Internationell rätt – digitala aktörer som rättssubjekt

År: 2017 // Projektledare: Valentin Jeutner // Anslagsförvaltare: Lunds universitet // Område: Rättsvetenskap

Core concepts of international law such as attributability or responsibility presuppose the existence of reasonable human actors who act (normally on behalf of States). Increasingly, however, decisions previously taken by humans are taken by digital actors: Unmanned oil tankers navigating the high seas, drones conducting wars and smart energy grids are just a few examples. The conduct of these digital actors is conditioned by algorithms. In domestic legal orders the behaviour of these algorithms is modelled on archetypical versions of their human counterparts (eg the bonus pater familias, the ‘reasonable person’). In international law, however, such approaches are more difficult to implement. Here, the notion of the state (or rather humans acting on behalf of a state) as the international legal order’s archetypical subject is comparatively more elusive than domestic law’s ‘reasonable person’, for instance. This is problematic because the responsible regulation of digital actors in the international sphere is of dramatic importance in light of the manifold competences that digital actors already possess. Thus, as an Associate Senior Lecturer, I want to investigate international law’s notion of an archetypical legal subject in order to determine whether and how such a fictionalised legal subject could facilitate the regulation of digital technologies in the international realm.