Justice is blind statue holding scales and sword, in the background blurry UK flag

UK Law Commission Furthering Research Efforts on Blockchain Smart Contracts

Jul 22, 2018, 9:00AM
1 min, 44 sec READ

The UK Law Commission's annual report reaffirms the agency's desire to research and reform present laws for the growing use of smart contracts.

The UK Law Commission released its fifty-second annual report this Thursday. The private agency continues to emphasize the importance of understanding blockchain and the legal framework of an underdeveloped market. While the Commission operates as a private entity, it reports to Parliament pursuant to the Law Commissions Act 1965 where its core mission to research and propose amendments came into action.

Last year's December report outlined fourteen key areas where the Law Commission felt it important to enhance their efforts. Public scrutiny of these areas was not intended to diminish or harm any of them, but rather shed light on sectors of unpredictability or limited understanding. The 13th Programme Law Reform identified the following sectors,

  • A Modern Framework for Disposing of the Dead
  • Administrative Review
  • Automated Vehicles
  • Electronic Signatures
  • Employment Law Hearing Structures
  • Intermediated Securities
  • Modernising Trust Law for a Global Britain
  • Museum Collections
  • Registered Land and Chancel Repair Liability
  • Residential Leasehold (and Commonhold)
  • Simplifying the Immigration Rules
  • Smart Contracts
  • Surrogacy
  • Unfair Terms in Residential Leasehold

Law Commission Chair and Court of Appeal judge Sir David Bean established a proactive foundation during the winter,

We want to help tackle injustices by making the law simpler, clearer and fit for the future.

Additional comments lauded the idea of law reform, and the image of what that may be is finally coming to light.

There is a compelling case for a Law Commission scoping study to review the current English legal framework as it applies to smart contracts.

The purpose of this project would be to ensure that the law is sufficiently certain and flexible to apply in a global, digital context. / 52nd Annual Report

An insight into where the Commission is directing its resources is enough to warrant some optimism for a cleansing of the blockchain and accompanying crypto market. Effects of smart contracts will ultimately bleed into the other areas mentioned in the 13th Programme of Law Reform, making this an important step towards widespread policy changes.

Disclaimer: information contained herein is provided without considering your personal circumstances, therefore should not be construed as financial advice, investment recommendation or an offer of, or solicitation for, any transactions in cryptocurrencies.