Skip to main content
Customary Internet-Ional Law: Creating a Body of Customary Law for Cyberspace
Legal Discourse in Cyberlaw and Trade
  • Kam Wai, Warren Bartholomew Chik, Singapore Management University
Publication Type
Book Chapter
Publication Date
The shift in socio-economic transactions from realspace to cyberspace through the emergence of electronic communications and digital formats has led to a disjuncture between the law and practices relating to electronic transactions. The speed at which information technology has developed require a faster, more reactive and automatic response from the law that is not currently met by the existing law-making framework. This paper suggests the development of special rules to enable Internet custom to form legal norms to fulfill this objective. In Part 1, I will describe the socio-economic problems and stresses that electronic transactions place on existing policy and law-making mechanisms; examine the history of custom as a source of law in various contexts and identify potential sources of Internet Law in particular the suitability of customary international law rules as a template for formulating customary Internet law-making rules. In Part 2, I will construct the customary rules to Internet law-making that are applicable to electronic transactions by adapting customary international law rules; apply the suggested rules for determining customary Internet norms and identify some existing practices that may amount to established norms on the Internet, specifically practices relating to the Internet Infrastructure and Electronic Contracting.
  • Internet Law,
  • Customary law,
  • Cyberspace,
  • Public international law,
  • Private international law
Citation Information
Kam Wai, Warren Bartholomew Chik. "Customary Internet-Ional Law: Creating a Body of Customary Law for Cyberspace" Legal Discourse in Cyberlaw and Trade (2009)
Available at: