Insights UK Jurisdiction Taskforce publishes new Digital Dispute Resolution Rules

The UK Jurisdiction Taskforce (UKJT) of LawtechUK, chaired by Sir Geoffrey Vos, Master of the Rolls, has published new Digital Dispute Resolution Rules designed to enable faster and more cost effective resolutions to commercial disputes relating to digital assets, smart contracts, and blockchain applications, and foster confidence amongst businesses in the adoption of these technologies.

The aim of the new rules, which have been drafted to allow for flexibility to adapt to emerging technologies, is to facilitate the rapid and cost effective resolution of disputes by an arbitrator with appropriate technical expertise rather than through the courts. Their publication follows the UKJT’s legal statement on the status of cryptoassets and smart contracts under English and Welsh law, which was published in November 2019.

The new rules will not apply automatically, but will need to be agreed to in writing by the parties either before a dispute has arisen or at the point a dispute arises. It is anticipated that they will be expressly adopted into rules and contracts governing participation in and use of digital assets.

The UKJT will monitor use of the new rules and consider whether further development or revision is needed during the course of this year, based on user feedback. To read LawtechUK’s press release in full and for a link to the new rules, click here.