Smart contracts

Current project status

  • Initiation: Could include discussing scope and terms of reference with lead Government Department
  • Pre-consultation: Could include approaching interest groups and specialists, producing scoping and issues papers, finalising terms of project
  • Consultation: Likely to include consultation events and paper, making provisional proposals for comment
  • Policy development: Will include analysis of consultation responses. Could include further issues papers and consultation on draft Bill
  • Reported: Usually recommendations for law reform but can be advice to government, scoping report or other recommendations

This project is currently paused.

The Law Commission was asked by the Lord Chancellor to include work on Smart Contracts as part of our 13th Programme, agreed in December 2017. We have explored how best to take forward this work. After discussions with stakeholders, our initial intention was to publish a call for evidence in January 2019, followed by a symposium in March 2019.

In the same period the LawTech Delivery Panel was created. There is clearly some common ground between the proposed Law Commission work and that of the Delivery Panel. In those circumstances, we have taken the view that it makes sense to pause our work until such time as the conclusions of the Panel are known. The Law Commission stands ready to help where appropriate to ensure that the law of England and Wales is sufficiently certain and flexible and to promote the use of English law and UK jurisdiction as a foundation for LawTech.

Project details

Area of law

Commercial and common law


Stephen Lewis