Norms, Institutions and Practice
Edited by Alison Brysk and Michael Stohl
Ben Wagner, Matthias C. Kettemann and Kilian Vieth
In a digitally connected world, the question of how to respect, protect and implement human rights has become unavoidable. As ever more human beings, organizational systems and technical devices transition online, realizing human rights in online settings is becoming ever more pressing. When looking at basic human rights such as freedom of expression, privacy, free assembly or the right to a fair trial, all of these are heavily impacted by new information and communications technologies. While there have been many long-standing debates about the management of key Internet resources and the legitimacy of rules applicable to the Internet – from legal norms to soft law, from standards to code – it is only more recently that these debates have been explicitly framed in terms of human rights. The scholarly field that has grown in response to these debates is highly interdisciplinary and draws from law, political science, international relations, geography and even computer science and science and technology studies (STS). In order to do justice to the interdisciplinary nature of the field, this Research Handbook on Human Rights and Digital Technology: Global Politics, Law and International Relations unites carefully selected and reviewed contributions from scholars and practitioners, representing key research and practice fields relevant for understanding human rights challenges in times of digital technology.
Global Politics, Law and International Relations
Edited by Ben Wagner, Matthias C. Kettemann and Kilian Vieth
Where law is lawful, decision-makers must comply with the law. If administrative justice is to be achieved in the global space, administrative decision-makers must be committed to ‘legality’, meaning that their decisions are consistent with the existing body of law. A comparative analysis of prevailing functional understandings of administrative justice reveals that it contains a requirement that administrative decisions be made ‘according to law’. Global administrative justice requires cohesiveness, and cohesiveness implies stability, or an anchor to which standards can be tethered. If a requirement for decisions to be made according to law is incorporated into a model of global administrative justice, that anchor becomes the legal framework under which administrative decisions are made. The existing law in the global space, which is defined as international law, domestic law and institutional law, intersects with the United Nations to create legal obligations for its administrative decision-making.
Normative conceptions of administrative justice that are based on rights protection and good governance form the foundation for the second requirement of global administrative justice, which is that administrative decisions must be made ‘according to values the community accepts as just’. These procedural values, which are broadly defined as rationality, fairness, transparency and participation, are revealed through an analysis of the ‘acceptance’ of procedural values by the ‘global community’. A fragmented global community can be defined as both municipal and cosmopolitan in nature, meaning that the values that the global community ‘accepts as just’ will be identified through the codification, interpretation and practice of democratically legitimate international law that reflects the principles of human dignity. Procedural values that are accepted as just by the global community manifest in the global space as divergent standards, according to the functions and objectives of individual global decision-making bodies.