Conflicts of Laws and Codes: Defining the Boundaries of Digital Jurisdictions
16 Pages Posted: 22 Jul 2018
Date Written: May 1, 2018
Blockchain technology promises to perform tasks that have traditionally been assigned to the law and the realm of legal institutions. Smart contracts create agreements that are both automatable by computers and enforceable via tamper-proof execution of computer codes. Based on such smart contracts, some providers of blockchain technologies offer “to act as a digital jurisdiction”. The promise seems to be that state law is entirely substituted by the rules codified in the blockchain. But, even if it has often been argued that the “Code Is Law”, the law is not - and arguably will never be - entirely redundant. The challenge is therefore to identify the boundaries of such digital jurisdictions by clarifying the relationship between law and code, and to develop new principles for the conflicts of laws, or rather principles for the conflict of laws and code.
Keywords: Blockchain; Smart Contract; Digital Jurisdiction; Conflict of Laws
JEL Classification: K12, K22, K42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation