9.5. Legal Gaps and Overflow in the Digital Age. What Solutions does the Theory of Law Suggest?

Thursday, May 20
15:00 - 16:00

Channel 4
Open Access Live Stream

Track: 9. Private Law

Aiming to ensure that positive law meets the digital age challenges, the legislative regulation of technology-mediated social relations is developing rapidly. The first few decades of the development of the Internet and other digital technologies and their increasing involvement in socially meaningful areas were marked by an absence of consistent legal regulation apart from individual matters (for one, the liability of information intermediaries under the copyright law). By contrast, in recent years, we have observed a trend for positive law overflowing with a considerable number of rules aimed at regulating multiple, diverse and highly specific relations stemming from the distribution of information in the digital form and other types of relations in the digital environment. In other words, legal gaps (or cases of qualified omission) have been replaced by an overflow of regulations. How could we interpret the existing approaches in terms of the theory of law? What issues of legal regulation are the most relevant? And finally, what solutions does the theory of law suggest?

A provisional agenda:

  • Finding the balance of values (including freedom of information and security) in the legal regulation of the modern digital environment 
  • The extent of efficient legal regulation of technology-mediated relations in the conventional policy-making paradigm, which suggests prioritising law-based regulation over that performed by executive authorities 
  • A fundamental changes of black letter law perception in the context of society’s digital transformation: the application of laws and regulations to the environment and individuals, fundamental perception of legal persons and so on
  • A theory-of-law interpretation of social regulation concepts based on recognising the regulatory influence of digital environment architecture elements. Validity of the “Code is Law” concept
  • Legal fictions of the digital age
  • The legal methodology of laws and rules aimed at regulating relations in the digital environment: relevant issues from the theory of law perspective 
  • Information sovereignty in the digital age: national jurisdiction borders in cyberspace 
  • The limits of legal regulation of VR-mediated relations in its broad understanding.


Anna Sirotkina

Head of the Department of Commercial Law and Procedure, S.S. Alekseev Private Law Research Centre under the President of the Russian Federation


Vladislav Arkhipov

Head of the Department of Legal Theory, Saint Petersburg State University

Nikolai Dmitrik

Head of the Department of Legal Theory and Interdisciplinary Legal Disciplines, National Research University «Higher School of Economics»

Victor Naumov

Senior Research Fellow in the Information Law and International Information Security Sector at the Institute of State and Law of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Partner at Dentons Law Firm

Aleksandr Tyulkanov

Expert in the Field of AI and Personal Data Regulation

* The Programme may be subject to change