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Article

Access_open The Conduit between Technological Change and Regulation

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 3 2018
Keywords technology, socio-technological change, money, windmill, data
Authors Marta Katarzyna Kołacz and Alberto Quintavalla
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article discusses how the law has approached disparate socio-technological innovations over the centuries. Precisely, the primary concern of this paper is to investigate the timing of regulatory intervention. To do so, the article makes a selection of particular innovations connected with money, windmills and data storage devices, and analyses them from a historical perspective. The individual insights from the selected innovations should yield a more systematic view on regulation and technological innovations. The result is that technological changes may be less momentous, from a regulatory standpoint, than social changes.


Marta Katarzyna Kołacz
Marta Katarzyna Kołacz, Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Private Law, Erasmus School of Law, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Alberto Quintavalla
Alberto Quintavalla, LL.M., Ph.D. Candidate in the Rotterdam Institute of Law and Economics, Erasmus School of Law, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Article

Access_open Fostering Worker Cooperatives with Blockchain Technology: Lessons from the Colony Project

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 3 2018
Keywords blockchain, collaborative economy, cooperative governance, decentralised governance, worker cooperatives
Authors Morshed Mannan
AbstractAuthor's information

    In recent years, there has been growing policy support for expanding worker ownership of businesses in the European Union. Debates on stimulating worker ownership are a regular feature of discussions on the collaborative economy and the future of work, given anxieties regarding the reconfiguration of the nature of work and the decline of standardised employment contracts. Yet, worker ownership, in the form of labour-managed firms such as worker cooperatives, remains marginal. This article explains the appeal of worker cooperatives and examines the reasons why they continue to be relatively scarce. Taking its cue from Henry Hansmann’s hypothesis that organisational innovations can make worker ownership of firms viable in previously untenable circumstances, this article explores how organisational innovations, such as those embodied in the capital and governance structure of Decentralised (Autonomous) Organisations (D(A)Os), can potentially facilitate the growth of LMFs. It does so by undertaking a case study of a blockchain project, Colony, which seeks to create decentralised, self-organising companies where decision-making power derives from high-quality work. For worker cooperatives, seeking to connect globally dispersed workers through an online workplace, Colony’s proposed capital and governance structure, based on technological and game theoretic insight may offer useful lessons. Drawing from this pre-figurative structure, self-imposed institutional rules may be deployed by worker cooperatives in their by-laws to avoid some of the main pitfalls associated with labour management and thereby, potentially, vitalise the formation of the cooperative form.


Morshed Mannan
Morshed Mannan, LLM (Adv.), PhD Candidate, Company Law Department, Institute of Private Law, Universiteit Leiden.
Part II Private Justice

ADR-Rooted ODR Design in Europe

A Bet for the Future

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1-2 2018
Keywords ODR, dispute system design, European law, redesign of ADR systems, artificial intelligence
Authors Fernando Esteban de la Rosa
AbstractAuthor's information

    The new European regulatory framework has a greater significance than it expressly declares, both for the development of online dispute resolution (ODR) in Europe and for the structure of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) entities of the Member States. A close reading of the ADR Directive reveals an implicit but clear mandate for the development and intensive use of ODR tools by certified ADR entities that could lead to the creation of new ODR platforms. The new ADR/ODR regulatory framework shows a clear tendency to produce important transformations in the traditional ADR structure in every Member State. This article aims to identify criteria for the development of ODR in Europe and to discover the European law’s implicit mandates related to the redesign of the ADR structure in the Member States, while assessing the role of the Member States, the ADR entities and the European Union itself.


Fernando Esteban de la Rosa
Fernando Esteban de la Rosa is Chair in Private International Law, University of Granada, Spain; NCTDR fellow.
Part I Courts and ODR

Recent Development of Internet Courts in China

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1-2 2018
Keywords Internet court, ODR, AI, blockchain, regulation, fourth party
Authors Xuhui Fang
AbstractAuthor's information

    Online dispute resolution (ODR) is growing out of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and pushing the envelope for resolving online disputes in the Internet courts in China. Recently, the Chinese Internet courts admitted blockchain-based evidence and applied artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing, big data and virtual reality (VR) technology. The rapid development of Internet courts in China has implications for regulating AI-related technologies, which are playing the role of the ‘fourth party,’ and the interplay between the ‘third party’ and the ‘fourth party.’


Xuhui Fang
Xuhui Fang is a law Professor at Nanchang University, NCTDR fellow, associated researcher at Cyberjustice of University of Montreal, mediator of International Commercial Mediation Center for Belt and Road Initiative in Beijing, mediator at Futian District Court of Shenzhen People’s Court, senior counsel of E-Better Business in Shenzhen.
Part II Private Justice

Decentralized Justice in the Era of Blockchain

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1-2 2018
Keywords ODR, blockchain, arbitration, decentralization, crowdsourcing
Authors James Metzger
AbstractAuthor's information

    ODR that is built on blockchain technology and infrastructure is championed by supporters as being capable of revolutionizing dispute resolution. Kleros is a decentralized dispute resolution platform built on the Ethereum blockchain that uses cryptoeconomic theories and game theory to recruit and incentivize a worldwide pool of ‘jurors’ to decide the cases arbitrated through the platform. This article discusses some early evaluations of whether this kind of decentralized ODR is likely to succeed by viewing the model through a normative framework, including considering whether crowdsourcing of justice on a decentralized platform is a viable way to conduct ODR. The article then discusses the likelihood of the success of the sub-court model, including whether choice-of-law issues might be problematic for a worldwide, decentralized system. Finally, the article considers whether the cryptoeconomic and game theories that provide the foundation for the Kleros platform are likely to result in a jury pool, much less an actual jury, that could be considered ‘fair.’ The article is informed by the author’s experience with the Kleros platform through participation in its interactive initial coin offering and engaging in its beta-testing phase.


James Metzger
Dr. James Metzger is a lecturer at the University of New South Wales Faculty of Law.
Part II Private Justice

Making ODR Human

Using Human-Centred Design for ODR Product Development

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1-2 2018
Keywords online dispute resolution, courts and tribunals, human-centred design, legal tech, legal design, user testing, user-centred design, machine learning, alternative dispute resolution, product development
Authors Luke Thomas, Sarah Kaur and Simon Goodrich
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article discusses what we as human-centred design practitioners have learnt from researching and designing online dispute resolution (ODR) products both for clients and as part of our internal research and development initiatives.


Luke Thomas
Luke Thomas is Design Strategist/Legal Researcher at Portable.

Sarah Kaur
Sarah Kaur is Chief Operating Officer at Portable.

Simon Goodrich
Simon Goodrich is Managing Director at Portable.
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