Journal Article

Addressing the “Cyberspace Fallacy”: Targeting the Jurisdiction of an Electronic Consumer Contract

Lorna E. Gillies

in International Journal of Law and Information Technology

Volume 16, issue 3, pages 242-269
Published in print January 2008 | ISSN: 0967-0769
Published online April 2008 | e-ISSN: 1464-3693 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ijlit/ean002
Addressing the “Cyberspace Fallacy”: Targeting the Jurisdiction of an Electronic Consumer Contract

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There are widely held views of how the jurisdiction of an online contract should be established. Cyber-liberterians favour a separate cyberspace jurisdiction, maintaining that online activities should be regulated entirely separately without recourse to national courts and laws. Traditionalists maintain that the existing paradigms of location and activity are capable of determining the jurisdiction of an online contract. What is agreed is that the dematerialised nature of online activity renders the location of the parties and the place where their commercial activities take place difficult to determine. Whilst Reed's “Cyberspace Fallacy” acknowledges the challenges in determining the jurisdiction of an online contract, that author also reminds us that such challenges are not new. A variety of connecting factors have been used to establish jurisdiction of a contract conducted by electronic means. As Zekos suggested recently in an article in this Journal, 2 consideration must be given to a new means of determining the jurisdiction of an online contract. It is the purpose of this article firstly, to highlight the difficulties with the operation of existing connecting factors in establishing the jurisdiction of an electronic contract and secondly to propose how “intentional targeting” – if properly defined - can provide an efficient and adaptive connecting factor to determine the jurisdiction of an electronic consumer contract.

Journal Article.  12744 words. 

Subjects: IT and Communications Law

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