Back to All Events

Sydney | Dr Allan McCay | Design for Criminal Law

  • Golden Age Cinema 80 Commonwealth Street Surry Hills, NSW, 2010 Australia (map)

What if someone used a brain-computer interface (BCI) to control a drone so that it flew into another person and killed them? Or if they controlled a cursor by way of BCI in order to engage in revenge porn?

Now this will be interesting.

In this talk, Dr Allan McCay will consider the question:

'how well is the criminal law placed to deal with neurobionic crime?' - for those playing at home - that’s crime committed by way of BCI.

Dr Mccay will argue that the law has in the past coped with radical technological change and evolved to deal with incidents. From where criminals use their limbs, hands and feet to punch, stab or kick, to more recently controlling a cursor with a mouse.

Yet as technology continues to speed up and change - neurobionic crime may challenge the courts at a more fundamental level than the technologies that they have already responded to. After-all, they were not created with disembodied brain-drone murder and neurobionic revenge porn in mind.

After outlining some issues relating to criminal responsibility, he will consider how arguments about engineering design, more specifically the software design of a BCI, might one day play out in the sentencing of a neurobionic offender.

Get ready for a very thought provoking morning at the beautiful Golden Age Cinema in Surry Hills.

About the speaker

Dr Allan McCay teaches at the University of Sydney Foundation Program, and the University of Sydney Law School (again lecturing in Criminal Law in Semester 2, 2019). He is a member of the Management Committee of the Julius Stone Institute of Jurisprudence, and at Macquarie University is an Affiliate Member of the Centre for Agency, Values, and Ethics. He has previously taught at the Law School at the University of New South Wales, and the Business School at the University of Sydney.

He is particularly interested in - behavioural genetics, neuroscience, neurotechnology, and the criminal law. His philosophical interests relate to free will and punishment, and ethical issues emerging from artificial intelligence. In relation to legal practice, he is interested in behavioural legal ethics and the future of legal work … to name a few.

Date and time:

Thursday 30th May The talk starts at 8am sharp. We encourage you to arrive around 7:30am to enjoy free delicious coffee in the beautiful new rooftop terrace Paramount Recreation Club where you can get to know other curious thinkers and start the morning inspired


Free but limited. Available from 7am Wednesday 22nd May on our Eventbrite page

Want to ask a question?

If you've got a question, a problem, or a project you want some great minds to think about - send a question on slack, twitter or email us and we'll ask the group at the end of the talk. 

About Rising Minds:

Rising Minds explores the intersection of technology, business and culture through a free monthly speaker series hosted at intimate venues in Sydney, London and New York.

But more than that, Rising Minds is about true connection - and connecting in a time when this seems more important and more challenging than ever.

For 60 minutes of unplugged sharing, we invite you to expand your thinking - in the company of curious minds and fuelled by great coffee. Rising Minds is a space where speakers share a little more of themselves, where guests ask exciting and vulnerable questions where connections are made beyond the room — but there too.

Whether you’re a regular or a newbie, extroverted or introverted, a CEO or a student - We invite you to pop in, enjoy a great coffee and connect with other curious thinkers. We're excited to rise with you.

Welcome to Rising Minds.

Want to hear about more events? Sign up to our mailing list for event reminders 

A huge thank you to our event sponsors.

Coffee sponsor: Mobile Experience, who'll be keeping us caffeinated on the morning at Paramount Coffee Project.

Venue sponsor: Golden Age Cinema & Bar, who provide our fabulous venue