Cyber

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A general obligation of due diligence in international law?

Recently, arguments have emerged that a universal source exists from which it is automatically possible to derive binding due diligence obligations for states in relation to all forms of activities. Specifically, these claims contend that international law imposes a general obligation on states to act with due diligence to prevent their territory being used for activity which harms the rights of other states, and that this obligation is not restricted or confined to particular forms of activities. These arguments have been advanced by academic initiatives in the context of debates over the application of international law to cyberspace. They are noteworthy because they have influenced the positions of an increasing number of mostly European states who have made remarkable statements that have significant implications beyond the cyber context. Indeed, if these arguments receive widespread acceptance from states, it would constitute a radical broadening of obligations of conduct for states in an unprecedented manner beyond the cyber context. This blog post hopes to draw attention to these developments for those who may be…

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The First United Nations General Assembly Resolution on Artificial Intelligence

On Thursday, 21 March 2024, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) met to commemorate the international day on the elimination of racial discrimination. During that session it, almost clandestinely, adopted the first-ever resolution on the topic of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Towards the end of 2023, the UNGA already issued a series of resolutions dealing with technological development…

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The African Union’s Statement on the Application of International Law to Cyberspace: An Assessment of the Principles of Territorial Sovereignty, Non-Intervention, and Non-Use of Force

A growing number of States have published statements examining the application of international law to cyberspace (for an overview see the Cyber Law Toolkit). On 29 January 2024, the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council adopted the ‘Common African Position on the Application of International Law to the Use of Information and Communication Technologies in…

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The Common African Position on the Application of International Law in Cyberspace: Reflections on a Collaborative Lawmaking Process

On January 29, 2024, the African Union Peace and Security Council (PSC) unanimously adopted Communiqué 1196 (2024) pursuant to which it adopted the Common African Position on the Application of International Law to the Use of Information and Communication Technologies in the Cyberspace. The Common African Position (CAP) and all four Communiqués that the PSC adopted on this…

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A Bite at the Apple: States’ Struggle to Tax Digital Services

Taxation might not top the agenda of the readership of EJIL:Talk!. And yet, we have all heard the chorus of mass media and policymakers decrying the tiny tax liabilities of large corporations operating in the digital economy. Does international law have nothing to contribute to this discussion? Of course it does. In fact, the…

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