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Launching the World’s First Multi-jurisdiction ODR Platform
3 min read
Zug, 28th July 2020 Dear Community, After months of work and preparation, despite the COVID phase, we are really excited to publicly announce the Open Justice Platform. Originally named as the “Court Layer” in our whitepaper, the solution will be addressing a global problem in a radically new way, a use case made even more urgent by the COVID pandemic.  Let’s build the future of justice. The platform's initial release is scheduled for the end of Q3 of this year. This announcement has a different structure than the usual ones. Our goal is to give you a first overview of the context, reasons, and strategy of this release. More detailed information will be published over the next 3 months. Justice, as a multi-sided global problem In every country on the planet, the average time needed for getting one first instance judgment and its enforcement takes 600 days and costs around 25% of the value of the dispute. This is a sub-optimal situation today that most of us accept despite the huge losses it creates in terms of GDP, not to mention the human suffering that is associated with these injustices. This negative situation is getting even further enhanced by the COVID-19 pandemic. The dimension of the justice problem The Justice problem is global, multi-sided, and fragmented. It is not easy to estimate the size of this problem. Taking the UK jurisdiction as a reference, a recent analysis addressed some of these numbers and they are appalling. A similar approach could be taken for every other jurisdiction as well. Alongside our academic partners, we will be analyzing the data in a deeper way but it’s reasonable to say that the dimension of the problem is in order of several trillions per year (yes, you read that right). World’s first multi-jurisdiction Online Dispute Resolution.  What we propose:  A globally accessible and reliable judge for civil and commercial disputes. In  36 months from now, we want to have at least one Hub (i.e. Online Arbitration Chamber) in each one of 166 Countries where the legal framework we use is applicable (UNCITRAL Model Law). 30/60 days justice. Each Hub ensures dispute resolution of any kind (preferably targeting disputes under 1M USD value) in 30-60 days. In more complex cases (when technical consultancies are needed) it can take more. The digitalization of the process cuts the time and simplifies the bureaucracy. Affordable. The cost of this procedure is around 5% of the value of the dispute. This means that for a dispute of 100K USD of value, one or both of the parties pay 5K USD and in 30 days have a legally binding decision (an arbitration award). A unique global standard. Our model is made for being the same wherever you are. As an example, the Uber experience is roughly the same in Bangalore or in Rome or in Dubai. The car might change but the efficiency and reliability of the service is the same. A better equilibrium. In the last twelve months, we spoke with dozens of stakeholders at all levels (mostly policymakers, lawyers, arbitrators, legal counsels, CLOs, CEOs). We found an incredible response and we think that with our solution everyone gets advantaged. Governments reduce the problem of backlog in public courts. Lawyers are empowered to be more efficient. Current arbitration chambers might expand their reach to target more services that are currently uncovered. Decentralized in the features. The full trial is 100% online and enhanced in critical points by blockchain. For example, given a specific pool of arbitrators selected according to expertise, the selection is randomly generated through a DLT-based algorithm that ensures truly random selection. A peer-review system for providing, in case of need, an internal second step (or revision) of judgment and objective ongoing quality assessment of each. Advanced rating system to assess the quality/reputation of every single arbitrator, guaranteed thanks to a decentralized assessment mechanism that leverages game theory. Micro-Justice. We will keep expanding the work done on the Jur Beta Platform as R&D for addressing micro-sized claims that are not currently addressed in any way worldwide (e.g. disputes of 100 USD). Road to decentralization. We believe that in a 10-20 year timeframe new decentralized models and crypto-business models will be the leading ones. We think that justice is one sector that will benefit from decentralization. We are thrilled about the new milestone ahead and delighted to finally announce this. Stay tuned for more upcoming news! Don’t forget to check out the new landing page of the Open Justice Platform:

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Tech updates: Jur Beta Platform migration to Connex
JBP new release to improve user experience While there has been a lot of ongoing activities in our development, a high priority of ours was to migrate the Jur Beta Platform to use Connex in place of Web3. This decision was taken to ensure the future development of our dApp and to make sure that we get the most out of the VeChainThor blockchain. Having a native, direct and well-supported channel to communicate with the blockchain is an important element for us as interactions on the Open Layer require users to be updated almost in real time. Most importantly, by using Connex, anyone can now access the platform by just downloading the Sync browser and using our dApp natively (without any third party plugin installation as it was the case before). Download the Sync browser, hit the URL beta.jur.io and you are all set to enter the decentralized world. Migrating the whole dApp took us a bit of time as the team was hands on with several other things but I am happy to announce that finally v.0.9.3 is out and you can use the Jur Beta Platform through the Sync browser. JBP v.0.9.3 running on Sync v.1.2.5 Moving forward the team will concentrate on the next steps of the roadmap, namely the “Court Layer” but we will keep expanding and experimenting with our dApp, always with a vision in mind of bringing the concept of microjustice to reality. We strongly believe that a decentralized ODR is a good approach to solve micro claims that are otherwise almost impossible to tackle with traditional solutions. I am leaving the word to our technical lead, Marco so that he can explain to you more in depth what this new release has meant. L. Y. Daniel Migrating JBP from Web3 to Connex The previous technology stack for the Jur Beta Platform (and more specifically the Open Layer) was made using a combination of: Drizzle, Truffle Contracts, Web3 encapsulated with Thorify to allow the Comet Wallet to sign. As you can guess, a quite complex stack to maintain. After the migration to Connex we only deal with one single dependency at a low level  to interact with VeChainThor,. This is quite cool  but here comes the difficult part, we had to rebuild from scratch any smart contract interactions on our dApp. The “biggest” challenge in completing this migration was related to changing the entire paradigm related to the dApp event listening, the foundation of the entire application. We've been able to do this with less friction thanks to the proper analysis done at the beginning of the dApp development, which basically ensured a proper separation of concerns in any single component of the dApp. This is so helpful in such a "real time" changing technology like blockchain and it is important that anyone building a dApp keeps this in mind as the complexity of their project grows As always, choose wisely the right tools, dependencies and constraints for development, as that can make your life easier even more than you expect. Marco Marasco Changelog ConnexJS connection implemented into the dApp. It is now the only future proof available method to connect to VeChainThor in order to read and write smart contracts;Comet and Web3 (still on version 1.0.0beta37) are now deprecated and will no longer be usable to access the platform.Users need a browser supporting ConnexJS like the official Sync Browser developed directly by VeChain (Github).Created a transaction/event listener that will react on each event emitted by smart contracts with proper actions to complete every operation correctly that involves every user involved in the contract or dispute. References Jur Beta Platform (v.0.9.3, mainnet)Comet (now deprecated in JBP)Connex (Github)SyncWeb3
Jur’s Solutions are brought into the Academics
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?