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Jur’s Solutions are brought into the Academics
5 min read
Ludovica Troili is a trainee lawyer, recently graduated at the University of Roma Tre in Law with a thesis in International Arbitration. Her work, entitled “International Arbitration and the challenges with the new technologies”, focuses on smart contracts and the lack of a dispute resolution method. That’s why she dedicated the last chapter of her thesis to Jur’s online courts. This article has been written by Ludovica Troili. As someone passionate about International Arbitration, after having deepened it both at a theoretical and practical level, I was looking for an innovative topic to develop in my thesis project. During my research, I came across a conference organized by the Court of Appeal in Rome regarding the impact of new technologies on ADR systems, thus, from that moment, I have made my decision. If my initial goal was to explore the new frontiers of arbitration, I, finally, found myself studying blockchain technologies and, then analysing what may be their potential impact in the legal area. This has been the main question that I have tried to answer through my thesis. Hence, it is now necessary to take a step back to explain how I got there. At first, as a beginner in the blockchain world, I devoted myself to unbridled research, by the means of books, manuals and every document on the subject available and participation in conferences, seminars, and events on the subject. During this period, I had the opportunity to debate the topic with numerous experts in various fields: mainly, (i) the professional used to employ the blockchain technologies in his/her daily activity; (ii) the student/post-graduate with a passion for this “new” economic system; (iii) the engineer or the computer technician involved with the language code and all its potentialities; (iv) the lawyer with a focus firmly directed towards the future. At the end of my research, the most relevant aspect I have found was the high percentage of leading experts in new technologies and blockchain, all sharing a total lack of interest and consideration for the impact that the operations undertook with these technologies could have on a legal level. As a legal specialist, I find it impossible to exercise any kind of business activity, without the awareness of the aspects and the legal implications connected with it. Therefore, once noted all those people who used to implement their activities through the blockchain technologies – without any regard to the legal protection that they could have had nor to the legal consequences that these operations which implemented in the virtual world could have had in the physical world –  has made it imperative to me to study a solution to overcome this significant gap. The latter represented, later on, the very heart of my thesis project. At the end of this path, I found myself with the handing over of my Paper, while at the same time, the COVID-19 began to expand world-wide, with the result that, in the middle of the pandemic, I graduated online in mid-March. This degree has been a clear demonstration of how such a dramatic situation has brought everyone, even the most reticent ones, closer to the daily use of technology. What was once perceived as an option has become a need, and in the past weeks, as a legal specialist, I have been able to analyse how such a need was felt within the legal area. In Italy, both many judicial and extra-judicial bodies have made a significant effort to implement remote hearings and, further, most law firms have facilitated the possibility to hold meetings in videoconference. All of these to sum up to the sponsorship of a huge number of webinars that are spreading on the Internet, in order to promote the running of distance conventions and seminars. Everyone is striving to avoid that the isolation and social distancing do not also involve immobilization of the life of each one. It is hoped that such a motivation to eliminate the distance between the legal area and technological evolution would work as a starting point for an even closer future collaboration between these two worlds. In this regard, in my thesis project – based on the convergence between these two areas – I analysed the advent of blockchain technologies and its legal implications. More specifically, the purpose is the one to deepen the issue of smart contracts and the lack of a dispute resolution mechanism, proposing, then, International Arbitration. The subject is introduced through an overview of the definition of blockchain technologies and, especially, smart contracts, dealing with their main features, functions, and practical application. After highlighting the technical characteristics of the said tools, the Paper shifts to their legal evaluation. As a result, doubts arise with regard to the legal nature of smart contracts, by leading, inevitably, to significant uncertainty about their jurisdiction and the suitable method for settling disputes. Given the numerous different views on such issues, a possible solution can be found in the figure of smart legal contracts, a hybrid version of smart contracts, where both the human language form and the code form of a single contract are combined and anchored within a valid legal framework. It is, in fact, a traditional contract able to be executed entirely or partially by a machine, the contracting parties will thus be able to take advantage of the automatic performance through the smart contract, having, at the same time, a traditional version of the contract which expresses in detail the agreed terms and conditions. Against this background, the Paper suggests the applicability of International Arbitration as the perfect candidate to facilitate the settlement of transnational disputes arising from such kinds of “digital agreements”. In this way, it would be possible to overcome all the above-mentioned doubts though a neutral procedure, supported by a body of legal experts specialised in the present field, with a flexible procedure tailor-made by the parties, and, finally, characterized by the binding character of the final decision taken by the Arbitral Tribunal, recognizable and executable in more than 160 countries. Follow Ludovica on Linkedin In the last chapter of the thesis, in order to provide a practical representation of what has been said on a theoretical level, I reported the case study of Jur, a platform based on blockchain technology, which enables, firstly, every kind of users (even the ones with zero knowledge in legal / tech matters) to create smart contracts and initiate activities on the network, supported by technical and legal experts all around the world, secondly, it grants the parties to choose over three different ways to solve every eventual conflict, according to their needs (Open Layer; Community Layer; Court Layer)*. The above describes the possibility to settle disputes, of any nature and size, in an online procedure implemented on the blockchain, by virtue of all its inherent advantages, such as the possibility to save costs and time, to process a large volume of data in a fraction of time with no margin of error, to securely implement the proceeding due to the high cybersecurity and cryptography, and to manage original and authentic legal documents, given the immutability of the platform. In view of the above considerations, the hope is that what right now has been implemented as an exception may, in the next future, be confirmed as the rule. [Editor’s note: Jur is currently developing a new platform, called Open Justice, that sums up the theory behind the above-mentioned Court Layer to provide a fast, reliable and completely online procedure for dispute resolution world-wide] *See Jur’s white paper for more information Do you want to follow all the updates about Jur?

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Legal Tech Just Got A New Face: Matija Kontak, Radboud University’s Winner of the Internship With Jur
The Lab For New Justice, an initiative held by Jur with the help of Radboud University, has come to an end for the Netherland’s Chapter! Experimenting over the dispute resolution on blockchain Over the last few months, Jur and an elite group of legal students from Radboud University have been debating the principles behind the Jur Open Layer. This online alternative dispute resolution (ODR) platform relies on the wisdom of the crowd to solve minor disputes at almost no cost to the parties seeking justice. Under a traditional legal system, arbitration and legal fees would make pursuing this kind of justice unrealistic. Now, with the help of the Lab for New Justice and a number of top universities, Jur is building a way for ‘micro-disputes’ to be solved in a fast and affordable manner. The lab at Radboud University ended with an award ceremony: Jur’s jury and professors Ortolani and Janssen put their heads together to select Matija Kontak from the participating group of students. All were very keen to be part of the project, but sadly we could only select one, otherwise, we would have invited them all in! The next labs in the UK and Spain are already on the way. Soon our Alumni will join together to develop a network of newborn legal tech professionals. Our New Intern: Matija Kontak Our newest intern has been an avid legal student for years. After completing his first Masters with a focus on European Law at the University of Zagreb in his native Croatia, he headed to Radboud University to continue his studies of European Law, this time with a specialization in Business Law. “I am interested in blockchain technology, cryptocurrency in general, and in alternative dispute resolution. I have written my (first) master thesis on smart contracts and ICOs. I participated in the international Willem C. Vis Moot [commercial arbitration competition].  I developed an interest in alternative dispute resolution systems (arbitration). So this opportunity brings it all together quite nicely.Matija Kontak Speaking with Matija after the award ceremony, it was hard for him to hide his surprise. In light of the stiff competition, he told Jur R&D expert Michele D’Asaro that he hadn’t expected to win, but was glad that he had. He talked about his satisfaction seeing the disputes come to life on the platform, and how being in the Lab for New Justice brought so many new ideas to mind. As someone who was always attracted to the decentralized idea of ‘freedom’ that bitcoin brought to finance, Matija is hopeful that Jur would be able to replicate that in the legal sphere. Now that he has won the internship, he is looking forward to performing more legal research and working with the structured guidance of the Jur team to create better legaltech solutions. Thank you, and Congratulations! We strongly believe that Matija has all it takes to support Jur’s activity in delivering ADRs on the blockchain. We thank all the students that have participated in the lab and carried out disputes on our platforms, and Radboud University itself for having hosted this unique format. Together, we were able to successfully merge law and technology in a groundbreaking academic experiment on the Jur Beta Platform. As this chapter of the Lab for New Justice comes to a close, we are hopeful that the people we met along the way continue to stay in contact and take part in our growing ecosystem! Do you want to follow all the updates about Jur?
IE University in Spain to join hands with Jur and the Lab For New Justice by Launching the ‘Smart Contract Competition’
After the first edition at Radboud University Faculty of Law, Nijmegen, and immediately following the beginning of the Lab for New Justice at Hull University, Jur is launching the ‘Smart Contract Competition’ with IE University, in Segovia (Spain). Students from the acclaimed private University in Spain will be able to work hands-on in the creation of smart legal contracts and experience the entire flow of Jur’s online dispute resolution system. IE University, Spain The competition will be held starting from the 18th of February 2020, over four dates, lead by professor Francisco de Elizalde, full-time Professor at IE University, Law School: Day 1 — Tuesday, 18th FebruaryDay 2 — Tuesday, 25th FebruaryDay 3 — Tuesday, 24th March // date updatedDay 4 — Tuesday, 31st March // date updated The four meetings will take a deep dive into the main concepts and practice of dealing with ODR — Online Dispute Resolution systems — on the blockchain. Luigi Cantisani, legal engineer, and Michele D’Asaro, R&D will lead the meetings at IE University and will touch topics widely ranging from blockchain, use of smart contracts and game theory, which is the underlying framework for the Jur Beta Platform’s dispute resolution system. The poster used by the IE University to call for the Smart Contract Competition The Lab for New Justice’s educational offer has been welcomed, with IE University by the third university in Europe now, after Radboud’s Faculty of Law and Hull’s Business and Law department began leading the way. Jur’s team is extremely honoured for having aroused such interest in the Academic sector; an important step towards a scientific approach in the development of the decentralized legal app (dApp) by Jur. “The Smart contracts competition entails a unique opportunity to instil in our students the skills that lawyers will require to succeed in a highly-developed technological environment. Professor Francisco de Elizalde, full-time Professor at IE University, Law School A hands-on experience on smart contracts and blockchain technology will also enhance a normative reflection on how law and technology should interact” — Professor Francisco de Elizalde, full-time Professor at IE University, Law School - he concludes. Francisco De Elizalde | IE UniversityFrancisco de Elizalde is a full-time Professor at IE University, Law School. He focuses on Private Law, especially…www.ie.edu Smart legal contracts enable a more efficient and transparent relationship between parties. In Jur, we try to bring contracts to life automating core clauses ensuring they become auditable and as self-enforceable as possibleLuca Daniel, CTO of Jur The Lab For New Justice is the initiative held by Jur to research over the dispute resolution methods and carry out testing on the Jur Beta Platform. Jur is currently releasing the second edition, after the first was carried at Radboud University, Nijmegen, under the supervision of Profs. Andre Janssen and Pietro Ortolani. IE University offers a technology-based learning ecosystem for people who make a difference in the world through innovation, global vision, an entrepreneurial mentality and a unique focus on the humanities. IE University has a staff of more than 500 professors who currently teach university diplomas, master, doctoral, and training programmes and executive training to students in 131 countries. The platform of over 60,000 alumni of IE University is located in 165 countries. Professor Francisco de Elizalde, which leads the Smart Contract Competition at IE University, is a full-time Professor at IE University, Law School. He focuses on Private Law, especially Contracts and the Law of Property. He is a permanent Visiting Professor at Koç University (Turkey) and has lectured as visiting at City University of Hong Kong, FGV Sao Paulo (Brazil) and the Law Schools Global League. Do you want to follow all the updates about Jur?