Academic Staff

Dr Marcelo Thompson

LLB, LLM, DPhil (Oxford)

Assistant Professor of Law
Deputy Director, Law and Technology Centre

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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 ResearchUniversity 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


Key Publications

Beyond Gatekeeping: The Normative Responsibility of Internet Intermediaries” (2016) 18:4 Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment and Technology Law (forthcoming).

"The Neutralization of Harmony: Whither the Good Information Environment" (2012) 18:2 Boston University Journal of Science and Technology Law 303-342.

Other Publications

"In Search of Alterity: On Google, Neutrality, and Otherness" in Aurelio Lopez-Tarruella, ed., Google and the Law: Empirical Approaches to Legal Aspects of Knowledge-Economy Business Models, Vol. 22, Information Technology and Law Series(The Hague: T.M.C. Asser Press, 2012) pp. 355-403 [SSRN (draft)SpringerLink]; originally printed, with alterations, in (2011) 14 Tulane Journal of Technology and Intellectual Property 137-190.

Marco Civil ou Demarcação de Direitos? Democracia, Razoabilidade e as Fendas na Internet do Brasil (Civil Rights Framework or Demarcation of Rights? Democracy, Reasonableness and the Cracks on the Brazilian Internet), Revista de Direito Administrativo (Journal of Administrative Law), v. 261, 2012.

"The Insensitive Internet: Brazil and the Judicialization of Pain" (2010) IPilogue 1-20 [online].

"The Sheriff of 'Not-the-Internet': Reflections on Comcast Corp. v FCC" (2010) 1:1 Communications Law Review 201-215 [SSRN (draft)Thomson RT].

"Identity, Capacity and Totality: Rethinking the Boundaries of Personhood in Brazil" (2009) 3 poliTICs 25-33 [online, in Portuguese: "Identidade, Capacidade e Totalidade: Repensando as Fronteiras da Personalidade no Brasil"].

"The Democracy of FLOSS: Software Procurement Under the Democratic Principle" (2008) 5:1&2 University of Ottawa Law & Technology Journal 79-124 [SSRN].

"The Northern European Subset: A Cross-Border Platform for Electronic Public Procurement" (2008) 4 Public Procurement Law Review 175-199 [Westlaw].

with Mary Rundle, Bob Blakley, Jeff Broberg, Tony Nadalin, Dale Olds, Mary Ruddy and Paul Trevithick, At a Crossroads: Personhood and Digital Identity in the Information Society. OECD, Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry, Working Paper DSTI/DOC(2007)7 [online]

"Property Enforcement or Retrogressive Measure? Copyright Reform in Canada and the Human Right of Access to Knowledge" (2007) 4:1&2 University of Ottawa Law & Technology Journal 163-241 [SSRN].

with Sergio Vieira Branco Jr. Forewords to Joaquim Falcão, Ronaldo Lemos, and Tercio Sampaio Ferraz Junior "Free Software Law and Public Administration" (Rio de Janeiro: Lumen Juris, 2007), pp. ix-xxi [online, in Portuguese: "Direito do Software Livre e a Administração Pública"].