Date of Award

Spring 2012

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Law (SJD)



First Advisor

Prof. Dr. Christian Okeke

Second Advisor

Prof. Nancy Yonge

Third Advisor

Prof. Michael Daw


This thesis examines challenges caused by global cyberspace, which continues to undermine the ability of regulatory instruments aimed at cyber security and deterring cybercrime so that digital assets including those associated with Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) are protected. Progress in information and communication technology (ICT) has brought about both challenges and opportunities for mankind. While ICT has enabled seamless communication on cyberspace, it has also made every phenomenon, positive or negative on cyberspace possible. The good side of ICT is the endless opportunities provided to harness multiple features and capabilities of associated technologies while its side effect being the enormous security challenge on cyberspace.

Legal and policy frameworks are needed to help mitigate cyber security threats and safeguard digital assets against such threats while promoting the benefits of ICT. To this end nations attempt to regulate cyberspace within their territories, but may quickly find out that issues on cyberspace are both global and national at the same time, and as such not fully controllable at national levels only. If nations cannot fully regulate ICT and cyberspace, this will have negative implications for digital investor’s assets in their territories as well. That is investor’s information assets may not be adequately safeguarded by means of national legal instruments. This dissertation seeks to analyze the question as to whether it is entirely possible for nation-states to address the multifaceted challenges introduced by cyberspace with appropriate national legal and policy frameworks alone to protect digital investments.

This dissertation argues that, on the one hand, nations are behind in providing proper regulatory coverage for cyberspace, while, on the other hand, existing regulations have largely been unsuccessful in containing cyber security threats primarily due to complications caused by the ubiquitous global presence of cyberspace per se. Consequently, investor’s digital assets are more susceptible to unauthorized access and use, or destruction, all of which cannot be fully accounted for with currently available legal or technical means. There is a strong indication that digital investor assets demand more protection efforts from both investors and forum nations alike compared to what is needed to protect and promote traditional FDI.