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FDEF projects to receive over one million euros in FNR CORE funding

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Published on Monday, 16 November 2020

The Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance is pleased to announce the success of two projects submitted in the framework of the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR) CORE grant.

CORE, the central programme of the FNR, has a main objective to strengthen the scientific quality of Luxembourg’s public research in the country’s research priorities adopted by the Government on 20 December 2019. These priorities include industrial and service transformation, personalised healthcare, sustainable and responsible development and 21st century education.

Project CRIM-AI 

Professor Katalin Ligeti, Dean of the Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance will be Principal investigator for the project “Criminal Proceedings and the Use of AI: Challenges for Common Criminal Procedure Principles and the Principles of the Rule of Law” or CRIM-AI. The three-year project has been awarded a budget of 874,000€ and will begin in September 2021.

Judicial authorities across Europe and around the globe are beginning to use AI to investigate, prosecute, adjudicate, and punish crime. The problem, in a nutshell, is the distressing lack of scrutiny that such use has inspired. The project therefore seeks to examine whether existing criminal procedure rules are robust enough to assure that using AI in criminal proceedings does not compromise hard-won human rights and fundamental criminal justice principles and propose concrete solutions if (when) the research results demonstrate that existing criminal procedure rules are, in fact, not up to the task.

CRIM-AI will gather renowned experts, not just in criminal law, IT law, and data protection law, but also in AI and machine learning, ethics, and cybernetics, as well as representatives of the private sector that develop and monetise AI. Doing so, this cutting-edge research project will compare how, and in what circumstances, AI is used in criminal proceedings in seven countries, representing a remarkable cross-section of legal traditions: France, Germany, Israel, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Then, to the extent the project’s research results show that existing criminal procedure rules are deficient, CRIM-AI will also propose innovative legal rules and principles that national and supranational policy-makers, legislators and courts can adopt to ensure that judicial authorities reap the benefits of AI while still respecting fundamental criminal justice principles and the principles of the rule of law.

 Project TSPQ

Professor Pierre Picard, Head of the University’s Doctoral School of Economics and Finance, will be Principal Investigator for the project “Trade shocks and product quality” or TSPQ. Beginning in ­­­­­­­­September 2021, the project has been awarded a budget of 279,000€ and will run during 2 years. Post-doctoral researcher Evgenii Monastyrenko will assist Prof. Picard on the project research team.

Researchers aim at quantifying the outcomes of three economic shocks (restrictive trade policies in the US and the UK, along with the COVID-19 lockdown) using a general equilibrium model with domestic sectoral linkages, trade in intermediate goods and sectoral heterogeneity in production. In a novel approach, researchers will consider the product quality (both horizontal and vertical dimensions) in the welfare analysis.

The project is two-fold. Firstly, researchers will analyse the outcomes of COVID-19 shock. Welfare outcomes will be evaluated ex-post by running a series of counterfactual simulations according to countries’ lockdown policies. Counterfactual simulations will also be run to analyse for COVID-related labour mobility restrictions.

Secondly, researchers will ex-post evaluate the welfare outcomes of Brexit and new U.S. trade policy and discuss counterfactual simulations of rise in trade tariffs. Researchers will thus derive theoretically based measures of quality and estimate the impact of trade shocks, comparing with literature-based measures of quality and quality standards. The project also provides a local perspective. For each of the studied shocks the impact on Luxembourg’s finance, steel and logistic sectors and the results for welfare and consumers’ well-being in Luxembourg will be considered.

This project will ultimately reveal how the consumers adjust their choice of quality of exchanged products following the major trade policy shocks. Convergence of living standards and prosperity across the EU is one of the key objectives of recently adopted EU Cohesion policy. Improving of the quality of consumed goods is an important prerequisite for reaching of the deep social and economic cohesion.

Updated CORE domains represent additional opportunities for FDEF

The interdisciplinary nature of the 2020 CORE domains mean that they are now open to four FDEF disciplines: law, economics, management and finance. “This year, the number of FDEF applications for CORE increased considerably,” explained Prof. Ligeti. “The new CORE domains allow FDEF to take full advantage of this funding instrument and with two accepted applications and two more on the reserve list, both the number and quality of the applications demonstrate that our Faculty has indeed seized the opportunity.”