Human Rights in the Digital Era

Dehumanisation of law

Nicholas Gervassis from Edinburgh University argues on the dehumanisation of law.

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“The Dehumanisation of Law: Online Reflections” – Nicholas Gervassis, University of Edinburgh

This paper claims that the applied legal frameworks, particularly in relation to our online existences, have gradually professed the withering of the human rights grammar.  The observed trend does not necessarilyconfer intent, yet it neither marks coincidental development. The general tendency finds other global discourses on the rise (i.e. intellectual property and security risk), and systemic preoccupations with various forms of proceduralism undercutting the historically and structurally preceding spilling over of human rights across law. The needs of the market set targets for the regulation of the Internet with a seeming exclusivity over matters of social conduct.  If we are to discuss how contractual tools, the likes of Terms of Service and EULAs, lock authoritatively the development of citizenship within privatised regimes, we need to review those mechanisms that made possible for values and principles, which define the liberal constitutional democracy, to be so aggressively resisted and denied of their role in legal practice. The paper looks critically into the genealogy of Internet laws, which made almost reasonable to ostracise the human being from human laws.

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