Topic1: Report on the content of the UK Jurisdiction Taskforce of Lawtech's Digital Dispute Resolution Rules 2021 Topic2: The changing face of electronic contracting in the modern digital age: from web-based contracts to smart contracts

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MISHARI AYED ABDULRAHMAN ALOTAIBI
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Topic 1: The pioneering Digital Dispute Resolution Rules (DDRR) by the UK Jurisdiction Taskforce (UKJT) are an important step to create a flexible dispute settlement mechanism to resolve digital disputes which arise from disruptive technologies, particularly blockchain-facilitated smart contracts, though also for digital asset disputes. Express incorporation of the DDRR can help to overcome legal risks which arise from the use of these novel technologies, as they create a dispute settlement framework which parties to a dispute can follow to overcome thorny legal questions, including in respect of the applicable jurisdiction, when parties across the globe contract with each other through new technologies Topic2: Since the advent of the internet, technological innovation has dramatically transformed the way we contract. While it has become standard practice to contract electronically by entering into web-based contracts, blockchain and smart contract technologies have opened the door to much faster transaction platforms, which are automated and result in disintermediation. That is to say, we are at the beginning of the fourth industrial revolution which is transforming the way we conduct our daily lives in a similarly profound manner, as the internet has done since the early 1990s. This raises a host of legal questions, as it impacts the way we contract electronically in the modern digital age. The legal rules which have been formulated for web-based contracts can be applied but have not been customised to the specific features of smart contracts and their facilitating technologies, namely blockchains and oracles. This dissertation, therefore, explores how electronic contracting is undergoing change and identifies the legal issues which are caused when traditional and web-based contract law rules are applied to the blockchain and smart contract environment. Reform proposals are formulated, which particularly address how legal issues in respect of the formation, validity and enforcement, consumer protection, fraud and coding errors and other miscellaneous legal intricacies in relation to smart contracts may be overcome
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