Digital Rights and the Outer Limits of International Human Rights Law

Yuval Shany*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This article explores the extent to which key normative and institutional responses to the challenges raised by the digital age are compatible with, or interact with, changes in key features of the existing international human rights law (IHRL) framework. Furthermore, the article claims that the IHRL framework is already changing, partly due to its interaction with digital human rights. This moving normative landscape creates new opportunities for promoting human rights in the digital age, but might also raise new concerns about the political acceptability of IHRL. Following an introduction, Section B of the article will describe the development of digital human rights, using a "three generations"typology. Section C will explain how new developments in the field of digital human rights coincide with broader developments in IHRL, including: the extra-territorial application of human rights, obligations on governments to actively regulate private businesses and the erosion of normative boundaries separating specific human rights treaties from other parts of IHRL and international law. These two segments are followed by concluding remarks.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)461-472
Number of pages12
JournalGerman Law Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - 22 Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s), 2023.


  • Digital human rights
  • business and human rights
  • extraterritoriality of human rights
  • positive obligations
  • systemic integration


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