Global Innovation Law

P. Sean Morris - Faculty of Law, University of Helsinki

Global business transactions are changing rapidly on a daily basis, and so are the ways and means they interact with different legal regimes. I am arguing, in my recent article, “Global Innovation Law,” forthcoming in North Illinois University Law Review, that a more rigorous academic debate that takes into account the notion of global innovation law is required to upend the understanding of how innovation meets technology and the law at the global level.

My arguments lay a foundation for others to build upon. The arguments set out in the article discusses three sample regimes as part of the basis of global innovation law: artificial intelligence, algorithmic governance and financial technology. These sample regimes indicates how disruptive technologies have for some time been challenging the premise of what law is and how to characterise the new legal challenges posed beyond national jurisdictions.

The fintech business example represents the need for global innovation law. Part of the contribution of innovation in the financial system is that it contributes to the emergence of global norms that can shape how law is formed at the international level, despite the fact that there is no legislator in the international legal system. Hence, the emergence of global innovation law will be a joint effort that takes into account all the major actors: the fintech innovators, international institutions, and states.

The normative structure that continues to shape the evolving nature of global innovation law lies in the practice and theory of governance, which, inter alia, deals with global financial transactions and innovation. The practice and theory of governance supports global innovation law especially for financial transactions and innovation given governance theory and practice is part of a broader system of the new global law.

The new global law is a phenomenon that embraces new and dynamic approaches to law, regulation, governance and adjudication in the international system. Global innovation law boldly embraces the disruptive nature of fintech and other technological innovations that challenge law and technology in and beyond the nation state. Thus, the same way that a disruptive innovator strives to serve a new market or extend the services in a current market –global innovation law would respond to the extension of activity or strive to serve the new legal challenges that disruptive innovation brings about. But because disruptive innovation is also linked to the governance argument, thereby involving the state, international actors and private innovators, there is always the need to ground how disruptive innovations - especially those concerning financial transactions - are seen as part of the global governance system.

Part of the general argument is that previous attempts to address new developments as a result of how the law interact with trans-global developments do not adequately capture the innovation nexus. Hence, arguments relating to global administrative law, for example, would not be ideal.

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