Should ICT Regulation Be Undertaken at an International Level?
STARTING POINTS FOR ICT REGULATION: DECONSTRUCTING PREVALENT POLICY ONE-LINERS, B.J. Koops, A.M.B. Lips, J.E.J. Prins, M.H.M. Schellekens, eds., The Hague: T.M.C. Asser Press, 2006; IT & Law Series, Vol. 9, p. 293, 2006
51 Pages Posted: 3 Oct 2006
This publication focuses on the often-heard argument that ICT regulation should be undertaken at an international level. However, numerous questions arise when trying to better define the vague notion of 'internationalisation'. What should the international regulatory instruments be focused on? What issues could and should be addressed at an international level and how does the starting point relate to national sovereignty? This chapter seeks to contribute to the understanding of the interplay between ICT developments and international regulation. In examining the many issues that arise in relation to the practice and prospects of the internationalization of ICT law, the discussion shows that the allocation of regulatory competences at national or international levels is a highly complex and multi-dimensional issue. The discussion starts with an overview of e-policy documents that address the starting point that ICT regulation should be dealt with at an international level. Subsequently, the different components of the starting point and the meanings it has or that can be attributed to it will be dealt with. Then, illustrative cases will be presented that show how the starting point works in practice. Subsequently, the oft-cited justifications for international harmonization and unification of legal rules in the area of ICT will be analyzed, discussed and commented upon. On the basis of this discussion and in order to assess whether and to what extent the starting point can be put into practice in concrete cases, the various pros and cons of international coordination and international rulemaking will be distilled. An indication can then be given of how the principle can be adapted to various situations. The discussion concludes with an assessment of the extent to which the starting point is a useful one and a presentation of suggestions to define the starting point in its most useful form.
Keywords: international rulemaking, national sovereignty, ICT-regulation, international harmonization
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