At least since the early 1990s there has been a spirited ‘cyberlaw’ debate, which led to important insights about governance, regulation, and law in the digital era. But existing cyberlaw scholarship neglects, somewhat curiously, the Internet’s inherently global aspiration and the corresponding need to develop legal mechanisms to keep key institutions of global internet governance in check. To prevent regulatory fragmentation, we need to re-constitute global cyberlaw as complements to national regulation and (rare) transnational arrangements.
The US has developed an evolutionary regulatory design for digital trade via its free trade agreements, with the (later abandoned) Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement as the most advanced model. This approach contrasts with the digital trade strategies of the EU and China which remain outside the remit of the TPP. What are the prospects for China and the EU to pursue a digital trade agenda without the US?
China has long promoted “cybersovereingty” as an alternative cornerstone to internet law and regulation and is currently engaged in a sweeping new regulatory agenda, ostensibly focused on cybersecurity, but affecting every bit of the digital economy. The presentation analyses China’s approach to internet sovereignty in light of recent trends and possible tensions between regulatory approaches and trade flows. It maintains that China will focus on cybersovereignty as main priority.
This paper examines the online dispute resolution (ODR) mechanisms in China, with a particular focus on a new development: Internet courts. The paper questions the trend towards greater state intervention on ODR mechanisms, especially in the matter of regulation. China has applied a co-regulation approach toward the governance of solving online disputes, instead of allowing the use of self-regulation among e-commerce industry. A general overview of ODR mechanisms in China will be provided in the context of the recent establishment of an Internet court in China. This has implications on the development of exponential digital innovation in the Chinese judicial system.