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5 Italian L.J. 493 (2019)
The Enforceability of Smart Contracts

handle is hein.journals/italj5 and id is 498 raw text is: 













The   Enforceability of Smart Contracts


Mateja  Durovic* and  Franciszek Lech**


Abstract
    The development of new technologies has different effects on the existing law. Smart
contracts are one of the forms of the new technologies that questions the application of
the traditional contract law on commercial transactions using smart contracts. Italy was
among  the first jurisdictions to recognize full legal validity and enforceability of smart
contracts. However, this issue is still being discussed in the United Kingdom. In that context,
the enforceability of contractual transactions concluded in the form of smart contracts
represents one of the major legal questions. Moreover, the question is whether the existing
English contract law needs to be modified in order to secure the enforceability of smart
contracts. These issues will be accordingly examined in this paper with the aim to understand
better the relationship of the traditional contract law, on the one side, and, smart contracts,
on the other side.


I.   Introduction'
     In the recent years, businesses  have  started increasingly  applying  smart
contracts for a number   of diverse commercial  transactions. In that context, the
principal legal question is whether  commercial   transaction concluded  through
the smart  contracts will be enforceable  before the court. The  main  legal issue
herein  is to understand  the relationship between   the smart  contracts, on the
one side, and traditional contract law, on the other side.
    Therefore, the main  objective of this paper is to contribute to the explanation
of that relationship in order to understand   whether  smart  contracts are, from
the perspective of the traditional contract law, enforceable. This topic has recently
attracted a lot of attention in the United Kingdom   and this paper will focus on
the enforceability of smart contracts under  the English law. In that sense, it will
be useful to see how  common law, as traditionally   more  business  focused  and
commercial   friendly system   of rules, respond  to the application  of the new
technologies in commercial   transactions.



     * Reader in Contract and Commercial Law, King's College London.
     ** Penultimate Year Student, Law LLB and Dickson Poon Scholar for Excellence in Studies,
King's College London.
     1 This paper was presented at the Kopaonik School of Natural Law. We would like to thank the
participants for their comments and suggestions.

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