LawTech.Asia

Southeast Asia's foremost Law & Technology Review

Category: Policy (Page 1 of 2)

2018 UNCITRAL Emergence Conference

Interview by Amelia Chew & Ng Sock Cheng | Edited by Irene Ng

Interview with Luca Castellani, Secretary of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Working Group IV (Electronic Commerce)1

The Emergence Conference 2018, jointly hosted by the UNCITRAL Regional Centre for Asia and the Pacific and the Asian Business Law Institute (ABLI), took place on 25 July 2018 in Singapore.

The conference took stock of emerging global and regional developments relating to the harmonization and convergence of international trade and commercial law, with a focus on their impact on regionalisation, especially for Asia. It provided a platform for experts and scholars to examine the impact of these developments and to consider various areas of political interest for UNCITRAL and ABLI from a regional perspective.

We sat down with for a chat with Luca Castellani, a legal officer in the Secretariat of the UNCITRAL, where he discharges the functions of secretary of UNCITRAL Working Group IV (Electronic Commerce) and promotes the adoption and uniform interpretation of UNCITRAL texts relating to sale of goods and electronic commerce.

What are your views on the discussions held at the Emergence Conference today?

This is the third such conference we’ve had and the first of its kind in Singapore. The goal of this conference is to elicit new views on different aspects of international trade law and international business transaction laws. I find it very interesting and particularly useful that many of the presentations are related to current developments in business and law. These presentations are welcome as they are not mere speculations and have practical application in the real world.

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Joint Call For Papers Law x Technology: Transforming the face of the Law

Technology disrupts for the better of those prepared. Legal practice is hardly impervious to the implications that technology brings. The advent of blockchain and machine learning technologies is an opportunity, and a potential cost if not pursued. Conversely, the use of technology is equally subject to legal regimes and institutions. Developing a sensitivity to the mutual interaction of the two forces is of utmost urgency as governments and peoples search for a firm footing.

The Singapore Law Review (“SLR”), Asia’s oldest student-run legal publication, and LawTech.Asia, Southeast Asia’s foremost law and technology review, are collaborating on a special issue of the Singapore Law Review journal and LawTech.Asia online publication on the theme “Law x Technology: Transforming the face of the Law”.

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TechLaw.Fest 2018 – Meeting Where It Matters

Written by Josh Lee | Edited by Amelia Chew

LawTech.Asia had the privilege of being a media partner for TechLaw.Fest 2018. The inaugural TechLaw.Fest, held from 4 to 6 April 2018, saw the convergence of more than 1,000 legal professionals, technologists, entrepreneurs and regulators to participate in critical conversations about the future of the legal community. This article shares some of the common themes that emerged across the three days of TechLaw.Fest, highlighting the state of legal technology in Singapore and situating its development in Southeast Asia and the world.

Keynote address by Mr Brad Smith (President and Chief Legal Officer, Microsoft) at the Law of Tech Conference, TechLaw.Fest 2018 (Photo credit: Singapore Academy of Law)

The state of law and technology in Singapore

In recent years, there has been a growing buzz around law and technology in Singapore. In his opening address at the Law of Tech Conference, Minister-in-Charge of the Smart Nation initiative Dr Vivian Balakrishnan highlighted seven major technology trends making a global impact today:

  1. Declining marginal cost of replicating, storing and transmitting information;
  2. Declining marginal cost of computing;
  3. Accelerated clock speed of technology;
  4. Wide deployment of sensors leading to an explosion of data;
  5. Increasing capacity to analyse data;
  6. Disruption caused by robotics; and
  7. Progress in artificial intelligence.

Minister Balakrishnan observed that these technological trends “interact and catalyse virtual cycles, feeding and accelerating one another”. The interaction and reinforcement of these trends have political and socio-economic ramifications, such as the creation of echo chambers and filter bubbles that threaten to disrupt the fabric of society.

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TechLaw.Fest Quick Chats: Yeong Zee Kin, PDPC

Interview by Josh Lee | Edited by Amelia Chew

LawTech.Asia had the privilege of being a media partner for TechLaw.Fest 2018. The inaugural TechLaw.Fest held from 4 to 6 April 2018 saw the convergence of legal professionals, technologists, entrepreneurs and policy makers, conversant and passionate about Technology Law and Legal Technology, coming together to discuss the future of Singapore’s technology scene. During TechLaw.Fest, the LawTech.Asia team met with various speakers, exhibitors and attendees to learn more about the work that they do and their experience at the conference.

LawTech.Asia sat down for a chat with Yeong Zee Kin, Assistant Chief Executive of the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and Deputy Commissioner of the Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC). Zee Kin was a panelist on the Smart Regulation for a Smart Nation panel and the chairperson of the Legal Issues in Legal Tech panel.

Having participated in two panels over the course of TechLaw.Fest 2018, what were some of your key takeaways from the two panels that you were in?

Both panels revolved around the same theme but we approached it from different directions. The first panel (“Smart Regulation for a Smart Nation”) approached it from the perspective of the regulator and examined what kind of regulations are required. This panel focused more on potential regulatory models and discussed different perspectives of how regulatory sandboxes are used. The FinTech Regulatory Sandbox by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is one such regime that allows for the ability to control license terms. There are some guidelines that we can potentially look to, such as the materiality test for determining when the risk becomes material and regulation should kick in.

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UNCITRAL E-Commerce Law 2.0: Blockchain and Smart Contracts

Guest Post by Irene Ng

Irene Ng is a Fellow at the Stanford-Vienna Transatlantic Technology Law Forum and a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Vienna. On March 17, 2018, Irene shared about how UNCITRAL e-commerce texts can interact with blockchain and smart contracts at the Computational Law & Blockchain Festival, Singapore Node. The following post is a summary of her presentation and answer to some queries that were asked.

1. What is UNCITRAL?

UNCITRAL stands for the United Nations Commission for International Trade Law. It is the main body of the United Nations that aims to promote trade amongst states through modernizing and harmonizing rules for international commerce. UNCITRAL has undertaken work in a wide range of commercial law issues, such as micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), arbitration and conciliation, investor-state dispute settlement reform, electronic commerce, insolvency law, security interests and international sale of goods.

2. What are UNCITRAL E-Commerce Texts and how are they related to Singapore’s e-commerce laws?

In the field of e-commerce, UNCITRAL has released four texts in the last two decades or so. The first legislative text was the Model Law on Electronic Commerce (1996). Subsequently, UNCITRAL released the Model Law on Electronic Signatures (2001), the Electronic Communications Convention (2005), and, more recently, the Model Law on Electronic Transferable Records (2017). These texts intend to facilitate e-commerce transactions by establishing rules to allow the electronic equivalent of paper-based documents to be legally recognised, thereby removing obstacles encountered by the use of electronic means.

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TechLaw.Fest Quick Chats: Hugh Mason, JFDI.Asia

Interview by Amelia Chew

TechLaw.Fest 2018 will bring together leading Technology Law thinkers and Legal Technology vendors from 4 to 6 April 2018 at Suntec Convention Centre, Singapore. Within it, the TechLaw.Fest Hackathon will be an intense, fast-paced 48-hour event challenging legal professionals, software developers and designers to come up with out-of-the-box solutions to problems faced by lawyers, in-house counsels and users of legal services. The event has a particular focus on personal data protection and the challenges faced by data protection officers (DPOs) in Singapore. The top three teams will receive prize vouchers worth up to $12,000 and the opportunity to develop their solutions further under SAL’s Future Law Innovation Programme (FLIP) Accelerator Programme.

Hugh Mason, CEO of JFDI.Asia, is partnering with the Singapore Academy of Law (SAL) to operate the FLIP Accelerator and will also serve as a judge in the TechLaw.Fest Hackathon. Here, the LawTech.Asia team asked him how he saw teams from the hackathon following through to make their ideas real.

We understand that you will be running the accelerator programme under SAL’s Future Law Innovation Programme (FLIP). How does this fit into SAL’s Legal Tech Vision?

One way of thinking about innovation is to see it on three ‘Horizons’.

Horizon 1 is the known world of work we see today: the core business of lawyers and their clients as we know it. Here we are looking for efficiency savings by using off-the-shelf productivity tools. The LIFTED programme at SAL addresses this aspect of the SAL Legal Tech Vision, as does the incubator at Collision 8.

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TechLaw.Fest Quick Chats: Associate Professor Warren Chik, Singapore Management University School of Law

Interview by Josh Lee | Edited by Jennifer Lim Wei Zhen

TechLaw.Fest 2018 will take place from 4 to 6 April 2018 in Singapore, bringing together the movers and shakers in the space of Technology Law and Legal Technology. In the lead-up to TechLaw.Fest, the LawTech.Asia team will be bringing to you regular interviews and shout-outs covering prominent speakers and the topics they will be speaking at TechLaw.Fest.

This week, LawTech.Asia sat down for a chat with Professor Warren Chik, Associate Professor of Law at the Singapore Management University (SMU) School of Law. Among other things, Prof Chik specialises in topics such as Innovation, Technology and the Law.

At TechLaw.Fest 2018, Prof Chik will be moderating a discussion titled, “Smart Regulation for a Smart Nation”, which features a diverse panel of representatives from the private sector, lawyers, regulators and the finance industry. He will also be a participating in a panel on “Wising-up to the Mass Distribution of False Information”.

Image credit: SMU School of Law

Smart technology is the bedrock of the Smart Nation initiative. What are the regulatory approaches available for the regulation of smart technology?

Preliminarily, it’s important to remember that the kinds of  regulation needed in one field may be different from the type of regulation needed in another field. So, for instance, the regulation of data may be different from the regulation of the finance industry.

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The Future of Law Conference 2017: Charting the Converging Paths of Law and Technology

Written by Amelia Chew & Jerrold Soh

Editor’s note: This article was originally published on Singapore Law Blog. We would like to thank Singapore Law Blog for graciously allowing us to reproduce this article on this site for our readers.

Jointly organised by the Centre for Cross-Border Commercial Law in Asia at the Singapore Management University (SMU) School of Law and Osborne Clarke, the inaugural Future of Law Conference that took place from 26 to 27 October 2017 brought together leading academics and practitioners from around the world to tackle issues at the intersection of law and technology. This article provides but a snippet of the insights discussed at the conference.

The Relationship Between Humans & Artificial Intelligence

In his opening keynote speech, Professor Ian Kerr (University of Ottawa) spoke about the ethical and legal concerns surrounding delegating previously exclusively-human decisions to machines. Given that we are only at the stage of artificial narrow intelligence (ANI) at the moment, the concern is less about a dystopian future where robots may potentially overthrow humans and more about how we can manage the relationship between artificial intelligence (AI) and humans. As an increase in machine autonomy correlates with a decrease in human control, it is crucial to establish safeguards to deal with a situation where a machine demonstrates emergent behaviour.

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Recent Growth and Developments on Online Dispute Resolution in Southeast Asia

Written by Josh Lee and Professor Thomas G. Giglione

This is the first part of a two-part series on recent developments in online dispute resolution. These series was co-written by Josh Lee and our guest contributor, Professor Thomas G. Giglione.

Professor Giglione is an experienced commercial mediator, and is the Convener for the 2017 Asia Pacific Mediation Forum Conference in Da Nang, Vietnam.

Introduction

Notwithstanding the continued importance of “traditional” dispute resolution mechanisms such as litigation and ADR, online dispute resolution (“ODR”) has continued to grow in influence and importance as an enabling tool for lawyers in assisting clients with the resolution of disputes.

This development, however, has been patchy at best. Certain regions, such as South-East Asia (“SEA”), do not seem to have embraced ODR as compared to regions like the European Union (“EU”). This is in spite of the sustained explosion in growth of mobile usage and e-commerce in SEA – between January 2016 and January 2017, for instance, the number of internet users and mobile subscriptions in SEA jumped by 80 million and 62 million respectively.

In this 2-part series, we intend to bring attention to major ODR developments in the EU, and to explore the possibility of applying such developments in the SEA context. In particular, our two mini-articles will cover the following areas:

  1. Briefly trace the global development of ODR, and to identify the development phase that ODR is in today;
  2. Identify the latest major development on ODR in the EU, the pan-EU ODR system, and to examine its main features, strengths, and criticisms;
  3. Broadly assess the desirability and feasibility of implementing a region-wide ODR network in SEA, with suitable modifications, if any; and
  4. To this end, identify certain inroads that have been made so far towards the implementation of such a region-wide ODR network in SEA.

The first part of this series will cover (a) by tracing the global development of ODR, and attempt to identify the phase of development that ODR is currently in.

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The 8th Asia Pacific Mediation Forum Conference in Vietnam

Interview by Amelia Chew & Josh Lee

Interview with Thomas G. Giglione, Online Dispute Resolution expert and Convenor of the 8th Asia Pacific Mediation Forum Conference

The 8th Asia Pacific Mediation Forum (APMF) Conference taking place in Da Nang, Vietnam from 11 to 13 November 2017 aims to enhance cooperation, collaboration and networking on issues relating to mediation and other conflict transformation processes. The theme for the conference this year is “The Future of Mediation in the Asia Pacific Region” and the role of technology in dispute resolution processes is set to be a key topic discussed at the conference. We sat down with the Convener for the 2017 APMF Conference, Thomas G. Giglione, to find out more about the plans for the conference.

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