Knowledge Production, Big Data and Data-Driven Customary International Law

16 Pages Posted: 19 Dec 2019

See all articles by Tamar Megiddo

Tamar Megiddo

Minerva Center for the Rule of Law under Extreme Conditions, University of Haifa; Tel Aviv University Faculty of Law

Date Written: December 3, 2019

Abstract

This chapter investigates the role of “Big Data” analysis and data crowdsourcing in shifting power relations with respect to the identification of customary international law. Evidence of states’ practice and legal positions is required in order to determine that a new norm of customary international law has crystallized. And yet, international courts have often settled for anecdotal evidence and impressionistic analysis. However, recent academic works have crowdsourced data collection, compiled big datasets and applied computerized analysis methods to make comprehensive and systematic evaluation of the development of customary norms. I argue that this new mode of knowledge production may democratize both the data collected (giving greater weight to smaller states from the global periphery) and the potential contributors to the production process (including lawyers from different countries and language capabilities). Nevertheless, such production requires scientific sophistication and resources, which once more give actors from rich, developed countries a greater role in developing the law.

Keywords: Big Data, Knowledge Production, Data-Driven, Customary international law, international law, non-state actors, opinio juris, state practice, third world approaches to international law (TWAIL)

Suggested Citation

Megiddo, Tamar, Knowledge Production, Big Data and Data-Driven Customary International Law (December 3, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3497477 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3497477

Tamar Megiddo (Contact Author)

Minerva Center for the Rule of Law under Extreme Conditions, University of Haifa ( email )

Mount Carmel
Haifa, 31905
Israel

Tel Aviv University Faculty of Law ( email )

Ramat Aviv
Tel Aviv 69978, IL
Israel
544456140 (Phone)

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