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REGULATING ECONOMY - Wirtschaftsrechts­gespräche an der JKU

Law by Algorithm - Digital Dispute Resolution

graue Sessel in einer Reihe - Titelbild zum Event Regulating Economy

In this talk, Horst Eidenmueller presented his new book (co-authored with Gerhard Wagner) on Law by Algorithm.

Specifically, he discussed the overall goals and structure of the book and one of its chapters, namely, Digital Dispute Resolution. In this chapter, Eidenmueller and Wagner identify and analyse key developments and regulatory challenges of dispute resolution assisted by innovative technologies. Topics of the discussion were digital enforcement and smart contracts, internal complaint handling mechanisms, external online dispute resolution and courts in a digital world.

Dispute resolution innovations originate primarily in the private sector. New service providers have high-powered incentives and face fewer institutional restrictions than the courts. The authors demonstrated that with smart contracts, digital enforcement and internal complaint handling, a new era of dispute resolution by contract without a neutral third party dawns. This development takes the idea of a “privatization of dispute resolution” to its extreme. It promises huge efficiency gains for the disputing parties. At the same time, risks of an extremely unequal distribution of these gains, to the detriment of less vigilant parties, and of undermining the rule of law loom large. The key regulatory challenge will be to control the enormous power of large, sophisticated commercial actors, especially platforms. The authors have suggested regulatory tools to address this problem.

This event took place on December 15th 2021.


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