Regulating Digital Space: Fundamental Reflections

18 Pages Posted: 14 May 2020

See all articles by Christopher Hodges OBE

Christopher Hodges OBE

University of Oxford - Centre for Socio-Legal Studies; Faculty of Law

Date Written: April 30, 2020


This paper considers what we mean by regulation, and how it might effectively be achieved in the context of platforms providing global communication and data exchange. It assumes the need to provide a working model in political context of applying in and between democratic states, rather than a top-down authoritarian model. It considers concepts of regulation, accountability, transparency and enforcement. Assuming the essential goals as being to facilitate use of the digital space through intermediaries whilst providing adequate protection, it views the challenge through the lens of the concepts of regulatory delivery and through a science-based approach to regulation, starting from ethical values and building evidence of trust, organisational cultures, based on the principle of involved engagement. On this basis, it proposes the core elements of a trust-based system and the basic functions of a new regulatory architecture.

Keywords: digital, global, internet, regulation, trust, delivery

JEL Classification: K2, M14

Suggested Citation

Hodges OBE, Christopher, Regulating Digital Space: Fundamental Reflections (April 30, 2020). Oxford Legal Studies Research Paper No. 20/2020, Available at SSRN: or

Christopher Hodges OBE (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Centre for Socio-Legal Studies ( email )

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