International Law in the Digital Age

  • Ruwantissa Abeyratne


The genesis of the law of the community of nations—as introduced by the Peace of Westphalia of 1648—was hinged on the unquestionable and inalienable right enjoyed by States to the exclusion of others and immune from interference from other States or persons. This has evolved through the ages, particularly with the advent of globalization, communications and information technology that blur physical boundaries. In the digital age, international law has taken a new dimension particularly in the context of cyber space and cybersecurity. In order to put this in perspective, one has to go to the roots of international law. International law, in its most simplistic definition, is the law of nations. Nations are people whereas States comprise inter alia, functional governments. Therefore, it is fair to conclude that international law applies to the entire community of people on Earth. The current notion of international law admits of responsibility of a State not only to the people of that particular State but to people of other States as well who need assistance. The United Nations Millennium Declaration, contained in General Assembly Resolution 55/2 of 8 September 2000, recognized that, in addition to separate responsibilities of States to their individual societies, they have a collective responsibility to uphold the principles of human dignity, equality and equity at the global level. States leaders recognized that as leaders, they had a duty therefore to all the world’s people, especially the most vulnerable and, in particular, the children of the world, to whom the future belongs. States reaffirmed their commitment to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, which have proved timeless and universal, concluding that their relevance and capacity to inspire have increased, as nations and peoples have become increasingly interconnected and interdependent.


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Copyright information

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ruwantissa Abeyratne
    • 1
  1. 1.Aviation Strategies InternationalMontréalCanada

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