Blockchain Meetup 5: Is Code Law?

Martin Schäffner

24 January 2017

We’re happy to combine technological and legal aspects of the blockchain, and of Ethereum based smart contracts in particular, in this meetup. With Jutta and Markus, we have two veritable experts in their respective fields speaking.

Dr. Jutta Steiner, co-founder Parity Technologies Ltd, will join us and present the latest release of the Parity Ethereum browser. So, beside the fascinating legal aspects of smart contracts, this meetup will feature some hardcore blockchain tech, too!

After the Parity 1.5 briefing, we’ll move over to the legal aspects of smart contracts:

“Code is law” – this verdict has been used by some participants in the blockchain ecosystem and even by famous jurisprudence representatives like Larence Lessig, Berkman professor for entrepreneurial legal studies at Harvard Law School.

As early as in 2000, Lessig wrote ( “Unless we do, or unless we learn how, the relevance of our constitutional tradition will fade. The importance of our commitment to fundamental values, through a self-consciously enacted constitution, will fade. We will miss the threat that this age presents to the liberties and values that we have inherited. The law of cyberspace will be how cyberspace codes it, but we will have lost our role in setting that law.”

Disruptive as this sounds, this verdict needs to be scrutinized further. In this meetup we want to add our thoughts.

Dr. Markus Kaulartz will provide us with the legal basics. Markus is an IT lawyer with CMS, a leading commercial law firm. He specialises in IT and IT security law as well as data protection, with a focus on the legal challenges arising from Industry 4.0 and its increasing digitalisation. Formerly a software engineer, he has particular tech expertise and insights that contribute to his legal advisory practice. He has been working with Blockchains for a long time (!) and, today, advises companies in drafting and implementing Smart Contracts.

This meetup’s organizer is personally very much looking forward to the discussion with Markus because of his experiences as lawyer and software engineer. This should help a lot to bring both sides, code and law, together.

Here’s some good read if you can’t wait:

Twitter: #ethmuc