Internet Regulation: A Hard-Law Proposal

This paper aims to analyze Internet regulation as a case-study of International Soft-law. Further, it posits the idea that a different approach in this realm is possible under the spotlight of the Common Heritage of Mankind (CHM). In the first part of the paper, the study demonstrates that the soft-law approach, which is itself looming in International Law at large, has dominated the main areas of Internet regulation to date. Existing regulation in the areas of privacy protection, the protection of intellectual property rights together with the struggle against harmful content confirm it. On the contrary, a hard-law proposal is put forward in this paper suggesting that the CHM, itself a principle, a legal regime and a concept, is applicable to the Internet with the aim of achieving a more democratic governance within this domain.