RAILS. Who we are.

RAILS is the legal response to the increasing digitalization of our modern society. RAILS is committed to the responsible development of intelligent systems. We are working on a legal framework that facilitates technical developments, avoids discrimination, ensures equal treatment and transparency, protects fundamental democratic principles and ensures that all parties involved are adequately participating in the economic results of the digitalization.

Find out more about RAILS in the RAILS Brochure 2020.

Further information

Artificial intelligence (AI) and (intelligent) robotics are changing our society. This presents legal, ethical, social and political challenges that are not yet clear at this stage. RAILS wants to address these challenges and actively shape the discussion about the current and future national and international legal framework for AI and robotics by identifying the need for regulatory action and developing concrete recommendations.

The aim is to ensure that intelligent systems are designed in a responsible way, providing a legal framework that facilitates technical developments, avoids discrimination, ensures equal treatment and transparency, protects fundamental democratic principles and ensures that all parties involved are adequately participating in the economic results of the digitalization. We are convinced that this goal can only be achieved on an interdisciplinary basis. The interdisciplinary orientation and interdisciplinary cooperation in the society’s sections is therefore of crucial importance underlining at the same time RAILS’s self-image of not being an obstacle, but rather a pioneer in shaping the future.

RAILS was founded – after a first meeting in Berlin at the beginning of 2017 – in August of the same year with headquarters in Hannover. The founding members are PD Dr. Martin Ebers, Prof. Dr. Jan Eichelberger, Prof. Dr. -Ing. Sami Haddadin, Prof. Dr. Christian Heinze, RAin Prof. Dr. Tina Krügel, Prof. Dr. Hans-Peter Schwintowski, Dr. Björn Steinrötter and Prof. Dr. Arthur-Axel Wandtke.

RAILS maintains cooperations with several partners, including:

Further information will be added soon.

Executive Board

Board of Trustees

The board of trustees consists of renowned scientists and public figures. The task of the board of trustees is advisory in nature, while at the same time ensuring the quality of RAILS’ projects. Members of the Board of Trustees are:

  • Jan Philipp Albrecht (European parliament)
  • Prof. Dr. Susanne Beck (Leibniz Universität Hannover)
  • Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Forgó (University Vienna)
  • Prof. Dr. Christian Heinze (Leibniz Universität Hannover)
  • Prof. Dr. Dr. Eric Hilgendorf (University Würzburg)
  • Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Wolfgang Kilian (Leibniz Universität Hannover)
  • Prof. Dr. Giovanni Sartor (European University Institute)
  • Prof. Dr. Mario Martini (University Speyer)
  • Prof. Dra. Susana Navas Navarro (Univers. Autonoma de Barcelona)
  • Prof. Dr. Joachim Scherer (Partner at Baker McKenzie)
  • Prof. Dr. Hans-Peter Schwintowski (Humboldt Univesität zu Berlin)
  • Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Spoerr (Partner at Hengeler Müller)
  • Prof. Dr. Artur-Axel Wandtke (Humboldt Universität zu Berlin)

Advisory Board

The Advisory Board consists of representatives from the practice. The aim is to identify current and future problems in practice and to address them in an interdisciplinary and scholarly manner.

Members of the Advisory Board are:

  • Hengeler Mueller (Contact person: Dr. Albrecht Conrad, Partner)
  • Taylor Wessing (Contact person: Dr. Axel Freiherr von dem Bussche, Partner und Dr. Tobias Schelinski, Partner)
  • Baker McKenzie (Contact person: Dr. Holger Lutz, Partner und Frau Caroline Heinickel, Counsel)
  • werthing (Contact person: Dr. Benjamin Werthmann, Geschäftsführer)

Expert Groups

RAILS has currently five expert groups. Four of these groups focus on legal issues of AI and robotics. These are the Autonomous Transportation, Industrial Systems, Personal Systems and Legal Tech groups. The fifth group is a cross-section of the other sections and deals with fundamental questions of AI and robotics that affect all other sections.

Industrial Systems

The Industrial Systems division deals with the legal implications of intelligent systems in industry. This includes “Next Generation Industrial Robotics” as well as “Construction” and “Intralogistics”, resulting in an intentional intersection and cooperation with the Autonomous Transportation Group.

Legal Tech

The Legal Tech section deals with the highly variable applications of artificial intelligence and robotics in legal practice. Among other things, the main focus is on government and administrative actions through artificial intelligence, the use of artificial intelligence in case analysis and decision making, and possible applications in the area of law enforcement.

Autonomous Transportation

The Autonomous Transportation Group deals with the legal aspects of autonomous mobility and logistics.


The focus is not only on (liability and data protection) law issues in relation to autonomous vehicles, but includes passenger and goods transport by air, rail and sea as well as the logistical goods flows within a company (intralogistics).

Personal Systems

The Personal Systems Group looks at AI and robotics applications designed to provide individual support for people. The main areas of activity are Geriatronics, Personal Robotics, Personal Assistants and Smart Home applications.

Fundamental Issues

The Group for Fundamental Issues is an overarching section in which questions are addressed that are relevant in all sections and are therefore of a fundamental nature.


One example of this is the question of whether and to what extent self-learning algorithms can be controlled and to what extent the decisions made by an algorithm must be comprehensible in order to satisfy the rule of law.


Are you interested in artificial intelligence and robotics and the related legal questions? Then become part of the RAILS network!


Your advantages as a member of the RAILS:

  • RAILS offers a platform and a network for permanent contact between experts in the fields of robotics and artificial intelligence.
  • Members have the opportunity to actively participate in the further development of the legal framework for artificial intelligence and robotics, especially in the specialist sections.
  • Members have the right to vote on RAILS opinions.
  • Members are invited to all RAILS events. As a member, you do not pay a fee for attending RAILS events.
  • RAILS offers its members training courses at significantly reduced rates.
  • Subscription to the law journal Recht innovativ (Ri) with 30 % discount
  • The membership fee is fully tax-deductible under German law as a donation for a non-profit association/special expense.

Get in touch with us!

Do you have questions about our association or a possible membership? We look forward to hearing from you!

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Robotics & AI Law Society (RAILS) e.V.

Postal address

Robotics & AI Law Society (RAILS) e.V.

Gardeschützenweg 68

12203 Berlin


Bank details

  • IBAN: DE56 8306 5408 0004 0381 18
  • Deutsche Skatbank (VR-Bank Altenburger Land eG)