After a rather quiet July and early August it looks as though things are heating up again on the law and the blockchain front. Here are a few developments we’ve come across. this past week.
Over at….. Above the Law they are suggesting lawyers pay more attention to developments in the area.
The blockchain industry is a great choice for any lawyer willing to make a bold move.
The Australasian Lawyer takes a look at what they are up to in Dubai
Dubai eyes ‘Court of the Blockchain’
The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has partnered with the Smart Dubai initiative to develop what the allies call a “Court of the Blockchain.”
The initiative will look into how blockchain technology could be used to verify judgments for cross-border enforcement. It will also look at streamlining the judicial process, removing document duplications, and making the legal ecosystem more efficient.
The partnership will also look at how to handle disputes connected to private and public blockchains, using smart contracts for regulation and contractual terms.
“This task force is in line with our guiding principle to deliver courts as a service, powered by technology and extended through cooperation agreements and alliances,” said Amna Al Owais, DIFC chief executive and registrar.
“By harnessing blockchain technology, Dubai will be firmly positioned at the forefront of legal tech and judicial innovation, setting the standards for countries and judiciaries to follow,” she said.
Over at the UK Legal Cheek Blog.. Mark Taylor at Osborne Clarke has written A Lawyer’s Guide to the Blockchain….
Also in the UK
UK Government Works with Blockchain Technology in Law
The UK Law Commission is working with blockchain technology and smart contracts to improve the British law. The main intention behind that is to update it and make it relevant to the new challenges posed by technology.
UK Embraces Blockchain Technology
The information about that was revealed in the Commission’s 52nd annual report that covers a period between April the 1st and March the 31st. With blockchain technology they will be creating an effective legal framework for smart contracts.
At the moment, the UK Law Commission will be one of the first legal systems on earth to implement distributed ledger technology (DLT).
The commission explained about the interest it has on smart contracts:
“The use of smart contracts to execute legal contracts is expected to increase efficiency in business transactions and it is suggested that the use of blockchain technology will increase trust and certainty. It is important to ensure that English courts and law remain a competitive choice for business. Therefore, there is a compelling case for a Law Commission scoping study to review the current English legal framework as it applies to smart contracts.”
At the same time, the project will ensure that the law is flexible and can be applied in a global and digital context. In this way, it will be providing clarity and certainty to the environment.
The push to recognize and regulate smart contracts in the legal field is also related with the intention of the UK government’s desire to promote a Global Britain in legal services. The project will be starting in Summer 2018.
This is not the first time that the United Kingdom is showing interest in the latest technological trends. At the beginning of this year, Kay Swinburne, a member of the European Parliament for Wales, said that London could keep relevant in the technological field by embracing DLT.
“For me, this whole distributed ledger technology, we have to embrace it. The UK post-Brexit: how does the City of London stay relevant? The City of London stays relevant by suddenly becoming the proponents of the new technologies and not just patching existing systems to make them work post-Brexit, actually leapfrogging,” she explained.
Back in the US…..
CSU’s Cleveland-Marshall College of Law has joined something called the Global Legal Blockchain Consortium, it announced this morning, in order to help develop legal standards to address blockchain technology and its many emergent applications.
In a press release announcing the news, Cleveland-Marshall Dean Lee Fisher said the law school’s membership in the consortium will help the region, “and communities across the nation, in taking advantage of blockchain innovations to enhance economic and societal growth.”
Cleveland-Marshall is now one of 60 organization that make up the GLBC (not to be confused with the Great Lakes Brewing Company). The consortium aims to “organize and align global legal industry stakeholders to enhance the security, privacy, productivity, and interoperability of blockchain technology.”