http://www.CompanyNameSucks.com: The Horizontal Effect of Fundamental Rights on Private Parties within Autonomous Internet Law


Much critique has recently been raised over the role played by ICANN Panels, when they adjudicate disputes over domain names. This article deals with the highly contentious question, whether or not ICANN Panels should or may enforce fundamental rights (e.g. free speech rights) against private parties within the legal order of ICANN, understood by us as semi-autonomous. Our thesis in this regard is that ICANN Panels in fact concretise fundamental rights within Cyberspace on the basis of a fiction. They draw upon the fiction of a "common core" of globally applicable principles of law, which include even human rights. Building upon an ultimatly fictitious legal basis, ICANN Panels in turn concretise a certain number of fundamental rights specific to the realm of Cyberspace. These rights may eventually develop into what we call a "common law" of the Internet.


International Law

Date of this Version

August 2003