Gateway to the first blockchain court? Shutterstock
Blockchain encryption could be used to verify court judgments under a plan announced by a government-backed consortium in Dubai. The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts, which has already gone paperless, has announced it is partnering with the 'smart Dubai’ initiative to set up what it calls the world’s first 'court of the blockchain’.
Blockchain’s secure encryption technology, used in digital currency, is already being investigated in legal fields ranging from property registration to self-executing ‘smart’ contracts, due to a capability to create a tamper-proof chain of transactions. Dubai has already announced an ambition to conduct many government processes, such as visa applications and licence renewals, with blockchain technology by 2020. The initial aim of the new alliance is to explore how blockchain can aid verification of court judgments for cross-border enforcement. A statement said the partnership is the first step in creating a ’blockchain-powered future for the judiciary which will have far-reaching benefits’. These include streamlining the judicial process, removing document duplications, and driving greater efficiencies across the entire legal ecosystem.
The alliance added that 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. Amna Al Owais, chief executive and registrar, DIFC Courts, said: '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.’