If the implementation of blockchain protocols could help streamline business and bring transparency and accountability to several industries, could it also do the same for the judicial system?
The Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) Courts appears to think so, and has recently announced its plans to disrupt the country’s judicial system by creating what it is calling ‘the world’s first blockchain court.’ Entering into a partnership with the government’s Smart Dubai initiative, the DIFC plans to remodel the judicial process in the future and is turning to blockchain to get the job done.
This partnership will involve the creation of a judicial blockchain network that will make it easier to verify court judgments and share documents in real-time to help cross-border enforcement. DIFC courts and smart Dubai see this partnership as an initial phase for the creation of a workable “blockchain-powered judiciary.” A blockchain-powered judiciary would significantly improve the effectiveness of the legal system; simplifying the judicial process and eliminating document duplications. It will also be involved in exploring techniques for refining smart contracts in order to manage disputes arising in the context of private or public blockchains.
When asked about the project, Dr. Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, Director General of the Smart Dubai Office (SDO) believed they were on the verge of unraveling the blockchain’s potential.
According to her:
“This is where our partnership with DIFC Courts comes in, allowing us to work together and create the world’s first disruptive court, helping to truly unlock the power of blockchain technology.”
In their current state, smart contracts are irrevocable, and thus, there is no technical method for unwinding them. This conundrum presents viability problems for its use in the judicial system. The joint task force of DIFC and the Smart Dubai initiative will look into this issue and attempt to redesign the smart contract functionalities on the judicial blockchain to incorporate specific logic that permits various forms of conditions and exceptions; creating an efficient dispute resolution mechanism.
The success of this blockchain effort will position Dubai as a pioneer in judicial/tech innovation.
According to Amna Al Owais, Chief Executive & Registrar, DIFC Courts:
“This task force 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 legal tech and judicial innovation, setting the standards for countries and judiciaries to follow.”
Dubai sees blockchain as a disruptive technology that will shape the future of several industries. The Smart Dubai Office (SDO) has been saddled with the responsibility of positioning the country as a leader in the blockchain space. To this end, the SDO kicked off a transformative program known as the ‘Dubai Blockchain Strategy,’ which focuses on spearheading and researching distributed ledger technology applications for areas like Dubai’s entire land registry, and e-governance; which will see the creation of a citywide payment blockchain platform.
Dubai’s aim to digitize the public sector via blockchain technology remains in focus, as the country envisions that it will be able “to run 100% of applicable government transactions on Blockchain by 2020”.