Serge Gutwirth is Professor at the Faculty of Law and Criminology of the VUB, where he studied law, criminology and also obtained a post-graduate degree in technology and science studies. He defended his PhD in law on the relationships between law and sciences on December 15, 1992.
After consecutively being a predoctoral researcher, an assistant and a postdoctoral-assistant Gutwirth was appointed as a full-time lecturer at VUB in 1994. He taught Legal methodology (NL), International Protection of Human Rights (NL), Legal Theory (NL), Introduction to the major legal systems (NL) and still teaches International and European Protection of Human Rights (EN) and Introduction à la recherche scientifique en droit (FR). From 1994 until the end of 2009 he also held a part-time position of lecturer at the Faculty of law of the Erasmus University Rotterdam where he first was in charge of the coordination of research and taught ‘Philosophy of law’ afterwards. He has amongst others been a Visiting Professor at the University of Ghana (Legon, Accra), the European Academy of Legal Theory (Brussels) and the University of Georgia (Athens, USA).
Since the beginning of his academic career Gutwirth has been mainly involved in research. He carried out projects, both as a researcher and a promoter, in the field of computer law, environmental law and urbanisation, the relationships between law and psychiatry etc. Today the focus has shifted and broadened to analytical, theoretical and prospective legal research in the field of the relationships between science, technology and society, with a particular focus upon contemporary privacy and data protection related issues on the one hand, and upon ascertaining the respective singular regimes of the legal, the scientific and the technical practices. Gutwirth also led a number of research projects linked to the subject matter of the courses on human rights, legal theory and comparative law. Today he is mainly focussing on the difficult articulations between law, politics, technology and ethics with regards to concrete emerging issues (e.g. data protection, S&M, gene editing, …). Since 2017 he started doing research on the resurgence of the commons.
In 1999 Gutwirth has founded the VUB-Research group on human rights (HUMR), which he chaired until 2003, after which his colleague Paul De Hert took over. After obtaining the fellowship in October 2003 he founded the VUB-Research group Law Science Technology & Society (LSTS) which still (co-)chairs. Today, with more than 30 researchers at all levels of experience, LSTS has become a prominent European research institute. Next to thisGutwirth has been Vice-Dean of the Faculty (2012-2018), Vice Chair of the VUB’s Research Council from 2002 to 2013, (co-) Director of LSTS (2003-…) and Chair of the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies of the law (JURI) from October 2018 on.