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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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Blockchain and Online Dispute Resolution in Qatar at Hamad Bin Khalifa University
The webinar saw outstanding participation by HBKU’s students and we were pleased to engage in an interesting Q&A session with the University’s Dean, Susan L. Karamanian. On the 23rd of September, we were invited by the prestigious Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) in Qatar to talk about how blockchain technology can impact dispute resolution. Professor Georgios Dimitropoulos, Associate Professor of Law at HBKU Law and Research Associate at the University College London Centre for Blockchain Technologies, chaired the event. HBKU's webinar page The webinar saw outstanding participation by HBKU’s students and we were pleased to engage in an interesting Q&A session with the university’s Dean, Susan L. Karamanian. In her words: Technology already has and will continue to have a major role in improving the efficiency of courts.  The webinar we co-organized with Jur was eye-opening, as our HBKU Law students learned about dispute resolution in the virtual world.  For them, it is very likely that the trip to the courthouse will no longer involve a lengthy commute followed by a wait to appear in front of a judge.  It may very well involve some clicks on a keyboard. This change will be profound. HBKU Law looks forward to having more interactions with Jur to help lead this conversation in the Middle East.Dean Susan L. Karamanian, Hamad Bin Khalifa University College of Law The participants reached the conclusion that blockchain can disrupt the justice system and contribute to increasing its transparency and impartiality. We have seen this as a recurring theme during our webinars across the world where we got in touch with communities from Mexico to South Africa to China. The response to the previous webinars was overwhelming, with an average participation of 133 registrants (90% legal tech lawyers) per webinar, in which we got the chance to connect, talk, and engage with around 300 law firms in 65 countries and 254 cities.  Our answer to the major problem of access to justice is our upcoming product 1, the Open Justice Platform, which we plan to release in Q1 ‘21. If you want to know more about it, please check out justice.jur.io. As in the past series of webinars, our speakers mostly focused on the relationship between smart contracts and traditional contracts (our CLO, Raffaele Battaglini), dispute resolution and blockchain with a specific focus on alternative dispute resolution (our legal engineer, Luigi Cantisani), how decentralization and blockchain solutions should be built in stages progressing from simple to complex features, and how complex is to create a blockchain-based platform compared to a traditional centralized platform (our CEO, Alessandro Palombo). It has been an extremely valuable session and experience. I think our students got important insights into how blockchain can impact certain aspects of the dispute resolution process. It is extremely important for them to hear from individuals that are shaping the field and have an impact on the “future of justice”.Professor Georgios Dimitropoulos, Associate Professor of Law at Hamad Bin Khalifa University Law College of Law I believe that blockchain technology will have a major role to play in the upcoming years, also because of the COVID pandemic, and I look forward to seeing the launch of the Open Justice Platform and letting our students test it - added professor Georgios. A final Q&A session was moderated by Prof. Dimitropoulos together with our CTO, Luca Y. Daniel. This section saw the participation of a lot of students and showed how interesting these topics are to a young legal audience eager to know more about blockchain technology and how it might affect their future careers. https://youtu.be/mK_9w9n5pvU Check the replay of the webinar We stopped by after the webinar to ask our hosts to share their thoughts on the webinar and the impact of technology when it comes to dispute resolution. A final thought from our CEO Alessandro Palombo: I was impressed with the community’s reaction to this event. It was in the pipeline for a long time and I am pleased that despite COVID, we were able to get in touch with HBKU’s students and share our knowledge of blockchain technology with them and discuss how it can impact their future careers as lawyers and dispute resolution professionals.Alessandro Palombo, CEO of Jur I am looking forward to collaborating more with HBKU and other universities in the Middle East to spread awareness of blockchain technology and involve them in testing our upcoming Open Justice Platform - he added. Get started with the Open Justice Platform
Dalya Droste Winner of the Smart Legal Contract Competition, Joins the Jur Internship Program
A combination of creativity, legal knowledge, and computational logic earned Dalya the well-deserved honour of the first place. She is now joining Jur’s Internship Program for the next three months. Earlier this Spring, Jur and IE University held a smart contract competition that would both reward enterprising law students while also providing valuable feedback and testing on the Jur Beta Platform, Jur’s first dApp for decentralized justice solutions. All law students at the university were invited to take part, and were given a series of tasks that included writing a smart legal contract putting legal clauses into computational logic. This was made harder by the fact that the smart contracts had to apply to a vague subject matter such as all forms of freelance contracts, while being incredibly specific on technicalities so that all possibilities would be covered in the event of a dispute.  Students watch on as our team explains the role of blockchain in ODR The eventual winner, Dalya Droste, comes from a unique background as she was born in Germany but spent part of her youth in Wales while attending international schools, giving her a desire to explore various aspects of international law at IE University in Segovia. Her diverse upbringing helped foster a passion for understanding the different perspectives and cultures around the world, which she believes plays an important role in understanding law. After the completion of her dual Bachelor's degree in Law and International Relations, she is contemplating how legal tech can help her accomplish her lofty ambitions.  As part of the competition, students had to create disputes on the Jur Open Layer. The Jur Open Layer allows anyone with JUR tokens to vote on disputes by staking tokens on the proposed resolution coming from each party they believe is the fairest by analyzing the contracts KPIs and the evidence provided by the parties. Read on for the entire interview on what it was like to participate in the Smart Contract Competition at IE with Jur. What was your strategy in the competition? “We had our fun with it. We made our freelance contract about designing a breed of rubber ducks. The twist was that the rubber ducks were actually a breed of real ducks, and that certain complications could arise during the delivery phase, including if the rubber ducks flew away right after being delivered. In that way, the dispute was designed to be a little controversial, because there were elements that weren’t regulated by the contract itself. We left a little bit of a hole and we wanted to see how the voters reacted to it.”  The Lab for New Justice is led by Jur’s Legal Engineer Luigi Cantisani To draft smart contracts, the teams participating in the Smart Contract Competition had to go through a computer science and game theory section.  Dalya has been exposed to programming languages since her early education. This made it easy for her to apply herself to this task, analyzing how language can be translated into mathematical concepts using “if-then” statements.  What challenges did you face during the competition?  “Making an entire contract like that, you have so many IFs, that you can not cater to all of them. We really had to decide what technicalities could be simplified to the extent that it fits into the “if-then” logic.”  To cap off the competition, each contestant had to submit a legal assessment in report form. She researched the background of the legal basis for smart contracts and ODR systems, and found that rules varied greatly by jurisdiction, even within the EU. This creates an important upcoming phase for the maturity of legal tech, which Dalya thinks should prove pivotal. She isn’t blind to the fact that decentralization, in the context of the Jur Beta Platform, essentially integrates crowd-based algorithms in the justice process, removing the traditional role of a centralized decision maker from the position of determining what is right or wrong. This opens the door to potential Mob Justice, which is a topic she focused her assessment on. Jur solves this problem of Mob Justice with ODR by having multiple layers to the system, which can escalate a case from the Open Layer to the Open Justice Platform’s official digital hubs if unusual voting patterns are detected.  Students like Dalya are part of the new generation of technology-minded law professionals that want to impact the legal system. Dalya has an interesting outlook on legal tech and believes that both law and technology will be intertwined in the years ahead. She appears to be destined for the next generation of legal professionals who can both practice law and think computationally or even write code.  Will lawyers need to be tech-literate and need to understand code? "The use of technology forces the legal profession to evolve even more towards a creative problem-solving approach; a complex single jurisdictional issue can quickly become complicated by the back-end code, location of servers, etc. all of this must be navigated to solve this one issue. By learning about a variety of legal systems it enables flexible approaches. Simply looking at precedent or the traditional solution to a problem may no longer suffice and this is the challenge I believe future lawyers will face." As a reward for her success in the competition, Dalya has secured an internship with Jur to further her research and investigation of the legal tech space. She hasn’t decided where her future career plans will take her, but she sees a lot of potential in understanding how traditional legal systems and innovative new systems will join together. She’s now looking forward to working with Jur this summer as the project continues to develop.  What will you be contributing as part of your internship with Jur? “I am excited to delve further into the technicalities of maintaining a multi-layered Dispute Resolution System, learning more about smart contracts and the way in which interactions on this platform take place.” Once again, congratulations to Dalya on her success and we look forward to exploring the concept of dispute resolution with her ingenuity, talent, and passion for legal tech. Jur is currently developing the world first multi-jurisdiction dispute resolution platform: the Jur Open Justice Platform.