The (uneasy) relationship between the HCCH and information technology

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The Internet has completely transformed the world in which we live and will doubtlessly continue to do so. In this contribution, I briefly bring attention to examples of how information technology has been used as a support tool and as a dispute resolution tool in the work of the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH), and of how Internet activity has been an indirect object of the HCCH’s regulatory influence. Most of the text below is,
however, devoted to examining Internet activity as a direct object of the HCCH’s regulatory influence. This is done primarily by reference to the HCCH’s previous, and current, work on
the Judgments Project – a context within which it has repeatedly been stressed that the Internet and e-commerce have a two-fold impact: ‘On the one hand, the Internet environment adds to
the complexity of the issues to be resolved in specific provisions; on the other hand, it reinforces the common need for a global framework on jurisdiction and recognition and enforcement in civil and commercial matters’. Finally, before reaching a few high-level conclusions, I take this opportunity to point to some potential areas of future work. To prepare ground for those discussions, I first make some observations as to the central role
information technology plays in modern society, and the implications this has for the work of the HCCH. I also outline and describe three categories of how information technology impacts
the law in general, and I discuss the relationship between, on the one hand, the fast pace with which technology develops, and the slow pace of law-making on the other hand.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Elgar Companion to the Hague Conference on Private International Law
EditorsThomas John, Rishi Gulati, Ben Kohler
Place of PublicationCheltenham
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781788976503
ISBN (Print)978 1 78897 649 7
Publication statusPublished - 8 Dec 2020


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