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IE University in Madrid and Jur to launch interactive seminar ‘Smart Contracts and Blockchain’
3 min read
Jur is pleased to announce the successful completion of the fourth University Seminar on Smart Contracts, Blockchain and Dispute Resolution in its series of events with some of the most respected law faculties around the world. Following the success of its seminars at Radboud University in the Netherlands, Hull University in the UK, and the IE University at their Segovia campus, Jur returned to Spain at the invitation of IE University’s Madrid Campus. IE University, Spain The first seminar with IE University was a 'Smart Contract Competition' conducted at the IE University campus in Segovia. This time around, the Jur team virtually landed in IE University’s Madrid headquarters for a course consisting of 9 hours of interactive sessions called ‘Smart Contracts and Blockchain’. During the seminar that took place between the 20th of November and the 4th of December, students were introduced to the core topics of blockchain, smart contracts, and online dispute resolution. They were given hands-on training, guided by Jur's experts, in creating smart legal contracts, and experiencing the entire flow of Jur’s Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) system. The seminar’s interactive hands-on approach opened the opportunity for students to contribute their ideas to help in the development of effective solutions for online dispute resolution. Due to COVID-19 prevention measures, the seminar was fully online. The interactive sessions took place partly during the lectures and partly as assignments. Likewise, participation in the ODR system simulation was carried out online — in a perfect match with Jur's spirit of innovation towards online processes. Luigi Cantisani, legal engineer, Shuchi Tyagi, blockchain developer, and Michele D’Asaro, R&D for Jur led the meetings at IE University. They guided the students through a deep dive into the main concepts and practice of dealing with Smart Legal Contracts and ODR on the blockchain. IE University offers our undergraduate students tech-bites open to all students who are not majoring in the field. IE University, together with Jur, launched this seminar, taking its commitment to technology immersion in the learning environment to the next level.Juan Alcalde, program coordinator The team touched on wide-ranging topics from blockchain and use of smart contracts to game theory — which is the underlying framework for the Jur Beta Platform’s dispute resolution system, Jur's first dApp.  Jur believes that the interaction with academic institutions where students and faculty are focused on legal and technical analysis  is fundamental for a solid, updated, and scientific approach to the challenges it is tackling.  Law students are the future of the legal profession and they need to possess the best possible skills according to the market requests. Raffaele Battaglini, CLO of Jur "The current trend requires that lawyers possess computer science knowledge and feel comfortable with new technologies. Such hands-on events, which involve students in the flow of platform use and design, are a fundamental step towards the future of the legal profession and the widespread development of effective legal tech solutions." - He added. News of the seminar was enthusiastically received by the students and it was rapidly filled. Given the different backgrounds of the students, the seminar offered the opportunity to explore ideas and solutions enriched by the principles of diversity and collaboration, principles that are at the core of Jur's philosophy of innovation. IE Law School drives innovation in the legal world, training global lawyers that standout for their passion for entrepreneurship and humanistic spirit. Jur is the World's first Multi-Jurisdiction Online Dispute Resolution Platform. We are developing the first multi-jurisdiction online dispute resolution platform, the Open Justice Platform. Learn more.

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LawtechUK chooses Jur as the Delivery Partner for the Dispute Resolution Platform
Litigation fees cost SMEs £11.6bn each year in the UK and late payments are leading to the closure of 50,000 small businesses a year. The UK Government has placed a strong emphasis on defeating this issue, with an initiative that will lead to the development of a SME Dispute Resolution Platform. Jur has been selected as a partner to deal with the foundation of the platform.   Key facts: On June 2020, LawtechUK has run a Request For Proposal (RFP) to select delivery partners for the SME Dispute Resolution Platform as part of the work program to innovate the legal industry in the UK through technologyAfter the conclusion of the RFP, Jur was chosen as the delivery partner for the feasibility study on the SME Dispute resolution PlatformAmongst the partners of the initiative are researchers from Oxford University, Oxford Computer Consultants and Resolve Disputes OnlineThe platform should address the issue of late payments in the UK SME business environment A working programme to innovate justice in the UK LawtechUK is a UK government-backed initiative, delivered through a collaboration between Tech Nation, the Lawtech Delivery Panel and funded by the UK Ministry of Justice, providing cross-sector awareness and leadership, fostering transformative innovation and a targeted work programme that will help transform the UK legal sector through tech.  Since the UK Government has recognized the imperative need for ‘digital transformation’ of the legal sector, LawtechUK has been working to create a climate that supports the development and use of lawtech, including potential changes in the legislative and regulatory framework. LawtechUK’s vision is expressed through a 4-steps work programme:  The creation of a Lawtech Sandbox, which is an R&D environment to innovate, test and learn, with government backing;the development of a Small-Medium Enterprise Dispute Resolution Platform, which will be a tech-enabled resolution tool for business; Setting up an Online Hub and Training Centre; Guidance and Toolkits to help professionals, people and the community to connect, learn and receive guidance.  Jur to pose the foundation for the SME Dispute Resolution Platform We are proud to announce that Jur, in consortium with Professors of Oxford University, Oxford Computer Consultants and RDO has been selected to pose the foundation of the feasibility study for a Small-Medium Enterprise Dispute Resolution Platform. We are thrilled to be part of such an initiative, as it proves that our work is observed and valued by the international community. We believe that this is a significant step for the blockchain industry as it is a key step to increasing cooperation with existing institutions. As part of the first phase of the project, Jur will join LawtechUK as a technical delivery partner to establish the user needs and the legal mechanisms for resolution and enforcement of dispute resolution. This includes technical design, timeline and business case for the development of a full dispute resolution system. Afterwards, we will proceed by developing a proof of concept to demonstrate the findings and outcomes of the feasibility study while supporting the business case. We are aware of the responsibility we carry in this delicate role and we are honoured to be in the first line shaping the new online justice sector thanks to this initiative by the UK Government. This initiative should set a benchmark for any country as the need to develop better solutions for justice systems is real across the globe. The legaltech ecosystem in UK is rising: find more information here The £2bn late-payment problem in UK's SME and how to solve it As stated in the Request For Proposal, SMEs are the lifeblood of the UK’s economy. Representing 99.9% of the UK’s 5.9 million businesses, they employ 16.3 million people and have a combined annual turnover of £2 trillion, which accounts for 52% of all private sector turnover. Whether driving growth, opening new markets or challenging the status quo through a new product or service, SMEs are essential to the UK’s growth story. However, total annual losses to small businesses due to legal problems are estimated at £40 bn. According to the data, over 1 million individuals in small businesses suffer ill health as a result of these legal problems. Looking specifically at debts, SMEs are chasing £50bn in late payments: Each SME is, on average, chasing £31,055 across five outstanding invoices at any one time, with invoice chasing taking SMEs on average an hour and a half of every working day. The issue is pervasive, with 93% of SMEs saying that chasing late payers was an issue. Source: LawtechUK The direct cost of late payments to small businesses is reported to be £2 billion and 71% of small business owners have been kept up at night by concerns about cash flow. The Open Justice Platform and Initiative This initiative belongs to Jur’s wider plan of Open Justice for providing a better online justice supporting individuals and small and medium enterprises over 166 jurisdictions worldwide. We are looking forward to starting this exciting journey together with our community!
The Smart Guide to Legaltech Terms for Blockchain
Blockchain and legaltech have been on a collision-course for years.. This is bringing together two segments of society that weren’t all that well-acquainted in the past. Having trouble with some of the terms? Here’s a quick overview of some commonly used words from both the legal and blockchain space. Happy reading! The potential applications of blockchain technology to legal services are numerous. Below are some of the most common ones. Enter in the legaltech world with us! Let’s start with the basics: A glossary of Legaltech cannot start without mentioning: Smart Contract: a program that automatically executes a contract when triggered by a specified events. This is like a digital vending machine — if the pre-determined condition (in this case, a coin is put into the machine) is met, the vending machine releases control of an asset (in this case, a can of Pepsi). Smart contracts can be executed on a blockchain platform, like VeChain. The traditional vending machine is a smart contract early-adopter. Smart Legal Contracts: Self-executing agreements with terms and conditions traceable on an immutable blockchain. Smart legal contract platforms (eg. Jur, Openlaw, Clause) take more traditional legal contracts and automate them using code. https://youtu.be/tGsuRj_rkGk Decentralized: Lacking any centralized server or agency, significantly reducing the risk of breaches caused by bad actors, hacks or natural disasters.Blockchain: A decentralized, immutable ledger is used to record data or transactions across many computers, making data written to the chain transparent and permanent.dApps: A decentralized application, usually using a blockchain as part of their core product.Consensus: The agreement of all participants of the network on the validity of something. This is an important part of blockchains, as the method of consensus affects how secure, efficient, costly, and decentralized a platform is. If 51% consensus is reached, a Bitcoin transaction is considered valid. Now that we have that under control, let’s move on to some more advanced terminology: ADR (and ODR): Alternate Dispute Resolution platforms (and Online Dispute Resolution) replace the role of courts in mediation processes. They can act as a third-party to make a decision on a dispute and distribute contested funds via smart contracts (eg. Jur, Kleros).Litigation funding (or legal financing): In the current legal system, people hoping to fund high-profile lawsuits can receive funding from firms or groups of people hoping to earn interest on any damages received from a successful ruling. Tokenisation (making a product, asset, security, or liability into a token on the blockchain)enables plaintiffs to crowdsource litigation funding and automate the repayment of financing (eg. Jur).Trust accounting: A smart escrow ‘locks up’ digital assets so no party can access it until it released by a defined trigger event. The “power of attorney” can now become digital and transparent. This is how the Jur Beta Platform works. Evidence: Users can trace digital documents or media for evidence of contract versioning or proof of prior ownership (eg. Blocknotary).Certification: Institutions can issue certificates for bar qualifications and university degrees which can be verified by anyone. (eg. Blockcert).Paper documents: Important documents like property deeds can be stored on the blockchain, preventing loss or destruction (eg. Lantmateriet).Pro bono: Tokenised reward systems incentivize pro bono (free) legal work for low income or disadvantaged clients (eg. Legaler Aid).Fractional asset ownership: Token ownership makes it possible to “crowdsource” ownership of real-world assets like real estate or fine art (eg. Blocksquare).Predictive justice: Applications that use big data and AI to compare acurrent scenario to a database of previous court decisions and output a chance of success. Minority Report was a movie based on the idea of ‘predictive justice’ Computational Law: The capability of computers to automate some aspects of the law, particularly judicial decision making.Document analysis: A data collection technique that evaluates documents, grouping together key words and important pieces of information.Digital Signature: a mathematical or cryptographic method of presenting the authenticity of digital assets.Digital identity: online identity adopted by either a person or an electronic device.Application Programming Interface (API): A gateway to a program, protocol, or operating system. This makes it easy for other applications or users to “use” or integrate the application (e.g. logging into a third-party website using Facebook or Google account details). Jur’s API will allow other platforms to integrate parts of our decentralized legal ecosystem for easier adoption. That’s all for now! Use the knowledge just learned to get a better understanding of the nascent legaltech industry and help us building the legal decentralized ecosystem. Do you want to follow all the updates about Jur?