Title

The holy trinity of legal fictions undermining the application of law to the global internet

Date of this Version

6-16-2015

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

Citation only

Svantesson, D. (2015). The holy trinity of legal fictions undermining the application of law to the global Internet. International Journal of Law and Information Technology, 0, 1-16.

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© The Author (2015). Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

2015 HERDC submission

ISSN

0967-0769

Abstract

The clash between the borderless Internet and the geographically structured legal landscape is almost universally adopted as the starting point for discussions of Internet jurisdiction issues. This clash is important, but to fully appreciate its implications we need to proceed far into the territory of jurisprudence. Here, I draw attention to how three presumptions that underpin all legal systems are stretched beyond their legitimate boundaries where domestic law is applied to the Internet in an extraterritorial manner. The consequences of this are severe and must influence such application of the law. I propose that the goal we should aim at is what can be described as jurisdictional interoperability between the various domestic legal systems that regulate our conduct online. I also show that, in its reliance on ‘morality’, natural law theory provides Internet users guidance as to which legal rules, within their respective contextual legal systems, they need to abide by.

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This document has been peer reviewed.