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Riikka Koulu, Prof. Dr.

Dr. Riikka Koulu is an assistant professor on Law and Digitalisation at the University of Helsinki, Finland, where she also received her doctorate in 2016. She is the director of the University of Helsinki Legal Tech Lab, an interdisciplinary research hub on law, technology and society, as well as a member of the Helsinki centre for digital humanities centre (HELDIG).

At HIIG Riikka will be working on algorithmic fairness and conflict management on private platforms as a visiting researcher in the research programme “Data, actors, infrastructures: The governance of data-driven innovation and cyber security” co-headed by Dr. Jörg Pohle.

She has a background in procedural law and legal theory and her research interests include algorithmic fairness and limits of transparency, fairness-aware AI in legal practices, and the governance and conflict management related to digital technologies. In her doctoral dissertation Dispute Resolution and Technology: Revisiting the Justification of Conflict Management (COMI 2016) she examines how dispute resolution technologies are contributing to privatisation of enforcement and how this development confounds legal structures and challenges the ways in which use of force has traditionally been justified within the legal system. She argues that the technology-driven privatisation of enforcement – from direct enforcement of e-commerce platforms to self-executing smart contracts in the blockchain – brings the ethics of law’s coercive nature out into the open. Her new book Law, Technology, Dispute Resolution: Privatisation of Coercion (Routledge 2019) focuses on the interrelationship between law and technological change.

When she is not engaged in intellectual play, she is probably off climbing or bouldering somewhere or baking vegan cakes in the middle of the night.


Working paper

Koulu, R., Peters, A., & Pohle, J. (2021). Finding design patterns in law: An exploratory approach. HIIG Discussion Paper Series, 2021(03). Publication details

Organisation of events

Design Patterns in Law
with attending Vip: Tuomas Pöysti, Håkan Hydén. From 16.06.2022 to 17.06.2022. Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society, Berlin, Germany. Co-Organised by: University of Helsinki Legal Tech Lab (International)

Riikka Koulu, Jörg Pohle

Riikka Koulu


Associated Researcher: Data, Actors, Infrastructures