LawTech.Asia

Southeast Asia's foremost Law & Technology Review

Category: Policy (Page 1 of 2)

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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What Will The Lawyer’s Office Of The Future Look Like?

Written by Josh Lee | Edited by Amelia Chew

Introduction

During his speech at the Opening of the Legal Year in 2017, the Honourable Chief Justice of Singapore Sundaresh Menon spoke about a determined push by the legal profession towards embracing technologies that will enhance effectiveness and productivity in the legal workplace. With this backdrop in mind, as well as the mainstream acceptance of technologies, such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality and cloud storage, what sort of workplace might lawyers expect to see in the future?

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Alex Toh LawTech.Asia

People: Alex Toh, Masters in Law, Science and Technology at Stanford Law School

Interview by Amelia Chew & Stella Chen

Alex Toh is currently pursuing a Masters in Law, Science and Technology at Stanford Law School. After graduating from the National University of Singapore (NUS) Faculty of Law in 2007, Alex started his legal career with the Litigation & Dispute Resolution department of Drew & Napier, and worked as legal counsel for Asia Pacific at American semi-conductor company Xilinx. Alex was a committee member of the Singapore Corporate Counsel Association (SCCA), and founded their young lawyers committee – Peers.

In this interview, Alex shares about his own experience searching for what he wants to do, how he ended up at the intersection of law and technology, and how law students should approach their future careers.

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Legal Ambiguities in Cyberspace

Written by Micole Yang

Recently, instances of statecraft through cyberspace have captured headlines worldwide—but the terms and concepts used are not known to enough people. This is partially due to the mainstream media conflating all of them as ‘cyber-attacks’. There is a gap between what most people understand from reading the news and the conceptual legal framework offered by academics. There are clear opinions, grounded in international legal theory, that could form the foundations of a cyberspace legal regime. ‘Cyberspace’ itself is a contested definition—making the meaning of ‘cyber-security’ and ‘cyber-crime’ contingent on getting that first definition right.

For the purposes of this article, I borrow from the American National Security Directive: cyberspace is defined as an “interdependent network of information technology infrastructures, and includes the Internet, telecommunications networks, computer systems, and embedded processors and controllers in critical industries.” From here we can delineate what cyber-attacks are, why cyber-space is unique, what the existing legal regime to govern cyberspace conduct is like, and, ultimately, why we must come to a better understanding of this common space of opportunity and vulnerability.

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People: Andrea Loh

Interview by Amelia Chew & Lee Ji En | Edited by Stella Chen

Andrea Loh is a Sales Manager at legal tech start-up Dragon Law. After graduating from the National University of Singapore (NUS) Faculty of Law in 2011, Andrea was a commercial litigator at Harry Elias Partnership, emerged as the runner-up under AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes in The Apprentice Asia and joined a start-up in India for 2 years before returning to Singapore early this year. In this interview, Andrea shares about her experience progressing through an incredibly non-linear career (at least to the outsider’s eye), the challenges that she’s faced along the way, and how she makes sense of all of it. 

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