On sovereignty



The concept of sovereignty is more important than ever in the Cyber context, yet it is poorly understood. With this article, we are seeking to contribute towards a shared understanding of the concept of sovereignty by succinctly addressing the following six, interrelated, questions:

  1. Who can claim to have sovereignty;
  2. Over what can one have sovereignty;
  3. What are the consequences of having sovereignty over something;
  4. Who can violate sovereignty;
  5. What is the threshold for violating sovereignty; and
  6. What are the consequences of violating sovereignty?

However, this article is not limited to a descriptive account of the law as it stands today. A purely descriptive account would not provide a full picture of the complex concept of sovereignty, and we have felt it appropriate to enter the territory of law reform options in parts of the discussion.

While sovereignty is a technology-neutral concept and the article addresses it as such, particular attention is directed at sovereignty in the cyber context.

Sovereignty; Cyberspace; Cyberconflict; International law; Cyberwar

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