The Proper Basis for Exercising Jurisdiction in Internet Disputes: Strengthening State Boundaries or Moving Towards Unification?

Niloufer Selvadurai


Private international law has developed on the premise of geographically discrete areas that could be effectively governed by nations with clear and delineated boundaries. The nature of internet communications however dissects and transcends national boundaries. In such a landscape of technological evolution, it is necessary to design new technologically-neutral principles for determining internet jurisdiction. While there is widespread agreement on the nature of the challenge posed by internet jurisdiction, there is significant divergence in the solutions proposed. The proposed solutions range from strengthening existing jurisdiction rules, to developing the present jurisdiction rules, to creating a new language of jurisdictional basis for the determination of internet disputes. After a consideration of the merits of the various veins of scholarship on this complex issue, it is recommended that the movement to unification through international convention provides the most effective solution to achieve consistency and certainty in the determination of jurisdiction in internet disputes.

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