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7 Eur. J. Comp. L. & Governance 1 (2020)

handle is hein.journals/eujclg7 and id is 1 raw text is: 

 BRILL                  GOVERNANCE   7 (2020) 1-4              EJCL
 N IJ H O F F                                                  brill.com/ejcl


Which Governance Structure for Law Making

Projects Regarding Emerging Technologies?

We  are all, more and more, convinced that the major fault lines characteristic
of today's legal systems are the impact of Information Technology (IT), more
particularly the emerging (or so-called disruptive) technologies, on the law
and how the law can contribute to reversing our changing climate. In the Neth-
erlands, but not only there, the latter aspect has drawn quite some attention
because of the recent decision by the Netherlands Supreme Court in the Ur-
genda  case, demanding the government to reduce the level of greenhouse
gases with 25% before the end of 2020.1 The decision seems quite severe, espe-
cially in a country where the Constitution forbids the judiciary to decide on
the constitutionality of statutes, but at the same time allows that same judi-
ciary to rule on the compatibility of these very statutes with international
treaties. The decision brings to the surface the growing tensions within the
country's political system (legislature and executive) and its judiciary. Howev-
er, except when it comes to privacy protection, no such far-reaching and prin-
cipled cases seem to have thus far reached Supreme Courts in Europe in the
area of IT and law, for example regarding the legal nature of smart contracts
(i.e. self-executing computer programmes), replacing more traditional stan-
dardised or boilerplate contracts. Although legislation in this area seems to be
growing, particularly when looking at the micro-jurisdictions within Europe
(Malta, Liechtenstein), still many questions are unanswered and even in states
with a beginning of a legislative framework no case law has developed yet.2

1  Hoge Raad (Netherlands Supreme Court) 20 December 2019, ECLI:NL:HR:2019:2006; more
   information (with texts in English) can be found on https://www.rechtspraak.nl/Bekende
2  For Malta see https://www.loc.gov/law/foreign-news/article/malta-govemment-passes-
   three-laws-to-encourage-blockchain-technology/ and for Liechtenstein https://

© KONINKLIJKE BRILL NV, LEIDEN, 2020 1 DOI:10.1163/22134514-00701004

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