Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Regulation of the Transnational Internet
Academic Year
Distance Learning

Course Delivery



Due to Covid-19 students should refer to the module Blackboard pages for assessment details

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Module Assessment  Written Assignment of 5,000 words  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Explain the general nature of the legal challenges posed by the conflict between the paradigm of national law and the transnational nature of the Internet.
2. Explain the broad regulatory framework for allocating regulatory competence between States in respect of private/civil and public/criminal matters and the similarities and differences between those broad legal areas.
3. Explain the historical development of rules determining personal jurisdiction in the US and UK and identify common trends and problems in those developments.
4. Demonstrate an understanding of the country-of-destination approach and the exclusive country-of-origin approach to allocating regulatory competence and their specific application to various substantive areas of law.
5. Demonstrate, by reference to examples, such as gambling regulation, an understanding of the legal, social and economic conditions under which the exclusive country-of-origin approach may be an acceptable solution to competence over online activity.
6. Explain, by reference to examples, such as hate speech regulation, the challenges posed by the restrictive nature of the enforcement jurisdiction and the measures taken by States to overcome those limitations.
7. Critically evaluate and compare the fundamental solutions available to States to resolve the conflict between national law and the transnational Internet.

Brief description

This module will consider the way in which traditional national legal regimes can be, and are in fact, applied to transnational online activities and the generic problems arising from such application. The module will assess the approaches taken to online regulatory competence both in respect of private and public matters and how these different regulatory concerns have been accommodated in jurisdictions, such as the UK, France, Germany, the EU, Australia and the US, and the common trends emerging from those case studies. It will evaluate to what extent the problems presented by the transnational Internet are truly novel and indeed threaten the notion of the sovereign State, or alternatively whether existing frameworks can be adjusted to effectively deal with the new social, economic and political phenomenon of the Internet.


1. Introduction to the necessary legal framework and key concepts for the allocation of regulatory competence in respect of private/civil and public/criminal matters in the transnational context and to the challenges posed to these concepts by all transnational activity, including online activity.
2. Locating competence approaches to online activity in the UK, Germany, France, the EU, US and Australia within the historical development of jurisdictional concepts and within the national law paradigm.
3. Case studies: competence approaches in particular substantive legal areas such as defamation law, hate speech regulation, gambling regulation and a critical evaluation of the common trends emerging from these studies.
4. Evaluation of the efficacy and feasibility of actual and potential `private? and `public? solutions to resolving the conflict of national law and transnational online activity e.g. substantive harmonization, harmonization of competence rules, code, territorial blocking and the exclusive country-of-origin approach.


This module is at CQFW Level 7