Does the Internet Require New Norms?

Does the Internet Require New Norms? 183 Does the Internet Require New Norms? DAVID GODDARD* The editors of this special issue set, as the topic for this article, the deceptively simple question of whether the Internet requires new norms. The question can be asked more concisely than I, at any rate, am able to answer it. In summary, I suggest that: • the Internet provides a renewed impetus for legal co-ordination exercises; • many norms need to be reviewed to ensure that they make sense in the context of the Internet, and modern technology generally; • however it would be a mistake to attempt to develop Internet-speciŽ c conventions. We should resist the lure of an omnibus convention on the Internet, or even of conventions on topics such as “Internet contracts”, “Internet torts”, or “Internet consumer protection”; • when working on generic co-ordination exercises (eg conventions on jurisdiction in civil cases, or applicable law in contract), we should ensure that any norms which are adopted are technology neutral, and draw distinctions relating to use of different technologies only where those distinctions are directly relevant to the substantive issue to which the norm is addressed. If we take this approach, it is most unlikely that http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Law FORUM du droit international (continued in International Community Law Review) Brill

Does the Internet Require New Norms?

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 2000 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1388-9036
eISSN
1571-8042
D.O.I.
10.1163/157180400322764992
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

183 Does the Internet Require New Norms? DAVID GODDARD* The editors of this special issue set, as the topic for this article, the deceptively simple question of whether the Internet requires new norms. The question can be asked more concisely than I, at any rate, am able to answer it. In summary, I suggest that: • the Internet provides a renewed impetus for legal co-ordination exercises; • many norms need to be reviewed to ensure that they make sense in the context of the Internet, and modern technology generally; • however it would be a mistake to attempt to develop Internet-speciŽ c conventions. We should resist the lure of an omnibus convention on the Internet, or even of conventions on topics such as “Internet contracts”, “Internet torts”, or “Internet consumer protection”; • when working on generic co-ordination exercises (eg conventions on jurisdiction in civil cases, or applicable law in contract), we should ensure that any norms which are adopted are technology neutral, and draw distinctions relating to use of different technologies only where those distinctions are directly relevant to the substantive issue to which the norm is addressed. If we take this approach, it is most unlikely that

Journal

International Law FORUM du droit international (continued in International Community Law Review)Brill

Published: Jan 1, 2000

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