I walden

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I walden

  1. 1. E-Commerce as a key facilitator for SME Competitiveness,Geneva, May 2008Building a legal framework foreCommerceProfessor Ian Walden, Of Counsel, Baker & McKenzie & Head of the Institute ofComputer and Communications Law, Queen Mary, University of London
  2. 2. Introductory remarks• Fundamental changes resulting from Internet – intangible information assets, questions of identity & location, speed & mobility…..• Policy – the promise of electronic commerce – „digital divide‟ issues• Law and regulation – enabler & facilitator or constraints on behaviour
  3. 3. Forms of regulation• Law – public law (e.g. criminal) and private law (contract)• Norms – e.g. „netiquette‟, „flaming‟• The market – e.g. cost of access• Architecture: „code as code‟ – infinitely flexible - possibility of design
  4. 4. Regulatory precedents• Non-discrimination – e.g. US Internet Tax Nondiscrimination Act 2001• Emerging custom and practice – from Lex Mercatoria to Lex Informatica?• Non-territorial treatment – international laws of space & the sea• Media censor – e.g. Singapore, China
  5. 5. International aspects• Questions of applicable law – “….. the principles of the international legal system cannot impose obligations on everyone to comply with all law” (David Post, 2004)• As comparative advantage – or regulatory arbitrage?• „Country of origin‟ principle – mutual recognition
  6. 6. Who regulates?• Law-making bodies – WTO, EU, WIPO..… • formal, e.g. GATT, GATS, Copyright Treaty • informal, e.g. Doha WTO Ministerial Declaration (Nov. 2001)• Model-making bodies – UNCITRAL Model Laws and Convention (2005) – Commonwealth Model Law on Electronic Transactions (2003)• Standards-making bodies – e.g. International Telecommunications Union (ITU), Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)
  7. 7. Regulatory topics • Legal certainty – Validity, enforceability & admissibility • Legal security – Digital signatures & data protection • Legal protection – IPR Rights-holders & consumer protection • Legal deterrents – Criminal law
  8. 8. The Law Reform Process• Political commitment – E.g. ASEAN member states• Ownership by government ministry• Technical and legal expertise• Stakeholder review group – Public and private sector• Parliamentary process
  9. 9. Concluding Remarks• Law as an enabler and facilitator – as a tool of comparative advantage – at an infrastructure & service/product level• Advantages of a regional approach – harmonisation – multiplier effect – sharing resource/experience

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