019

Corporate Accountability and Europe's Digital Agenda (roundtable discussion)

Invited presentation, Corproate Accountability and Europe's Digital Agenda, The Internet Commission, 13/11/2019

The Carnegie proposal for a Statutory Duty of Care

Invited presentation, Truth and Lies: Information in the Archives, National Archives, 22/10/2019

group discussion

Invited presentation, Stakeholder Meeting on Data Retention, Brussels, Belgium, 8/10/2019

The Online Harms White Paper

Invited presentation, The Future of Intermediary Liability in Europe, 21/5/2019

Domestic Surveillance and European Courts

Invited presentation, Supranational Courts: Are they effective in setting the limits of intrusive surveillance by public and private bodies?, 6/9/2018

Social Media and Freedom of Expression: On the Edge of Reason

Invited presentation, The Legal CHallenges of Social Media to Freedom of Expression, Leicester, United Kingdom, 6/12/2013

Competition Policy an dthe Regulation of Media and Communications, Tilburg Law and Econonmics Centre (TILEC), Tilburg University, 23-24 May 2013

Tilburg, Netherlands, 2013

The Legal Implications of On-line Social Media on Freedom of Speech, University of Leicester, December 2013

Leicester, United Kingdom, 2013

'Freedom of Expression on the Internet: bloggers 'rights'a at side event to the OSCE Conference, Warsaw,6th October 2009, organised by the EU Fundamental Rights Agency and the EU Presidency.

Warsaw, Poland, 2009

'Regulation, Co-regulation, Self-regulation: protection of minors - the case of the UK' at in the year 2009 - Accompanying the transposition of the Audiovisual Media Services


'Ethics and Human Rigths and the Internet' Meeting in preparation for the IGF, Council of Europe, Media Division, Sept 2007


The Constitution of the Public Sphere: the post-Leveson Landscape (W.G. Hart Workshop)

Directive (Saarbrucken, Germany), organised by European Audiovisual Observatory and EM

Teaching and supervision

Previous supervision

Kirsty Ellis
Kirsty Ellis
Thesis title: The Experiences of Practitioners Implementing the Open Dialogue Approach Within the Nhs in the UK
Degree subject: Clinical Psychology (D Clin Psych)
Degree type: Professional Doctorate
Awarded date: 18/4/2018
Sian Marie Williams
Sian Marie Williams
Thesis title: 'If You'Re Kind to Me, I'Ll be Kind to You.' Compassion to Self and Others as a Dynamic and Relational Process Among Young People Who Have Engaged in Harmful Sexual Behaviour: A Grounded Theory
Degree subject: Clinical Psychology (D Clin Psych)
Degree type: Professional Doctorate
Awarded date: 7/3/2018
Anne Peacock
Anne Peacock
Degree subject: Law
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 17/6/2015


Journal articles (41)

Woods, L., McNamara, L. and Townend, J., (2021). Executive accountability and national security. The Modern Law Review. 84 (3), 553-580

Woods, L. and Holznagel, B., (2021). Rechtsguterschutz im Internet - Regulierung durch Sorgfaltspflichten in England und Deutschland. Juristen Zeitung. 76 (6), 276-285

Woods, L., (2020). United Kingdom ∙ Automated Facial Recognition in the UK: The Bridges Case and Beyond. European Data Protection Law Review. 6 (3), 455-463

Draghici, C. and Woods, LM., (2019). Killing Journalists is Not Media Regulation: Private Rights, Collective Wrongs and the Impact of Impunity. Transnational Law and Contemporary Problems. 29 (1), 263-308

Woods, L., (2019). Digital Privacy and Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Political Quarterly. 90 (3), 422-429

Woods, L., (2019). The duty of care in the Online Harms White Paper. Journal of Media Law. 11 (1), 6-17

Woods, LM., (2018). Video-sharing platforms in the revised Audiovisual Media Services Directive. Communications Law. 23 (3), 127-140

Woods, L., (2017). Automated Number Plate Recognition: Data Retention and the Protection of Privacy in Public Places. Journal of Information Rights, Policy and Practice. 2 (1), 1-21

Woods, L., (2017). United Kingdom ∙ Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT): Privacy International v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and Ors. European Data Protection Law Review. 3 (2), 247-250

Woods, L., (2017). United Kingdom ∙ CG v Facebook: The Interconnection between E-Commerce and Data Protection. European Data Protection Law Review. 3 (1), 106-110

Woods, L., (2017). GDPR Implementation Series ∙ United Kingdom: Heading Towards Brexit but with a Data Protection Bill Implementing GDPR. European Data Protection Law Review. 3 (4), 500-506

Woods, L., (2016). EU opinion of the advocate general in tele 2/Watson - Data retention and human rights. Communications Law. 21 (3), 72-77

Woods, L., (2016). United Kingdom ∙ Draft Investigatory Powers Bill. European Data Protection Law Review. 2 (1), 103-107

Woods, L., (2015). Delfi v Estonia: curtailing online freedom of expression?. Computers and Law. 26 (3), 3-6

Woods, L., (2012). Beyond Murphy, Films and Football: Audiovisual Content in Europe. Journal of Media Law. 4 (2), 189-212

Woods, L., (2012). Consistency in the chambers of the ECJ: a case study on the free movement of goods.. Civil Justice Quarterly. 31 (3), 339-367

Walden, I. and Woods, L., (2011). Broadcasting Privacy. Journal of Media Law. 3 (1), 117-141

Woods, L., (2009). The "future-proof" Communications Bill: platform regulation in a new age. Computers and Law. 20 (6), 17-19

Woods, L., (2008). The Consumer and Advertising Regulation in the Television without Frontiers and Audiovisual Media Services Directives. Journal of Consumer Policy. 31 (1), 63-77

Woods, L., (2006). Freedom of Expression in the European Union. European Public Law. 12, 371-401

Woods, L., (2005). Broadcasting, universal service and the communications package. Info. 7 (5), 29-41

Woods, L. and Smith, F., (2005). A Distinction without a Difference: Exploring the Boundary between Goods and Services in the World Trade Organization and the European Union. Columbia Journal of European Law. 12 (1), 1-51

Woods, L. and Scheuer, A., (2004). Advertising Regulation and the Television without Frontiers Directive. European Law Review. 29 (3), 366-384

Woods, L. and Smith, F., (2004). GATS and the Audiovisual Sector. Communications Law. 9 (1), 15-21

Harrison, J. and Woods, LM., (2001). Defining European Public Service Broadcasting. European Journal of Communication. 16 (4), 477-504

Woods, L., (2001). Decisions of the European Court of Human Rights During 2000. British Yearbook of International Law. 71 (1), 473-515

Woods, L., (2001). Decisions of the European Court of Human Rights during 2001. British Yearbook of International Law. 72 (1), 483-550

Woods, L., (2001). Nottingham City Council v October Films Ltd and Kelly v BBC ? Freedom of Expression and the Protection of Minors. Child and family law quarterly.. 13 (2), 209-223

Woods, L. and Harrison, J., (2001). Television quotas: protecting European culture?. Entertainment Law Review. 12 (1), 5-14

Harrison, J. and Woods, L., (2000). European Citizenship: Can European Audio-visual Policy Make a Difference?. Journal of Common Market Studies. 38 (3), 471-495

Woods, L., (1999). Decisions of the European Court on Human Rights during 1999. British Yearbook of International Law. 70 (1), 349-386

Woods, L. and Harrison, J., (1999). Determining Jurisdiction in the Digital Age. European Public Law, 583-600

Woods, L., (1999). Family Rights in the EU- disadvantaging the disadvantaged?. Child and family law quarterly.. 11, 17-31

Woods, L., (1999). Obliged to help Big Brother? The government review of interception of communications. Utilities Law Review. 10 (6), 262-268

Woods, L., (1998). Decisions of the European Court on Human Rights during 1998. British Yearbook of International Law. 69 (1), 361-410

Woods, L. and Scholes, J., (1997). Broadcasting: Creation of a European Culture or the Limits of the Internal Market?. Yearbook of European Law. 17 (1), 47-82

Smith, F. and Woods, L., (1997). Causation in Francovich: the neglected problem. International and Comparative Law Quarterly. 46 (4), 925-941

Woods, L., (1997). Decisions of the European Court on Human Rights during 1997. British Yearbook of International Law. 68 (1), 371-445

Villiers, C. and Woods, L., (1997). Seymour-Smith: problems in procedures and proof. Modern Law Review. 60 (1), 110-119

Woods, L. and Scholes, J., (1996). The Broadcasting Act 1996. Entertainment Law Review. 7 (7), 297-307

Woods, L. and Scholes, J., (1996). Media ownership: the UK government's proposals. Entertainment Law Review. 7 (1), 7-15

Books (5)

Ferstman, C., (2018). Contemporary Human Rights Challenges: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its Continuing Relevance. Routledge. 978-0-8153-6463-4

Woods, L. and Watson, P., (2014). Steiner and Woods on EU Law (12th Edition). Oxford University Press. 978-0-19-968567-7

Harrison, J. and Woods, L., (2007). European Broadcasting Law and Policy. Cambridge University Press. 0521613302. 9780521848978

Woods, L., (2004). The Free Movement of Goods and Services within the European Community. Ashgate

Michalowski, S. and Woods, L., (1999). German Constitutional Law The Protection of Civil Liberties. Dartmouth Publishing Company. 1855219204. 9781855219205

Book chapters (9)

Woods, L., (2017). Social media: it is not just about Article 10. In: The Legal Challenges of Social Media. Editors: Mangan, D. and Gillies, LE., . Edward Elgar. 978 1 78536 450 1

Woods, L., (2017). Digital freedom of expression in the EU. In: Research Handbook on EU Law and Human Rights. Edward Elgar Publishing. 394- 417. 9781782546399

Woods, L., (2016). Rechtliche Rahmenbedingungen für Mediaagenturen in England. In: Handbuch Mediaagenturen: Aufgabenfelder, Gesch�ftsmodelle, Vertrags-und Wettbewerbsrecht. Editors: Gaedertz, JC., Martinek, M. and Ory, S., . Verlag C H Beck. 978-3-406-64466-5

Woods, L., (2015). Diversity, Distribution, and Definitions of ?Media?. In: Media Power and Plurality: From Hyperlocal to High-level Policy. Editors: Barnett, S. and Townend, J., . Palgrave Macmillan. 31- 44. 978-1-349-50664-4

Woods, L., (2014). Article 11 - Freedom of Expression and Information. In: Commentary on the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. Editors: Peers, S., Hervey, T., Kenner, J. and Ward, A., . Beck/Hart Publishing

Woods, L., (2014). Article 54 ? Abuse of Rights. In: The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights: A Commentary. Editors: Peers, S., Hervey, T., Kenner, J. and Ward, A., . Beck/Hart Publishing. 1539- 1559

Woods, L., (2014). Public service media in the era of austerity: European Union law and national public service media provision. In: Media Freedom and Regulation in the New Media World. Editors: Koltay, A., . Wolters Kluwer. 9789632954004

Woods, L., (2008). Jurisdiction in the Television without Frontiers Directive. In: The European Union and the Culture Industries Regulation and the Public Interest. Editors: Ward, D., . Ashgate. 145- 164. 9780754670186

Woods, L., (2008). Jurisdiction in the television without frontiers directive. In: The European Union and the Culture Industries: Regulation and the Public Interest. 145- 163. 9780754670186

Conferences (3)

(2012). Conclusion: Utilising a Human Rights Framework

(2012). Introduction: Freedom of Expression and the Media

(2012). User Generated Content: Freedom of Expression and the Role of the Media in a Digital Age

Reports and Papers (2)

Antoniou, A., Karapapa, S., Sarid, E., Woods, L. and Xu, T., (2020). Consultation on Artificial Intelligence and Intellectual Property

Woods, L. and Perrin, W., (2019). Online harm reduction – a statutory duty of care and regulator

Grants and funding


Harm Regulation and Social Media 2020

Carnegie UK


Reducing Harm on Social Media: policy proposal for regulating social media � impact work with UK government and possibly involvement in revision of e-Commerce Directive

Carnegie UK


Reduction of harm on social media - a regulatory proposal

Carnegie UK

+44 (0) 1206 872905


5S.7.25, Colchester Campus

More about me
Carnegie UK Trust - Reduction of Harm in Social Media: