Smart contracts project paused

The Commission’s project on smart contracts has been paused to avoid potential duplication with other initiatives.

We were asked by the Lord Chancellor to include work on Electronic Signatures and Smart Contracts as part of our 13th Programme, agreed in December 2017. We have prioritised work on Electronic Signatures and are currently analysing consultation responses. Following the launch of that consultation we explored how best to take forward our proposed scoping study on Smart Contracts. 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 these 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.