Jusletter IT

Smart Contracts: the Legal Comparison

  • Autor/Autorin: Bálint Ferencz
  • Beitragsart: E-Commerce
  • Kategorie: Beiträge
  • Rechtsgebiete: E-Commerce
  • Sammlung: Tagungsband IRIS 2020
  • DOI: 10.38023/dea5a7c8-3095-46e2-ab82-f7b6f314cab0
  • Zitiervorschlag: Bálint Ferencz, Smart Contracts: the Legal Comparison , in: Jusletter IT 30. September 2020
Though there are some initiative in order to give legal foundation for smart contracts, its legal status is still not settled. Most of the examination of smart contracts has been presented by common law scholars and practitioners while fewer civil law jurists shared their views on the matter. However, there seems to be a tendency that the representatives of the common law are reluctant to accept smart contracts as legally binding contracts while civil law jurist apparently are more open to that. The aim of the present article is to find out what the core principles and values are which make this difference. While evaluating the approaches in this respect, some additional thoughts will be added why the civil law may be more tolerant towards to smart contracts. The main purpose of the article is to highlight the different aspects as regards the smart contracts.


  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. Common Law Approach
  • 2.1. Absence of ambiguity
  • 2.2. Lack of enforceability
  • 2.3. The possibility of concluding void contracts
  • 2.4. Lack of flexibility
  • 2.5. Assessment of the common law opinions
  • 3. Civil law (continental law) approach
  • 3.1. Intention
  • 3.2. Offer-acceptance schema
  • 3.3. Other constraints to create a valid contract
  • 3.4. Assessment of civil law opinions
  • 4. Key Differences
  • 4.1. Lack of enforceability of common law and the requirements of intention and offer-acceptance schema of the civil law
  • 4.2. The problem of the absence of ambiguity and lack of flexibility
  • 4.3. The problem of the possible void contracts
  • 5. Conclusion
  • 6. Acknowledgement
  • 7. References

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