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Robert Kolb

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Robert Kolb

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Robert Kolb

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Robert Kolb

Chapter 1 introduces the problem of international law as law describing it as one the very existence of which has been denied over the years. Some of those who have denied the existence of international law include eminent philosophers and consummate jurists, some of whom have played major parts in the history of our times. The scale and importance of their negative attitudes international law explains why manuals, treatises and general theoretical studies of the subject have to devote a certain number of pages to proving that their subject is indeed ‘legal’ in nature. The varying doctrines denying the legal character of international law agree among themselves neither as to their starting point nor as to the arguments upon which they rely. The chapter goes on to outline the varying doctrines that have emerged over the years and includes: doctrines reducing international law to the expression of simple power-relationships; doctrines reducing international law to international morality or to international comity; and doctrines considering the law of nations to be a sui generis collection of rules. Proponents of each of these doctrines are examined in detail and there are critiques of each. Finally the chapter includes a section of critical considerations.

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Chris Reed and Andrew Murray

Chapter 1 asks why any particular state’s law should have authority outside its geographical territory, and particularly in cyberspace. A state’s constitution is not binding on cyberspace users outside its territory and thus cannot give its laws any collective authority, as a legal system, in cyberspace. Law therefore must derive from acceptance by cyberspace users of a particular state law’s authority. But this does not confer general authority on the other laws of the state. This means that lawmaking authority in cyberspace has to be assessed at the level of individual rules of law, not at the law system level. Each rule derives its authority from acceptance by those it claims to regulate. It thus has authority over the members of the lawmaker’s extended community in cyberspace, but that community is dynamic and constantly changing. So a law has authority over a cyberspace user only whilst that user is a community member.

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Chris Reed and Andrew Murray

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Javier Reyes

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Javier Reyes

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Ugo Mattei and Alessandra Quarta

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Wojciech Załuski