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As binding legal agreements that execute and operate based on external data, smart legal contracts have the potential to revolutionize the way contract disputes are carried out and resolved, as well as how contracts are drafted and structured to avoid disputes and mitigate their costs.

The Accord Project’s Dispute Resolution Working Group will produce guidelines, specifications, research, and open source code relating to dispute resolution for smart legal contracts. Key to this end is the identification of types of disputes involving contract law, text, and code, implications for governmental and private forums for dispute resolution, designing new dispute resolution platforms and mechanisms, and integrating with and adapting existing dispute resolution mechanisms and platform. The Dispute Resolution Working Group will also address issues such as the enforceability of certain aspects of smart legal contracts, procedural guarantees, and the use of extracontractual data in smart legal contract disputes.

A key focus of the Working Group will be on the role of distributed ledger technology, including a potential for the technology to eliminate disputes with self-enforcing contract mechanisms.

The Dispute Resolution Working Group will also focus on establishing industry-wide support addressing concerns about disputes and liabilities that may arise from software bugs, discrepancies between natural language and code, and the unintended consequences of automation.

The Dispute Resolution Working Group is co-chaired by Nevena Jevremović, Manager of Corporate Learning at the International Association for Contract & Commercial Management (IACCM) and Alex Ivančo, the Head of International Law Unit of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic.