Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Prof. Dr. Philipp Dann

Smarika Lulz, LL.M. (Hamburg)

PhD Researcher
Lehrstuhl für Öffentliches Recht und Rechtsvergleichung


Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Juristische Fakultät
Öffentliches Recht und Rechtsvergleichung
10099 Berlin


Altes Palais, Raum 421
Unter den Linden 9, Berlin-Mitte

Kontakt (preferred)

Personal website [LINK]


My core interest lies in the politics of knowledge production in Western as well as in Indigenous knowledge systems and its implications for response-able living and dying and justice. This interest translates into

Law and Humanities: Posthuman Law, Indigenous Constitutionalism and Philosophy, Post- and Decolonial Legal Studies, Law‘s Spatial Turn, Uncertainty, Legal and Technological Time, Legal Materiality

Law and Technology: Intellectual Property, Media Law, Privacy and Data Protection, Traditional Knowledge, Environmental Law, Digital Labour and Political Economy, Law and Artificial Intelligence


My PhD thesis, titled "Unsettling Data: Law's Representationalism and the Politics of Exclusion" uses approaches from law and humanities, postcolonial feminist science studies and Indigenous methodologies to map how the conception of data in data governance law (Open Data, Free Flow of Data and Data Protection) shapes power relations in the legal discourse of digital society. Such mapping brings to light how as a disciplinary field of work and study, law co-produces its knowledge about data in tandem with scientific disciplines and practices. It is revealed that this co-production has a long imperialist history that is aided by the assumption of representationalism in modern (western) law's lifeworld that is rooted in the separation of ontological and epistemological claims. Through its conceptualisation of data as an epistemological claim, data governance law leaves the ontological construction of data including the material exploitation that occurs in the production of data outside of its ambit of in/justice. Using the figures of the Uber driver and the land as examples of such exploitation, the thesis suggests ways to rethink data beyond the yoke of representationalism in order to enable the inclusion of those human and ahuman participants (‘the who’) in data production processes (‘the what’) which are excluded from the imagination of data governance law today.


  • 10/2017–Present: DAAD-GSSP Scholar and Ph.D. Researcher, Humboldt University of Berlin
  • 10/2016–09/2017: LL.M. (European and European Legal Studies), Europa-Kolleg, University of Hamburg (DAAD Scholarship awardee)
  • 06/2014–09/2016: Legal Consultant, Centre for Internet and Society, Bangalore & New Delhi
  • 08/2014-12/2015: Visiting Lecturer, Indian Institute for Journalism and New Media, Bangalore
  • 05/2015–11/2015: Sarai Fellow for Short-Term Research on Social and Digital Media, Center for Study of Developing Societies, New Delhi
  • 06/2013–11/2015: Research Consultant, Alternative Law Forum, Bangalore
  • 12/2012–2/2013: Research Intern, National Judicial Academy, Bhopal
  • 07/2008–04/2013: B.A., L.L.B. (Hons.), National Law Institute University, Bhopal


Book Chapters:

  • 2021. Freedom of Expression in Diverse Democracies: Comparing Hate Speech Law in India and the EU, in: Philipp Dann et. al. (eds.), Democratic Constitutionalism in Continental Polities: EU and India Compared (with Michael Riegner)

Research Papers:

  • 2018. The Classification of Digital Labour as a Constitutional Problem: Mapping the Collaborative Economy for a Social Europe, Study Paper No. 03/18, Institute for Integration, Europa-Kolleg Hamburg Study Paper Series [link]
  • 2018. Zero-Rating as the Demon and the Saviour: Rethinking Net Neutrality and the Freedom of Expression for the Global South, The Indian Journal of Law and Technology Vol.13 Iss.2 [link]
  • 2016. The Defence of Public Interest as an Exception to Copyright: New Developments on the Indian Front, NLIU Journal of Intellectual Property Law Vol.5 [link]
  • 2016. Concentration of Media Ownership and the Imagination of Free Speech, Economic and Political Weekly Vol.51 Iss.17 [link]
  • 2015. Media Ownership and the Marketplace of Ideas, Economic and Political Weekly Vol.50 Iss.22 [link]
  • 2010. The Governmental-Naxal-Tribal Conflict: Looking at Rights through the Lens of Cultural Relativism, Journal of Indian Law and Society, Vol. 2 Winter [link]

Legislative and Policy Briefs:

  • 2015. Response to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Consultation Paper on Regulatory Framework for Over-the-top (OTT) Services, On behalf of Alternative Law Forum, Bangalore [link]
  • 2015. Countercomments submitted to the TRAI Consultation on Regulation of Over-the-Top Services (Internet Apps), On behalf of Alternative Law Forum, Bangalore [link]
  • 2014. IANA Transition: Background & Overview, (with Geetha Hariharan), On behalf of Centre for Internet and Society, Bangalore [link]
  • 2014. The Future of IANA Transition, (co-authored with Geetha Hariharan), together On behalf of Centre for Internet and Society, Bangalore [link]
  • 2014. Response to Law Commission’s Consultation Paper on Media Laws (with Lawrence Liang, Namita Malhotra & Danish Sheikh), On behalf of Alternative Law Forum [link]
  • 2013. Response to The Rajya Sabha (Upper House, Parliament) on Petition Concerning Cyber Pornography (with Lawrence Liang & Namita Malhotra), On behalf of Alternative Law Forum [link]

Select Academic Blog Posts:

  • 2015. Governing Speech on the Internet: From the Free Marketplace Policy to a Controlled ‘Public Sphere,’ Researchers at Work Essay [link]
  • 2015. Making a Classification Choice for the Internet: Between the Visible Car Parts and the Invisible Pizza Delivery, 4/2015, Sarai Social Media Research Grant Essays [link]
  • 2015. The Role of Classification in Facilitating Identities for the Internet: The Case of VoIP Regulation, 3/2015, Sarai Social Media Research Grant Essays [link]
  • 2015. Report on the Consultation on Net Neutrality in the Indian Context: Reality v. Rhetoric [link]
  • 2015. Net Neutrality for a Web of Equals, The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy [link]
  • 2012. An Introduction to the Issues in Internet Governance, CIS Blog [link]

Select Op-Eds:

  • 2018. Gendered Reality Gaps: How “Objective” Machine Learning Contributes to Intersectional Exploitation, [link]
  • 2016. Re-imagining Zero Rating: How Should TRAI Juggle Internet Access and Net Neutrality?, The Wire [link]
  • 2016. Geospatial Bill: Another Attempt to Control the Free Flow of Information, The Wire [link]
  • 2016. Aadhar Bill: Why Classification Matters in Law Making, The Hoot [link]
  • 2016. Five Net Neutrality Myths Busted, The Hoot [link]
  • 2015. How Presents an Opportunity to Rethink Freedom of Speech, Medianama [link]
  • 2015. Five Reasons Why Media Monopolies Flourish in India, [link]
  • 2014. Striving for Plurality of Media: The Promises and Shortcomings of TRAI’s Recommendations on Media Ownership, Kafila [link]


  • Indian Institute for Journalism and New Media, Bangalore: Media Law and Ethics (Visiting Lecturer, Winter Semesters 2014 & 2015)
  • Humboldt University, Berlin : Law and Interdisciplinarity Seminar (Teaching Assistant, Winter Semester 2018-19)
  • NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad: Law and Popular Culture (Tutor, Spring Semester 2013)