UK Law Commission Starts Blockchain Smart Contracts Research

UK Law Commission Explores Possibilities of Legal Reforms for Smart Contracts

In accordance to the Law Commissions Act 1965 section 3(3), the UK Law Commission presented its detailed annual report for the period 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018. The publication presented to Parliament details potential projects and recommendations on possible legal reform within the United Kingdom.

Part of the report document published 19th July, outline possible research on blockchain technology and smart contract laws, with the reforms set to be under review from this summer. The acknowledgment of blockchain technology by the Law Commission is a matter of renewed interest with a released report in December detailing smart contracts as one of the fourteen areas that are in need of reform.

Therefore, the recent report emphasis that the Law Commission intends to focus on building trust, fair competition and ensuring law reforms encompass everything even grey areas such as smart contracts. That is true as from the report's official wording.

“It is important for the English courts and laws to remain a competitive choice for business. Accordingly, there is a compelling case for the Law Commission's scoping study to review the current English legal framework as it applies to smart contracts.”

According to the report, there is an increase in confidence in business on using blockchain technology to build trust.

“The use of smart contracts to execute legal contracts is expected to increase efficiency in business transactions, and it is suggested that the use of blockchain technology will increase trust and certainty levels.”

The expected review process in the coming summer will work to ensure that the law is flexible enough and sufficiently applicable to a global digital content world. The Law Commission also expects to highlight any potential topics which lack clarity or certainty

Further Information

The UK Law Commission is an independent legal body set up through the Law Commission Act 1965, to allow for public appointees to keep the laws of England and Wales under review and offer reform recommendations in the relevant areas. The 13th Programme of Law Reform report released recently sets out some of the areas that need reform and which the Commission is set out to work on in the next few years.

The 14 topics on the 13th Programmer report are subject to evaluation on the possibilities of boosting Britain's global competitiveness after leaving the EU and how potential improvements on the legal framework to account both citizens and business entities.

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