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Dubai heads towards blockchain-powered judicial future

Tue, 31 Jul 2018, 06:22 am UTC

The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts, in partnership with Smart Dubai, has announced its plans to create the world’s first Court of the Blockchain.

The project, aimed at creating a blockchain-powered judicial future, will build upon the existing dispute resolution services. Initial focus would be on exploring how to aid verification of court judgments for cross-border enforcement.

Her Excellency Dr Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, Director General of the Smart Dubai Office (SDO), said that the partnership with DIFC Courts will help “create the world’s first disruptive court, helping to truly unlock the power of blockchain technology.”

The initiative would help streamline the judicial process, remove document duplications, and drive greater efficiencies across the entire legal ecosystem.

According to the official announcement, future research will combine expertise and resources to investigate handling disputes arising out of private and public blockchains, with regulation and contractual terms encoded within the smart contract. Currently, blockchain-based smart contract transactions are irrevocable and there is no technical means to unwind a transaction. The joint taskforce will model smart contracts across the blockchain that incorporate logic and allow for various forms of exceptions and conditions for seamless and more efficient dispute resolution.

“This taskforce is in line with our guiding principle to deliver courts as a service, powered by technology and extended through cooperation agreements and alliances. By harnessing blockchain technology, Dubai will be firmly positioned at the forefront of legaltech and judicial innovation, setting the standards for countries and judiciaries to follow,” Amna Al Owais, Chief Executive & Registrar, DIFC Courts, said.

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