International Dispute Resolution in the Digital Age: Opportunities Presented and Challenges Posed by Service of Process via Social Media

01 October 2017 → 30 September 2020
Regional and community funding: Special Research Fund
Research disciplines
  • Social sciences
    • Law
    • Other law and legal studies
Digital Age Social Media
Project description

The Internet has drastically changed the way in which people communicate and interact. It has penetrated our daily life in many ways: we use the Internet to shop, to talk to friends, to date, to navigate etc. However, the law always has to play catch-up with the social reality. At the moment
giving notice of proceedings and documents to the other party in a lawsuit (this is called service of process) in Continental EU Member States is effectuated through traditional means such as personal delivery by a bailiff, publication or posting. In various countries around the world (e.g. Australia, the US and the UK) there is an increased use of modern communication platforms offered through social media as an attractive mechanism to provide service of process. First, the proposed research will investigate to what extent and under which conditions service of process through social media is already being employed in Common Law countries. Second, it will examine
whether service of process via social media can be used in three representative Continental EU Member States (Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands) by analysing whether such service would be in accordance with article 6 (right to a fair trial) and article 8 (right to respect for private life) of
the European Convention on Human Rights. Third, the research will formulate recommendations as to how service of process can be implemented in existing rules for domestic and cross-border service.