Jur News: Announcements
4 min read
Zug, 31 March 2021 Jur is pleased to announce the immediate release of the private beta version of the Open Justice Platform, the online dispute resolution platform for civil and commercial claims worldwide, in a legally-binding way. Anyone in the world can apply to get early access to the private beta program starting on the 31st of March 2021. Apply for the private beta of the Open Justice Platform. How does it work? Offering an UNCITRAL-compliant arbitration procedure, the Open Justice Platform brings an efficient justice process to small-medium enterprises and professionals across 168 jurisdictions worldwide. The UNCITRAL model is an international legal framework that ensures the enforceability of the legal decisions. The activation of each procedure on Jur requires either the previous existence of a compatible arbitration clause or an arbitration agreement done between the parties. As a consequence, the result is binding on the parties being an arbitration award. Hence, the Open Justice Platform offers a fully digitised flow which helps arbitrators, lawyers and claimants with dispute resolution procedures anywhere in the world. Small and medium-sized businesses are able to access a user-friendly arbitration process online. Arbitrators are selected according to their expertise and manage simplified arbitration procedures with an easy-to-use platform that saves precious time and effort. Digital arbitration chambers Operators in the legal sector can create "digital arbitration chambers", also called Hubs, attract dispute cases, and offer administered arbitration procedures that are cost-efficient and qualitative. The Jur expedited arbitration procedure is built to offer a complete arbitral procedure within a customizable range of 30 to 90 days. A key outcome is considerable savings in the management costs typical of arbitration and an extremely rapid procedure. Testing with partners will commence this month. Depending on user configuration, the platform can manage disputes of up to USD 1M. Over time, Jur will integrate the infrastructure with other platforms and blockchain platforms. In a nutshell The platform supports every phase of the arbitration procedure from A to Z, including: filing of the claim, notifications of each action and relevant phase of the procedure payment managementdefinition of terms of referencecase management for the arbitrator and for the hubpresentation of pleadinghearings booking, management and recordingadoption of the award, scrutiny, approval and any corrections of the same The procedure is entirely online, integrating secure digital signatures and notifications via certified email. The platform allows, in case of need, the management of the award in physical copy and signed by hand. After testing in a separate environment, the platform will gradually introduce elements of decentralisation and blockchain to provide an enhanced level of transparency, quality and neutrality of the procedure. From micro-claims on blockchain to a user-friendly justice for small and medium businesses As per the new white paper, Jur first released a fully decentralised online dispute resolution (ODR) solution, concerning an innovative product in the blockchain field targeting micro-transactions. The previous product has been tested by a number of institutions, including the prestigious Radboud, Hull and IE universities. The Online Justice Platform is part of an industry that sees the rise of digital courts as a way to support the backlog of courts. It is estimated that 70% of businesses experience disputes, and existing resolution methods are notoriously time-consuming and costly, often prohibitively so. The cost of dispute resolution for small-medium enterprises is £11.6Billion each year solely in the UK. Although technically arbitration, Jur does not compete with institutions currently operating in the traditional, non-online arbitration sector as well. In fact, arbitration procedures involve disputes of USD 10-50M value. Sometimes there can be smaller disputes in the order of USD1-5M. The primary target of Jur’s platform are disputes with values ranging from USD 10K-1M. There are platforms for supporting arbitration, but they only focus on optimising document management of the arbitral procedures. Future improvements Arbitration is a solution mainly used for high-value disputes, which are often international. Still, arbitration faces problems in terms of guaranteeing the quality of the arbitrators, neutrality of the procedure, and ensuring reputable outcomes. These problems are now primarily solved thanks to the reputation of particular bodies or arbitrators that work as an element for generating trust. Outside a strict circle of entities and arbitrators, reputation is a concern. These are currently existing problems which may only worsen in the case of a scaled digital version of arbitration for smaller disputes. The impact of blockchain technology is inevitable everywhere where "trust" is needed. For this reason, smart-contract based procedures and models are required to solve the aforementioned problems in a better way. Our roadmap includes elements of decentralisation of part of the procedures in order to define a new standard of transparency, quality, and neutrality of digital justice in general and arbitration in particular. The approach with which Jur operates is to focus on product-market fit and, in parallel, separately test advanced blockchain-based features. Only after adequate testing will Jur integrate these features into the main product in order to preserve the legally-binding character of the procedure itself. This is a new approach for blockchain startups which we believe is the most sustainable one and will bear the best results in the medium and long term. A brief history of Jur Jur has recently worked with LawtechUK (UK government’s backed initiative powered by Tech Nation to help transform the UK legal sector) and accelerated by MDR LAB's startup program. Jur has been funded in the past by VeChain Foundation, Fenbushi and Rascal Ventures. The new Open Justice Platform is part of Jur’s solutions to foster access to justice and help business and professionals work in a more reliable environment thanks to the digitalisation of traditional procedures. Jur has also released a cryptocurrency, the JUR token, and part of the future releases of the Open Justice Platform features and other products will be based on a blockchain infrastructure, to ensure better security, transparency and reliability. Jur. World’s multi-jurisdictional dispute resolution platform for small-medium enterprises. More: Main website - jur.ioPrivate Beta Platform - Open JusticeJur MDR legal tech Acceleration programJur LawtechUK SME feasibility studySocial media -TwitterSocial media - LinkedinTelegram community We have released the private beta of our online dispute resolution platform, the Open Justice. Learn more.
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Jur is pleased to be part of Tech Law Clinics 2021 edition, an annual moot court hosted by the prestigious Radboud University in The Netherlands. Tech Law Clinics is an international project, bringing law students in touch with cutting-edge technologies. The event is an occasion for law students to test their learnings on real-case scenarios, by acting as lawyers and judges in a case at the crossroads between private law and new technologies. Judges, law firms, and tech companies coach the teams and prepare them for the oral hearings. Jur’s dispute resolution platform, the Court Layer, was part of the environment used by Radboud and other universities to run fictional procedural orders of the moots. The Court Layer is an online dispute resolution platform whose basic flow and mechanics host the Open Justice Platform that Jur is presently developing. About 80 students from four different universities have already been instructed in January on the dispute resolution procedures available in the Court Layer. Apart from Radboud, the universities involved are UCLy (Lyon, FR), Jagiellonian University (Krakow, PL), University of Lodz (Lodz, PL). The sessions provided Jur with useful feedback on the dispute resolution flow engineered in the Court Layer and expanded its university network in France and Poland. The moot itself will take place in March. A true elite of experts from the fields of legal tech and dispute resolution are participating in Tech Law Clinic. Radboud University will be represented by legal tech experts starting with Professor André Janssen, Assistant Professor Pietro Ortolani, and PhD candidate Tom J. Vennmanns will be present. On the other hand, Poland will have private law experts such as Monika Namyslowska, Director of the Department of European Private Law of the University of Lodz, and Piotr Tereszkiewicz, Associate Professor in Private Law of Jagiellonski University. Topping it all off, the President of Chamber at the Administrative Court of Lyon, Marc Clément, will also be present representing France. The sessions conducted by Jur’s experts Luigi Cantisani, Legal Engineer, Shuchi Tyagi, Blockchain Developer and Michele D’Asaro, R&D covered: How and Why the Court Layer WorksPhase 1 - Appointment of ArbitratorPhase 2 - Conduction of ArbitrationPhase 3 - Peer Review SystemQuick showcase of the prototypeQ&A with students According to Michele D’Asaro, “it is thrilling to share details and technicalities of our ODR with interested students.” For Luigi Cantisani, “years after participating as a student in moot courts, it was really exciting to be on the other side and be able to talk about digitising arbitration and implementing blockchain to students from different universities in Europe, based on a prototype that currently exists.” For Shuchi Tyagi, “it is a must to help law students experience the advancements offered by existing tech in the legal industry.” Jur’s participation in Tech Law Clinic is part of a long-lasting fortunate relationship with universities that tested a series of assumptions on its ODR platform. After Tech Law Clinic, a Spring School will follow, in order to raise students’ awareness about the challenging legal implications posed by digital technologies. Jur’s CEO, Alessandro Palombo will deliver a speech in the Spring School on decentralisation and justice and decentralised dispute resolution types. The event will happen on the morning of March 15, 2021, from 9:30 am to 11:50 am. Other than digitisation of dispute resolution, the event will cover topics on automation of government decision-making and competition law in digital markets, among others from speakers all around the world. We are developing the first multi-jurisdiction online dispute resolution platform, the Open Justice Platform. Learn more.
A fast-forward story on how the law was born and how it is becoming increasingly digital and accessible, also thanks to the Hub of the Open Justice Platform. In this article, we are going to show you that digital courts are not only possible but desirable, and more importantly, that internet-based private courthouses will soon be available to the public thanks to Jur’s Open Justice Platform for resolving disputes online. Follow along in the journey that led to the digitalisation of traditional laws and systems. The Birth of Law and Society Before we dive into what a Hub or a digital court is, let us first understand what courts are. When society was born, Law was created to manage the relationships among its community members. If you are a legal professional you will be aware of the old Latin saying: ubi societas, ibi ius Which means, “where there is a society, there is the Rule of Law”. The Rule of Law is actually effective when there is a “judge” who acts as controller/enforcer. The absence of this figure could lead someone to disregard and disrespect the Rule of Law, causing frictions within society, or as we now legally call them, jurisdictions.Jurisdiction originates from two Latin words “Jus - dicere”, which means “to say/proclaim what is right or wrong in a specific case”. As you may guess by now, from this name (iurisdictio, in Latin) comes also the name of our project: Jur, as in the first three letters of Jurisdiction. Digital Courts Before They Were Digital Let us fast forward from ancient societies to the middle-ages. During this time, private tribunals were created by commercial guilds to judge who was right and who was wrong on commercial matters. At that time, cCourts - the place where law was exercised - were not as public as they are today. With the age of democratic republics, constitutional charts started proclaiming the importance of an independent, impartial Jurisdiction entity in any country. You might have heard of Montesquieu’s work on the “three powers” of a State: legislative, executive and judiciary. The last is what we are focusing on in this article. In a democratic society, every citizen should know that the courts are managed in a fully impartial way. The judiciary power is separated from politics and other external influences. The most important aspect is that being a “public” court is what guarantees impartiality, the professionalism for ensuring “true, authentic judgments”. Society needs impartiality and quality judgements as they impact on the private autonomy of citizens. Let’s add another specification. There are normally (and beware, this is a huge simplification) three sectors of “Jurisdiction”: Criminal Law, Public Law, and Civil & Commercial Law. In Criminal Law, it is evident to everyone how it is crucial that only publicly selected judges can decide if someone has to suffer a punishment which implies a limitation of his freedom. The limitation to the freedom of a citizen requires a high level of control from the State. Let’s look at this from the other angle. As a citizen, you are part of an “original consensual social agreement” according to which you delegate the State, and you give it part of your freedom so that the State can exercise its power to ensure that everyone has a serene, safe social life in the community. This means, for example, that you authorized the State to put you in prison if your behaviour goes against the safety of another citizen. The specific course of this type of court proceeding is different from the Civil one. Public Law, on the other hand, concerns itself with matters such as public procurements issued by a public authority. This does not concern generally private individuals in most cases. Lastly, there is the Civil Law, which is essentially everything that does not pertain to the previous two Laws. Why the Need for Digital Courts Why this long introduction to explain the concept of a Hub? It is because a Hub represents something new built on old legal foundations. Without context, a Hub will be difficult to understand. In the Civil and Commercial areas, the “original consensual agreement” has been interpreted in a lighter way because consequences of judgment do not impact the freedom of the individual as in the criminal field. For the past century, in order to reduce a public court’s backlog to give a more efficient service to its community, new “private methods of dispute resolution” have been recognized in every State. Every national law espouses several alternative dispute resolution methods (ADR) and this trend is only growing. The State firmly exercises its power and authority over Criminal and Public Law for matters that involve individuals and companies. However, the State has also noticed that certain private bodies could follow a similar level of due process as a public court while ensuring impartial and professional judgments. This has led to the question: why not allow these private bodies to enforce the law on Civil Law matters? Among all ADRs, arbitration in the last decade has been recognized in most of the States as equivalent to the judgment of a public court. In a nutshell, if arbitration is properly held, the arbitration award (i.e. the judgment) is equivalent to the judgment of a public court. After receiving an arbitral award one just has to obtain a rubber stamp from a court testifying that due process was followed but does not enter into the merit of the dispute. This is where our Open Justice Platform comes into the picture and why we believe it is the “future of justice”. We have taken an international standard for arbitration of the United Nations (UNCITRAL 1985) and completely digitized its flow. With some minor amendments, this standard is legally-binding in 166 jurisdictions. What we did is take this efficient standard and try to make it accessible to everyone. In today’s world, almost no one uses arbitration because its costs are prohibitive. It generally delivers high-quality judgments in a very efficient way but it works well only for big agreements. It has a great untapped potential, which is why we want to make UNCITRAL work for professionals, small and medium businesses. Hubs: The Digital Courts of Today Now that we’re all on the same page, it’s time to answer the original question: What is a Hub? A Hub is a digital courthouse (or more technically a “digital” Arbitration Chamber) made on the Open Justice Platform. In the platform, a Hub plays the role of a private body that administers online justice procedures through means of a legally-binding arbitration. Simply put, a Hub is a new form of the private courthouse, completely digital, efficient, and extremely fast. How will you have access to this new efficient system? In the future, when you do any kind of business or civil agreement, be sure to put a clause in the agreement where you say that in case of a dispute you want to use a Hub on Jur over public courts. Join the Future of Justice. Join Jur. We are developing the first multi-jurisdiction online dispute resolution platform, the Open Justice Platform. Learn more.