Digital Law Journal

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The purpose of the Digital Law Journal is to provide a theoretical understanding of the laws that arise in Law and Economics in the digital environment, as well as to create a platform for finding the most suitable version of their legal regulation.

This aim is especially vital for the Russian legal community, following the development of the digital economy in our country. The rest of the world has faced the same challenge, more or less successfully; an extensive practice of digital economy regulation has been developed, which provides good material for conducting comparative research on this issue.

Theoretically, "Digital Law" is based on "Internet Law", formed in English-language scientific literature, which a number of researchers consider as a separate branch of Law.

The journal establishes the following objectives:

– Publication of research in the field of digital law and digital economy in order to intensify international scientific interaction and cooperation within the scientific community of experts.

– Meeting the information needs of professional specialists, government officials, representatives of public associations, and other citizens and organizations; this concerns assessment (scientific and legal) of modern approaches to the legal regulation of the digital economy.

– Dissemination of the achievements of current legal and economic science, and the improvement of professional relationships and scientific cooperative interaction between researchers and research groups in both Russia and foreign countries.

The journal publishes articles in the following fields of developments and challenges facing legal regulation of the digital economy:

1. Legal provision of information security, and the formation of a unified digital environment of trust (identification of subjects in the digital space, legally significant information exchange, etc.).

2. Regulatory support for electronic civil turnover; comprehensive legal research of data in the context of digital technology development, including personal data, public data, and "Big Data".

3. Legal support for data collection, storage, and processing.

4. Regulatory support for the introduction and use of innovative technologies in the financial market (cryptocurrencies, blockchain, etc.).

5. Regulatory incentives for the improvement of the digital economy; legal regulation of contractual relations arising in connection with the development of digital technologies; network contracts (smart contracts); legal regulation of E-Commerce.

6. The formation of legal conditions in the field of legal proceedings and notaries according to the development of the digital economy.

7. Legal provision of digital interaction between the private sector and the state; a definition of the "digital objects" of taxation and legal regime development for the taxation of business activities in the field of digital technologies; a digital budget; a comprehensive study of the legal conditions for using the results of intellectual activity in the digital economy; and digital economy and antitrust regulation.

8. Legal regulation of the digital economy in the context of integration processes.

9. Comprehensive research of legal and ethical aspects related to the development and application of artificial intelligence and robotics systems.

10. Changing approaches to training and retraining of legal personnel in the context of digital technology development; new requirements for the skills of lawyers.

The subject of the journal corresponds to the group of specialties "Legal Sciences" 12.00.00 and "Economic Sciences" 08.00.00 according to the HAC nomenclature.

The journal publishes articles in Russian and English.

The journal will publish quarterly, thereby releasing 4 issues per year.

Current issue

Vol 2, No 1 (2021)
View or download the full issue PDF


8-28 212

The article deals with the development o digital law as an instrument for regulating the digital economy. It is proved that, within the academic environment, the concept of “Internet law” is still more well-established than the concept of “digital law”. It is in this manner that the legal sphere responds to the challenges of the digital revolution and reflects the digital economy. The debate as to whether “Internet law” can be considered either as a separate branch of law or as a branch of legislation has not yet subsided. Nevertheless, “Internet law” is undoubtedly an independent academic discipline, textbooks on which are published in Russia. However, Russia needs to develop a digital economy; this is why the national project “Digital Economy of the Russian Federation” was adopted in 2018, regulatory support for which forms the basis of digital law in Russia. At the same time, the extensive experience of digital economy regulation in both its neighbouring countries and beyond is taken into account. Especially attractive is the national strategic model, which assumes the most rapid procedure for adopting changes and consequently adapting digital legislation, is aimed at the long-term perspective, and lets popular opinion — as well as the opinions of public organizations, the business community, and government representatives — be taken into account. In addition to foreign experience in regulating the digital economy, we should also use the best practices of domestic and foreign legal science.


29-47 211

This research article contributes to the field of digital governance as it reviews the conceptual definition and practical application of “smart cities” in the context of urban development in China. By analyzing both firsthand interview data and secondary statistical and policy reports during the period between 2009 to 2019, we contend that the emergence of smart cities in China has evolved from a disorderly process to a more standardized one. During this process, cities made efforts to use digital technology — such as 5G, cloud computing, and the Internet of Things — in social governance, infrastructure, and industrial development. However, such rapid development also spawned a series of emerging legal issues, which had a huge impact on China’s legal system. The article seeks to holistically examine the discourse surrounding the concept of a “smart city” and its practical implementation by drawing attention to its promises as well as criticisms. The article also touches upon the challenges — such as “information islands” in construction, technology, and management — that confront the emerging smart cities, and emphasizes China’s need to further improve laws and regulations, build an integrated legal system, explore new regulation methods, shape a highly autonomous and refined governance order, and provide legal protection for the development of smart cities. The paper concludes by mentioning possible areas for further research to find a developmental path for “smart cities” that can realize resource integration and sharing.

48-63 259

This paper discusses the status and implications of the employment relations and working conditions experienced by digital platform workers; the analysis is based on a survey conducted in 2017 on 1 338 workers engaged in work-on-demand via apps (WODVA) from 25 platforms in Beijing, of whom 48.8 % are full-time WODVA workers or take WODVA as their primary job. The survey finds that nearly a half of the respondents engage in platform work due to a lack of employment opportunities in formal labor markets or their permanent jobs providing insufficient income. The respondents reveal substantial decent work deficits in representation, compensation, job stability, social protection, working time, and health and safety: 1) WODVA workers seldom have any voice in labor dispute settlements and have a very low rate of unionization; 2) about one third of the full-time WODVA workers cannot earn a living wage and 7.6 % of them earn less than the minimum wage level; 3) three quarters of the full-time WODVA workers have no labor contract with the platforms or other employers, nor access to employer-contributed social insurances; 4) overtime work and underemployment coexist among full-time respondents, with nearly 10 % working for fewer than 4 hours per day while nearly 10 % work for more than 11 hours per day; 5) a majority of respondents run a higher risk of occupational health or physical risks, without any protection provided by the platforms or employers. To promote decent work by digital platform workers, the State needs to establish a portable social security system extending to all workers, to facilitate association and collective actions of platform workers either by extending the outreach of traditional unions or fostering new forms of organizations, to leverage digital technology to facilitate platform workers’ organization and information sharing, and even to promote universal basic income and a workers’ cooperative of platforms in the long run.

64-82 173

The purpose of the article is to analyse problems arising from applying the rules of International Humanitarian Law in cyberspace, particularly the problems of ratione materiae and ratione temporis of this branch of Public International Law in cyberspace. The rapid development of cyber technologies that can be used within an armed conflict affirm the applicability of this research. The existence of “The Tallinn Manual 2.0” on International Law Applicable to Cyber Operations also confirms the impact of this topic on the modern world. The fact that parties in armed conflicts use new technologies in cyberspace does not affect the applicability of IHL rules to such military actions. In the context of this issue, a key question which instigates scientific discussion is that of which cyber operations are subject to the regulation of the law of cyber armed conflicts. The urgent need to study this problem stems from the fact that cyberspace is not an ordinary theatre of war, with the means and methods of warfare used in it being in no way related to the traditional use of armed force; given this quality of cyber operations, it is essential to understand which areas may be subject to IHL. The article analyses two main doctrinal points of view in relation to this problem; as this doctrine (in the context of this issue) also addresses the legal qualification of cyber-attacks, the article also raises this topical issue. Based on the results of this analysis, the author concludes that, despite all the evidence of theoretical conclusions regarding the problems under analysis, they still do not seem comprehensive due to the lack of relevant state practice, which needs to be developed.

83-93 135

The article analyzes the legal acts that regulate public relations regarding the digital transformation of tate corporations and companies with state participation. The economic and managerial directions of reform of the highest priority are established. The article describes the goals of the digital transformation of a state-owned company, including: creating a target business model, a system of goals and key performance indicators of digital transformation, and determining a digital transformation strategy. Special attention is paid to the development and implementation of initiatives for the implementation of digital infrastructure; the development of digital solutions providers; organizational activities within the framework of digital transformation; measures for programmed import substitution; and measures to ensure information security within the framework of digital transformation. Considering independent directions the digital transformation of state-owned companies can take, one such is the improvement of the “quality” of the staff and the formation of a culture of digital transformation. The article highlights such areas of work as: the creation of a model of digital competencies and the staffing of digital transformation within a state company; an assessment of the need for employees with special competence; teaching digital skills; the development of employees’ digital competencies within a state company; digital workforce management; and planning and holding an event to develop digital culture and the information security culture of a state company. In conclusion, it is determined that the proposed areas of the digitalization of state-owned companies are universal. It is suggested that these recommendations be used in relation to other organizations (primarily private).




Dear readers!

“Digital law” as a legal reflection of the digital economy is still in its infancy. The rapid development of public relations and the increasing complexity of trade pose several new questions to the international scientific community; answering these using the achievements of legal science of the 19th–20th centuries is not always possible. Instead it requires a modern conceptual framework, as well as a potential rethinking of traditional legal categories.

Digital Law Journal has been an important discussion platform for two years already. The current state of existing digital technologies, specific features, and the prospects for their full-scale implementation in the regulatory and legal field are analyzed in this journal from both scientific and practical points of view.

The magazine has achieved a lot during the years of its existence. Our editorial board includes exceptional scientists alongside representatives of scientific schools both in Russia and internationally, all of whom deal with the problems of digital law. The journal publishes the works of the authors whose research sets the tone for the modern “digital” debate. The legal regulation of smart contracts and telemedicine, the creation of “regulatory sandboxes”, the place of artificial intelligence in the structure of legal relations, labor market digitalization, and the peculiarities of human rights, competition, and the tax system in the digital age are just some of the issues that have been discussed in our journal. Each submitted manuscript is invariably subject to a double-blind peer review, conducted anonymously by recognized experts in their field of research. The journal is published with a steady frequency.

Of course, all this would not have been possible without you, thoughtful and patient readers who are interested in the problems of digital law, methodological and substantive changes in traditional branches of law that are emerging in the era of the digital economy. Your interest in our project contributes to its continuous development, improving the quality of publications and attracting new readers, authors, and experts.

We are pleased to present to your attention the first issue of the second volume and hope that 2021 will bring only success to our common cause!

Kind regards,
Dr. Maxim Inozemtsev

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