Article title Civil Categories of the Information Society Era in the National Private Law Doctrine: Legal Relations

Doctor of Legal Science, Professor, Corresponding Member of the National Academy of Legal Sciences of Ukraine, Honored Science and Technology Worker of Ukraine, Head of the Department of Civil Law National University «Odessa Law Academy»


Doctor of Legal Science, Professor, Corresponding Member of the National Academy of Legal Sciences of Ukraine, Honored Science and Technology Worker of Ukraine Honored Science and Technology Worker of Ukraine, Head of the Department of Intellectual Property and Corporate Law National University «Odessa Law Academy»


Name of magazine Legal journal «Law of Ukraine» (Ukrainian version)
Issue 1/2019
Сторінки [136-153]
DOI 10.33498/louu-2019-01-136

Along with declaring information the dominant value and acknowledging the advantages brought by information technologies etc., the emergence of the information society, stemming from the prevalent status of the above-mentioned, also necessitates a review of the understanding of some private law categories, and on this basis – of the foundations upon which legal regulation of the relations of its participants is exercised. One of the basic civil-law categories is legal relations. Hence arises the need to study the current state of their conception and the transformations of the latter as a response to the challenges which the information society creates for the understanding of traditional private-law values, and hence the doctrine of private law. The aim of this article is to analyze the current foundations which have been formed in the private-law doctrine and underpin the understanding of the civil relations category and its specific aspects, and also to determine the issues arising in this area upon emergence of the information society, present the authors’ vision of the way to solve these issues and, hence, the prospects for transformation of the national private law doctrine in the respective area regarding the issues under consideration. The author has established that while the Civil Code of Ukraine (Ukraine’s CC) was developed and its provisions were applied, the national private law doctrine has developed a general theory of regulation of civil relations, and also the solid theoretical provisions relating to specific elements of civil relations (subjects, objects, civil rights and obligations, grounds of their origination and implementation). However, legal aspects of development and transformation, both in the category of “civil-law relations” and its specific elements, require further study, with due regard for the realities of the emergence and existence of the information society. The authors came to the conclusion that the relations of using information technologies and their results are, in actual fact, civil relations. And although they may be regulated using the dispositive as well as the imperative methods, the privatelaw approach prevails, thus making it possible to speak of the emergence of relations under civil law in the IT domain until the latter are regulated by acts of civil legislation. Following an analysis of the impact which the information society realities have on the understanding of specific elements of civil relations, the authors came to the conclusions that the scope of their objects is expanded through a broader understanding of the category “information” and the possibility of incorporating “virtual” objects into their structure. The article also sees and substantiates the need to transform the provisions of the private law doctrine regarding subjects of civil relations. It is proposed that they should also comprise “quasiobjects” which may include “virtual organizations”, as well as higher forms of “artificial intelligence” which sometimes actually turn out to be quasi-participants of some civil relations. The authors note that for solving this issue today, relevant provisions of the national private law doctrine should be reviewed, and over time amendments should be made to Article 2 of the Civil Code of Ukraine. 

Keywords civil-law relations; information; information society; relations in the IT domain; “virtual organizations”; “quasi-subjects”

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