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July 14, 2021

Governance & Guardrails

Defining Smart Contracts Under English Law


Ian Taylor
Chair, CryptoUK
Sam Quickie
Associate (Derivatives & Structured Products), Linklaters
Sarah Green
Law Commissioner for Commercial & Common Law, Law Commission of England and Wales

The mantra commonly spouted amongst early Ethereum developers was the idea that “Code is Law”. It was the view of many others that might know better that this was a somewhat spurious argument all along. Code is in fact code, and the law is still the law.

However, accepting that the concept of Smart Contracts will naturally become more prevalent as decentralised blockchain networks gain wider adoption, the Law Commission of England & Wales recently put out a Call for Evidence to explore how Smart Contracts should be interpreted under current English Law in order to assess whether dedicated legislation might be required in order to allow them to be fully utilised as intended.

Sarah & Sam joined Ian Taylor to discuss their findings.

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Paul Gordon
Following a 20+ year career in financial markets, Paul first became interested in Bitcoin in 2011 and helped to establish one of the world's first Bitcoin meetup groups, Coinscrum, in 2012 since when he has grown the community to over 6,500 members, hosting over 250 events and introducing many of the leading projects and thought leaders in the industry.  Paul currently produces the weekly Coinscrum Markets video podcast series and is an active investor and advisor to a number of crypto and blockchain related projects.

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