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Centre for Commercial Law Studies

Institute of Transnational Commercial Law Lecture series for 2019-20: Who has the right to rule cyberspace? Institutions, authority & non-state law

26 November 2019

Time: 5:30 - 8:00pm
Venue: Room 3.1, 67-69 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London WC2A 3JB

Who has the right to rule cyberspace? Institutions, authority and non-state law

About this Event


In cyberspace you hear everyone scream! States claim authority for their laws in cyberspace, each claiming supreme authority over all others. Clearly each cyberspace actor has to choose which laws to obey and which to ignore.

But what if the actor chooses to ignore all the states and instead obey the rules devised by some non-state institution? Do these rules have legitimate authority, like state law? Can they even have greater legitimate authority? And where does their authority come from?

This lecture will try to answer those questions for the new institutions which cyberspace has produced, and maybe for some older institutions as well.


Chris Reed is Professor of Electronic Commerce Law at the Centre for Commercial Law Studies, Queen Mary University of London. He has worked exclusively in the computing and technology law field since 1987, and has published widely on many aspects of computer law. His latest book is Rethinking the Jurisprudence of Cyberspace (with Andrew Murray, Edward Elgar 2018). Previous books include Making Laws for Cyberspace (OUP 2012), Computer Law (7th ed OUP 2011), and Internet Law (2nd ed CUP 2004). Research with which he was involved led to the EU directives on electronic signatures and on electronic commerce. Chris has acted as an Expert for the European Commission, represented the UK Government at the Hague Conference on Private International Law, worked with the Law Commission and the House of Lords and has been an invited speaker at OECD and G8 international conferences.


  • 5.30pm: Registration
  • 6pm: Lecture
  • 7pm: Wine and Networking
  • 8pm: Close

Attendance is free but registration is required so please register above.


For directions to the venue, please refer to the map.


For more information, please contact the CCLS Events Team on

Photography, video and audio recording

Please note that CCLS events may be photographed or video and audio recorded. These materials will be used for internal and external promotional purposes only by Queen Mary University of London. If you object to appearing in the photographs, please let our photographer know on the day. Alternatively you can email the CCLS Events Team on in advance of the event that you are attending.

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