Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Editorial From: International Journal of Law and Management, Volume 50, Issue 3.
Increasingly, the changes and opportunities to trade across a global market supported by electronic transactions and contracting is causing concern to both consumers and businesses alike. For example, the issue of personal jurisdiction over cyber actors is of great importance to consumers and businesses who wish to partake in the myriad types of transactions made possible through the internet. A consideration of the tensions and the legal uncertainties in this area is presented in the first article in this issue by Professor Osiur Rahman, Nour Mohammad and Mohammad Mahabubur Rahman. The authors reflect on the developments and responses of the US courts to these problems and trace the development of a model involving extension and manipulation of traditional territorial principles. It is suggested that this "new" model might form the foundation for a new territorial principle of jurisdiction for cyber actors.
In the second article, Professor Pacini et al. present an interesting study into one of the emerging challenges of increased global trade; the increase in high-value trade secret espionage. The recognition of a trade secret, its value and the advanced and sophisticated methods of theft, misappropriation and adoption are considered by Pacini et al. The paper then goes onto to consider how the law can and has responded with a concluding reflection of the very personal and practical steps that traders should consider in this increasingly challenging environment.
The final paper in this issue focuses on the competitive position of the costs and regulatory burdens for new enterprise and SME start-ups. Paul Dickinson presents an interesting assessment of the developments and experiences of organisations and advisers in Estonia, measuring the changes since accession to the EU against the World Bank criteria for proportionate regulatory burdens. The study adds to the literature and evidence of the disproportionate regulatory burdens on SMEs and the potential impact on enterprise and, ultimately, on the development of the economy. It goes further by seeking to demonstrate how one new EU member state is seeking to balance the practical requirements of "better regulation" and competition (and EU membership) with a legacy from the Soviet background of a socialist black hole.
Upon reflection, it is likely that all three contributions do not offer any conclusions to the emerging and changing landscapes of international and cross-border trade or business establishment. Rather they offer some interesting insights and thoughts on a "snapshot" of the change. We hope to be able to return, with further contributions to this changing global landscape in further issues.
James Kirkbride and Geraint Howells