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The cybersphere offers a rich space from which to explore the development of international law in a compressed time frame. Rapidly advancing capabilities and novel events distill and sharpen longstanding debates in international law: questions involving how the law adapts to new technologies; disagreement over the extent to which secret action can move custom; disputes over the need for heightened transparency; and power wrangling between states and soft law endeavors in driving the development of the law. In particular, the continuously evolving need to determine how existing laws apply to shifting capabilities provides fertile ground for innovative legal positioning and interpretation. That constant innovation in turn creates opportunities for discrete triggers for legal interpretation—or “interpretation catalysts” as I have termed them elsewhere—to influence the path that legal evolution takes. Interpretation catalysts not only compel a decision-making body to take a position on its interpretation of a legal rule; they shape all aspects of the decision-making process, ultimately influencing the legal position that body takes, and often the resulting law itself.

Publication Date

2016

Volume

95

Publisher

Texas Law Review

First Page

1531

Disciplines

Law

Included in

Law Commons

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