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The Swiss Institute of Comparative Law has just published the proceedings from its 30th Private International Law Day, which focused on digital platforms and their implications for the conflict of laws. The following teaser, as well as the volume’s table of contents, have been kindly provided by its editor and main organiser of the conference, Ilaria Pretelli:

Since its creation in the early 1990s, the World Wide Web has intensified its role and skills at too speedy pace for any sober reflection in human sciences.

The exponential rise of tech oligopolies is also a consequence of the “statelessness” of the platform economy, a circumstance that explains the great interest of the subject for lawyers and the choice of this topic for the 30th day conference in Private International Law of the Swiss Institute of Comparative Law, held on June 28th, 2018 whose proceedings, enriched by further contributions, are collected in the 86th volume of its red series.

The disruptive potential of the platform economy challenges traditional approaches based on the bilateral legal relationship and its geographical location.

It is worth asking whether the basic principles of private international law can be adapted to the immateriality of the digital space, whether a new revolution in the theory of private international law can be expected, or whether private international law is an inapt tool for platform governance and the only promising way is that of a multilateral and harmonising approach.

Collecting the proceedings of the conference, the 86th volume of our red series aims to contribute, through a multidisciplinary analysis, to the collective effort to build a legal theory adapted to digital platforms.

By presenting the first national and supranational responses to the challenges of the platform economy – still disordered and sometimes contradictory – the book attempts to synthesise the main trends in the legal developments that are forthcoming in various legal fields, with a focus on the need to protecting weak parties (workers, consumers, small and medium businesses).

Full reference: I. Pretelli (ed), Conflict of Laws in the Maze of Digital Platforms – Le droit international privé dans le labyrinthe des plateformes digitales, Schulthess, Zurich 2019

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