This conference investigates the sharpening conflict between national law and state sovereignty on the one hand, and global online communications on the other hand. We appear to be at the brink of a potentially drastic transformation of the Internet into a much more territorially fragmented space, consisting of a number of separate, yet overlapping national and regional networks. Even European leaders are investigating the possibility of a European-only communication network, strongly reminiscent of China’s approach to online governance. The Westphalian model of state sovereignty is fighting back – but at what cost and what are the alternatives?
The discussion of this conference seeks to advance the established yet stale academic debate on internet jurisdiction by taking a multi-disciplinary approach, going beyond the conventional parameters of the legal analysis. Rather than focus on specific jurisdictional rules and frameworks (all of which are premised on the continued viability of effective national laws in the global arena, i.e. the very matter in contention), the starting point of the discussion of this conference is the proposition that effective national law and unhindered transnational communications are irreconcilable and that any ‘compromise’ is indeed a compromise that comes at a cost either to peculiar national laws/values or free transnational communications or in fact both: you cannot have your cake and eat it too. With the acceptance of this position, it becomes possible to ground the debate in higher legal and political values, such as freedom of expression, democratic governance and the preservation of cultural identity/diversity, and to interrogate the possibilities of catering for these values through re-negotiated forms of governance.
Student Essay Competition
“Are we doomed to accept a much more territorially segregated internet in which States or regions erect cyber-borders in an effort to uphold their peculiar cultural, political or legal values as well as protect national economic interests? In other words, to what extent is the future of the Internet emerging as one delineated by sub-global political and legal borders and what are the alternatives?”
Essays must be written in English and must be between 2,000 and 3,000 words long, including footnotes, preceded by an abstract of no more than 200 words.
Essays may be submitted by anyone who is reading for an undergraduate or postgraduate degree of any University and in any subject; or anyone who graduated in 2014.
Essays must be submitted electronically, using the following the entry form: https://adobeformscentral.com/?f=0eCEjp5h2Dzm-NeI6cTzkw
Submissions must not have previously been published.
The winning essay will be chosen by a jury consisting of three judges. The prize will be presented at the Internet Jurisdiction Symposium, on 10 September 2014.
The prize sum is £1,000, plus a full symposium package (i.e. travel, accommodation, participation).
The winning essay will be considered for publication in the edited collection by the contributors to the Internet Jurisdiction Symposium.
The jury may choose to split the award between the authors of two essays or not to award the prize.
The Closing Date
The closing date for submissions is 1 August 2014.
Programme Details available HERE
For further details visit http://www.aber.ac.uk/en/internet-jurisdiction/competition