Digital Law Journal

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Vol 1, No 1 (2020)
View or download the full issue PDF (Russian)


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Dear Readers, I am glad to greet you in the pages of the international, peer-reviewed Digital Law Journal. The mission of the Journal is to provide a platform to exchange and discuss information around various research aspects and best practices concerned with the legalization of digital technologies. Another fundamental goal is to elucidate the peculiarities of these technologies and their implementation prospects within a legal and regulatory framework.


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This article gives an expansive overview of the changes in the economy, and in processes performed by both companies and the society at large, that are likely to accompany digitalization in light of the current COVID-19 crisis. In giving this broad overview, the article highlights the consequences for the structure of the economy that the growth of groups of companies profiting from digitalization will have, and the social issues that are linked to such growth. Also, the article offers thoughts on how different areas of activity, such as of companies as well as of education and science, are likely to change.


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The subject under analysis is the peculiarities around the legal regulation of digital technologies and products arising from digital technologies. The choice of this topic was predetermined by the active development of digital services and digital financial assets, and the necessity to adapt modern legislation to the needs of the digital economy. Despite the fact that several strategies for the development of digital law are being worked out at the level of international organizations, neither in theory nor in practice is there a single understanding of the legal nature of digital technologies and the foundations of their legal regulation.

From this perspective, the purpose of this article is to understand the system and the main categories of the digital economy through the prism of fundamental legal institutions, based both on the traditional principles of scientific analysis and on the results steaming from applied data processing methods.

Using methods of theoretical modeling, idealization, and theoretical experiments, the authors consider the categories of legal personality, security, and tort of digital technologies and products, compare them with similar legal institutions, and determine possible options for integrating new legal categories into traditional rule of law on contracts, liability, and the protection of intellectual rights.

As a result of the study, the authors have assembled their vision of those benchmarks, on which international strategies for regulating the digital economy should be built. The authors proceed from the fact that the adaptive capabilities of traditional law are very limited in relation to digital technologies; furthermore, in relation to many of them, qualitatively new legal models should be developed. The article presents the results of a review of the main legal parameters of digital technologies. Formulations of legal personality and protection are proposed, definitions of digital technology products in civil and copyright law are formulated.

The conclusion reached concerns the inconsistency of approaches to assessing the legal nature of digital objects, and the insufficient consideration of the technical aspects of digital technologies, as well as the need to develop — at the international level — a unified legal strategy for civil and intellectual law regarding digital technologies. This study underlines, among the priority tasks and directions, the issues of legal personality of digital technologies, and the essential mechanisms for the protection of products using digital technologies. The conclusions formulated in the article have important practical and methodological significance, and can be taken into account when reforming the current legislation.

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Historically, tax reforms have always been a response to societal transformations, which aim to modernize relations between states, businesses and citizens. The contemporary digital transformations of social relations intensified by globalization have become another challenge. The tax system has been at the centre of ongoing changes. Consequently, there arises a need for reforms of tax systems. Likewise, it is necessary to reassess and review the principles ensuring the efficiency of such systems.

The research aim is to investigate the impact of the digital society and economy on tax equity. This purpose also includes a critical analysis and a summary of the ways in which tax systems in different countries and corporations respond to digital challenges. The challenges in question are associated with tax burden on the activity of the abovementioned entities when they implement business models in virtual reality.

The research methodology is based on the fundamental principles of the Russian tax law with particular regard to the mandatory elements of taxation. Additionally, the research method involves the classical principles of taxation such as equity, certainty, convenience and economy. The authors have also developed an original approach to consider the formation of excess profits by digital companies and digital rentiers.

The analysis of the terms ‘digital presence’, ‘market jurisdiction’ was conducted with due consideration of jurisdiction in digital markets directly related to the activity of digital platforms. The paper also examined the potential opportunities and dangers that arise in the process of automated payment of taxes in each deal. Furthermore, specific problems regarding the determination of border crossing by an intangible asset or a provided service which can consist of both a tangible asset and a digital service were addressed. The research on the impact of digital solutions in business was performed in conjunction with the analysis of the European approach to similar issues. In accordance with the European framework, attribution of profits to the jurisdictions of those countries where consumers reside establishes the principles of equity. Based on this evidence, therefore, it was demonstrated that it is becoming a fundamental necessity in modern society to increase tax certainty of virtual businesses despite the opportunist attitude of some companies (with respect to national governments) as well as governments (with respect to the global economy). As taxpayers’ physical presence in a particular jurisdiction to generate profits which form the tax base is no longer required, a balance between national tax systems and the appearance of supranational taxation should be found. This objective poses a risk of failing to provide conditions necessary to ensure tax equity.

The thesis that tax competition exists in countries and various territories was supported, which enabled the authors to demonstrate potential of concerted effort to develop supranational taxation aimed at tax equity restoring. Furthermore, such mandatory elements of taxation as ‘object of taxation’, ‘tax base’, ‘tax rate’ are still valid in the digital world. At the same time the evolution of business models used by digital and supranational companies, servicization of the economy, digital service development and smart products creation require revising the definitions of these terms.

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Subject of research. The conceptual and methodological aspects, in the context of developmental trends in the subject and system of financial law, of training specialists in the field of FinTech Law.

Purpose. To formulate conceptual and practical proposals which could transform the financial law system; also, to provide lawyers with the methodological foundations to form a comprehensive financial and legal library in the context of the digitalization of the economy.

Methodology. When searching and systematizing educational programs in the fields of digital law and FinTech Law, both a literature review and a comparative method were used. To organize national strategies for the digitalization of the economy, a formal legal method was used. In formulating the author’s concept of a financial law system (in which the FinTech Law legal institution could occupy a space), a systematic and integrated approach was used. In formulating methodological proposals for the integration of legal, financial and digital literacy, a competency-based approach was used.

Results. The author argues that globalization must be a prerequisite for the foundations, both scientifically and educationally, underlying the FinTech Law Institute. In finance, globalization has manifested itself both negatively (through the systemic risk that emerged amidst the global financial crisis) and positively (through the creation of a new, risk-oriented system of international and national regulations, financially and legally, which are sensitive to ongoing digital challenges). Based on a review of experiences undertaken, both in Russia and abroad, to develop the scientific and educational basis of FinTech Law, the author formulates proposals to further develop this topic and to transform the financial law system. These include implementing three large entities (sub-sectors) in the form of monetary law, fiscal law, and financial market law, as well as the integrated institute of FinTech Law. The author offers his own version of a structure this legal institution can use.

Discussion. The article offers proposals, conceptually and practically, for transforming the system of financial law, and for improving the methodological foundations required to form a comprehensive financial and legal library for lawyers in the context of globalization and digitalization. It also substantiates the important position that FinTech Law occupies in systems for the professional training of lawyers.

The results of the study can be used in the development of the scientific doctrine of financial law, or in the methodological foundations of the formation of complex competencies of lawyers through the formation of financial, legal and digital literacy.

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ISSN 2686-9136 (Online)