Dr Marcelo Thompson


Assistant Professor
Deputy Director, Law and Technology Centre
LLB, LLM, DPhil (Oxford)


Marcelo Thompson is an Assistant Professor of Law and Deputy Director of the Law and Technology Centre at the Faculty of Law, The University of Hong Kong. Courses Marcelo teaches or has taught at HKU include “Law and Society”, “Legal Theory”, “Privacy and Data Protection” and “Regulation of Cyberspace “. Marcelo’s core research interests lie in the intersection between law, political theory and the study of technological change. He is interested in what new forms of normativity arising from the design of the information environment mean for the life of law and politics in the 21st century.

Marcelo completed his Doctorate of Philosophy at the University of Oxford, Oxford Internet Institute, on the idea of neutrality in technology law and politics. Marcelo holds an LLM (Law and Technology) from the University of Ottawa, where he wrote his major research paper on copyright reform and the human right of access to knowledge. A native of Brazil, he was the recipient of a full doctorate scholarship from The CAPES Foundation, of the Brazilian Ministry of Education, for which he was ranked 1st place, nationally, in the area of Law. His LLB was concluded at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio), from where he also holds a PgDip in Intellectual Property Law. From May to June 2008 Marcelo was an Alcatel-Lucent Foundation Visiting Fellow at the Hans Bredow Institute for Media Research, University of Hamburg. Marcelo is a member of the Advisory Committee of the Network of Excellence in Internet Science and of the Editorial Board of Revista de Direito Administrativo. He has given lectures and spoken in conferences in Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Korea, Mainland China, Taiwan, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Marcelo’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in publications by Vanderbilt University, Boston University, Tulane University, Springer, Sweet and Maxwell, and the OECD, and has been cited with approval by the Supreme Court of Brazil. Marcelo is a member of the Advisory Committee of the Network of Excellence in Internet Science and of the Editorial Board of Revista de Direito Administrativo.

Prior to returning to academia, Marcelo was the Attorney General of the Brazilian Information Technology Institute – ITI, under the Office of the President of Brazil (2004-2005), where he headed the legal team in charge of both the Brazilian Free Software Programme and the Brazilian Public Key Infrastructure. From 2002 to 2004 Marcelo was the Head of the Department of Litigation (2003-2004) and an Attorney within the Venture Capital division (2002-2003) of the Brazilian Innovation Agency – FINEP, under the Brazilian Ministry of Science and Technology. While working for FINEP, Marcelo was a Part-Time Professor of Information Technology Law at his alma mater, PUC-Rio (2002-2003). Marcelo started his professional career in 1998, practicing as an intern (1998-2000) and later as a lawyer (2001) in a technology-focused boutique law firm in Rio de Janeiro.

Research Interests

Jurisprudence and Political Theory
Regulation and Governance of the Internet
Identity, Privacy and Data Protection
Copyright and Access to Knowledge

Research Area

  • Legal Theory / Jurisprudence
  • Intellectual Property & Information Technology

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