Conflict of Law and Digitalisation (8 September 2017)

The panel on the Conflict of Laws and Digitalisation, consisting of panellists Vanessa Knapp, Chair of the Company Law Committee of the Council of the Bars and Law Societies of the EU, Juliette Sénéchal, Associate Professor of Private Law at the University of Lille and John Sorabji, Senior Judicial Institute Fellow at UCL’s Judicial Institute, dealt with numerous questions regarding the issues progressive digitalisation poses to the law.

Panel Chair Sjef van Erp emphasised that these are not only issues of contract law, but of private law on a global level. As companies are being created in many EU Member States with branches in various countries, digitalisation knows no borders.  A possible topic for further research in this regard is the ongoing privatisation of land registries. Panellist Vanessa Knapp emphasised that as a corporate lawyer she also has to deal with these issues and with how people can use digital technology.

Some provisions in EU law already allow the use of such technology, but problems with safeguards and protection remain. The panel recommended strengthening interactions between people wanting to establish companies and registries. It was stated that communication between companies has already improved due to technology. According to John Sorabji rules for digital law might be developed through case law or legislative activity.