Dr Marcelo Thompson

Adjunct Associate Professor

LLB, LLM (Ottawa), DPhil (Oxford)


Dr Marcelo Thompson is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Law at the Faculty of Law, The University of Hong Kong. He holds a DPhil from the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, an LLM (Law and Technology) from the University of Ottawa, and an LLB and a Post-Graduate Diploma (Intellectual Property Law) from PUC-Rio. Dr Thompson’s teaching and research interests lie at the intersection of technology law and politics, with a focus on the regulation of technological platforms, privacy, data governance, and artificial intelligence. His doctoral thesis at Oxford, which he completed with a full scholarship from The CAPES Foundation of the Brazilian Ministry of Education, examined the idea of neutrality in technology law and politics, a theme that still informs much of his work in the field. Dr Thompson’s work on the responsibility of technological platforms was the first to propose the concept of a scalable, efforts-based duty of care that now underlies contemporary regulatory approaches to the topic.

Dr Thompson is currently the Principal Investigator of a Public Policy Research Grant awarded by the Hong Kong Chief Executive’s Policy Unit. The project investigates the scope and genealogy of the Hong Kong Government’s power to decide on the technological standards applicable in the Region (Article 139(2) of the Hong Kong Basic Law) and advocates for a balanced exercise of such power in the regulation of technological platforms. Dr Thompson’s recent and upcoming work develops a framework for international convergence on regulatory approaches to data governance, explores the neutrality visions at the heart of the first ‘Internet Bill of Rights’ in the world (the Brazilian ‘Marco Civil’), analyses the justice implications of China’s Social Credit System, and elucidates the connections between privacy and the very notion of law.

Dr Thompson received the Faculty Research Output Prize in 2018 ‘in recognition of outstanding research performance’. His research has been published or is forthcoming in publications by Oxford University Press, Routledge, Boston University, Vanderbilt University, University of Ottawa, Tulane University, T.M.C. Asser, Sweet and Maxwell, the Centre on Regulation in Europe, the OECD, and has been cited with approval by the Brazilian Supreme Court. Dr Thompson has delivered invited keynote speeches and presented his work at conferences in more than a dozen jurisdictions. In 2023, his work has been presented at: the ‘International AI + Society Conference: Shaping AI for Just Futures’ (University of Ottawa); the Annual Conference of the International Society of Public Law – ICON.S (Victoria University of New Zealand); the 2023 Workshops of the Manchester Centre for Political Theory (University of Manchester); the ‘New Frontier for Legal Integration’ Symposium (University of Macau); the ‘Technological Platforms and National Security in Hong Kong’ workshop and the ‘Governance of Social Listening’ conference, which he organized or co-organized at HKU.

Dr Thompson is a member of the Steering Committee of the MacArthur Foundation-funded Platform Governance Research Network and a member of AoIR—the Association of Internet Researchers, the International Society of Public Law—ICON.S, and the Asia Privacy Scholars Network. At HKU, Dr Thompson has served as Deputy and Acting Director of both the Law and Technology Centre and the Master of Laws in Intellectual Property and Technology Law. He has been an Alcatel-Lucent Visiting Fellow at the Hans-Bredow-Institute for Media Research (now Leibniz Institute for Media Research) at the University of Hamburg, a visiting researcher at the Institute for Information Law (IViR) at the University of Amsterdam, and an Advisory Board Member to the European Network of Excellence in Internet Science.

Dr Thompson began his career as an intern and then a lawyer in a boutique law firm in Rio de Janeiro specialising in technology. At 26, he became the General Counsel of the Brazilian Information Technology Institute – ITI, at the Presidency of Brazil. Dr Thompson headed the Department of Litigation at the Brazilian Innovation Agency – FINEP, at the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation, which he joined as a Legal Counsel for the Venture Capital Division, after passing public examinations. He is a member of the Brazilian Bar Association (on leave).

Courses Taught:
– LLAW3001 | Introduction to Legal Theory
– LLAW3261 | The Regulation of Technological Platforms: Theory and Practice
– LLAW1009 | Law and Society (past)
– LLAW6046 | Privacy and Data Protection (past)
– LLAW6170 | Law and the Internet (past)

Past Service:
– Deputy / Acting Director, Law and Technology Centre
– Deputy / Acting Director, Master of Laws (Intellectual Property and Technology Law)
– Deputy Director, Exchange (Incoming Students)

PhD Supervision:
– Ye Xin (confirmed)
– Dr Célia Filipa Ferreira Matias (completed)
– Dr Pattamon Anansaringkarn (completed)