Law Commission Calls For Smart Contract Evidence

The Law Commission in the UK is calling for your views on smart contracts as part of a study that could shape future legislation governing their use. If you’re interested in this area, please send in your thoughts and experiences with this technology so far: it may end up influencing the field of smart contract regulation for many years to come – at least in England & Wales.

The consultation closes on 31 March 2021 – so, you’ve got about three weeks to get your ‘evidence’ sent in. You can send in via their website here.

Given that some smart contracts will need to operate across borders, and/or have cross-border implications, the views of those outside the UK are very welcome, (or at least that’s what Artificial Lawyer would presume…). Moreover, your experiences of smart contracts operating in other jurisdictions and what you have learnt from those examples may also be very useful to share in terms of operational pros and cons.

The call for evidence primarily covers the following topics: 

  • what is a smart contract?
  • formation of smart contracts
  • interpretation of smart contracts
  • remedies and smart contracts
  • consumers and smart contracts
  • jurisdiction and smart contracts

The responses they receive will ‘be vital in informing our scoping study on smart contracts, which we aim to publish in late 2021. The scoping study will identify any legal issues arising from the use of smart contracts and the areas in which further work or reform may be required‘, the Law Commission said.  

The Law Commission is a statutory independent body within the UK. They aim:

  • to ensure that the law is as fair, modern, simple and as cost-effective as possible
  • to conduct research and consultations in order to make systematic recommendations for consideration by Parliament, and
  • to codify the law, eliminate anomalies, repeal obsolete and unnecessary enactments and reduce the number of separate statutes.

If you want a more personal approach, you can also email to smart-contracts@lawcommission.gov.uk 

Plus, perhaps surprisingly for a legal tech consultation, you can also send in via physical mail:

Smart Contracts team, Commercial and Common Law Team,

Law Commission,

1st Floor, Tower, 52 Queen Anne’s Gate, London,

SW1H 9AG, UK


So, there you go. As you’ve probably witnessed, smart contracts are still in their very early stages of adoption. Perhaps one challenge has been that the legal teams of enterprises are still a little unsure how they work, or what the legal implications may be of using them.

If you’d like to help this area of legal tech to prosper, then please send in your views.

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