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Blockchain An Ever-Changing Technology. Can It Be Controlled?

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The accelerating speed of technological advancements creates massive leaps in terms of knowledge, innovation and possibilities. It also creates new opportunities and most likely, legal problems. It’s the same with blockchain technology, the most buzzy technology tool.

It was introduced in 2008 as the technology behind Bitcoin It is the digital currency digitally created and stored without the need for a central authority. blockchain is a safe digital ledger that can store any type of information. It streamlines the process of keeping records and cuts down on transaction costs.

Its applications in finance, commerce, and possibly even politics continues to expand, which has led to a debate about how best to regulate the instrument.

Goodbye Middleman

Since it doesn’t require an authority centrally controlled to verify transactions and confirm their validity it allows those who might not be able to trust one the other to collaborate and communicate directly.

With blockchain, there’s no intermediary in peer-to-peer transactions and instead, users depend on a decentralized computer network that communicates with each other via a cryptographic secure protocol.

Blockchain can “codify” transactions by deploying small pieces of code directly into the blockchain. The code, often called”smart contract “smart contract”, executes automatically when certain conditions are met.

One of the first examples of smart contracts is business-driven electronic rights management (DRM) technology that restrict access to digital files. The presence of DRM on your ebook might limit the editing, copying, or printing the content.

As blockchain technology advances, smart contracts are becoming more complicated and, in the end, secure. In the theory of things, they will be carried out exactly as intended as no one is able to change the rules that govern a specific transaction.

In reality eliminating trustworthy brokers from transactions could result in some friction.

A high-profile failure of a smart-contract occurred at The DAO the autonomous, decentralised organisation that deals with venture capital investment.

In April 2016 in April 2016, the DAO quickly raised more than US$150 million through crowdfunding. Within three weeks an individual was able to exploit an insecure software, draining approximately US$50 million worth of digital currency from the fund.

The security issues did not start in the blockchain itself, but more from problems in the code that is that is used to manage the DAO.

Concerns were raised about the lawfulness of the action there was some debate that because the hack was permitted through the smart-contract code it was perfectly legal act. In the end, in cyberspace, “code is law”.

The DAO debate brought up the following issue Should the intent of the code be more important than the language used in the code?

A New Legal Framework

Blockchain advocates see a future which all governments and companies operate in a distributed, automated way.

Smart contracts, however, are a source of issues regarding enforceability as outlined in the latest whitepaper from Norton Rose Fulbright, the London legal company Norton Rose Fulbright.

How do we resolve disputes that arise from a smart contract that self-executes? How can we determine which types of contract clauses can be effectively translated in code? And which should be left to the natural language? Do we have a way to both?

It’s not entirely certain that the code will be able to handle the required levels of complexity to replace the legal language. The ambiguity inherent in the legal language is a benefit rather than a flaw and compensates for the unclear cases that have to be evaluated on a case by case basis in the legal court.

Traditional contracts recognize that no law is able to index the entirety of the world as it is and even predict the future course of its development. They also specify the specific terms that can be legally enforced.

Smart contracts, on the other hand they are just fragments of code that are specified and enforced by the blockchain infrastructure’s code. At present, they don’t have any legal status. So, if something goes wrong with an intelligent contract, parties do not have recourse under law.

The DAO’s founders have painfully learned this lesson the previous year.

The Friction Between The Creative And The Law

If blockchain technologies ever to become widespread government agencies will need to create new legal frameworks that can handle these complexities.

The law of positive effect regulates behavior and penalizes any non-compliance. It may be used to define the ideals that the government aims to attain, provide an ethical view of society, or strengthen the structure of power in the current government.

Technological advancements however tend to be focused on the pursuit of profit and change.

There’s an inherent tension in this. The laws can hinder the advancement of technology, and thus impede the competitive edge of an entrepreneur, or the state.

Let’s look at the example of regulation on nanotechnology that is in place within the European Union versus in the United States. European law reduces the risk that it could limit the potential of nanotechnology, and thereby losing its competitive edge to the US.

Another fact about the law: it’s slow as well as reactive. It could be a major nuisance.

Since technological advances have been speeding up with an exponential growth rate in the in the last century, law has played a crucial role in helping societies to maintain the previously agreed upon standards for cohabitation.

The legal system we have may appear outdated in the current world. However, before we change our laws to accommodate the new technology that could (re)define the way we live, it’s crucial to leave some room for discussion and for social conflicts to occur.

The law plays a role in this process of creating friction. It helps restore human autonomy against the rapid technological advancement.

With all the excitement surrounding blockchain technology, it’s likely that the parties interested will soon be seeking legal recognition and government-sanctioned compliance with smart contracts.

These new technologies are far from being thoroughly examination of their social political, and economic consequences. Also, more time is needed to determine how blockchain technology can be used in a positive way.

Blockchain technology could become a crucial part of our society in the near future. The legal system, slow-moving as it is, could be exactly what we require to make sure that this innovative tool is used in a manner that is in line with the established principles and values, keeping the common good at the heart of its.

June 30, 2024

Pacific Countries Push Regional Policies To Address Climate Change And Migration

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It is scientifically proven that regardless of whether we like it or it is the climate is an ongoing global phenomenon that is sadly continuous as an “threat multiplier” and “very likely” to be caused by human activity.

Since the year 2008, on average, 21.5 millions of people were forced out of their homes every year due to sudden onset climate-related disasters. This number of events is expected to grow in the coming years. Similar research indicates that slow-onset events as well as environmental degradation are also factors in the people’s decision to move.

However, recent inability to provide protection to those who are affected by climate change all across the globe, including in the Pacific region, reveal a glaring inability to enforce international legal safeguards (norms and languages) for tackling climate change. This is evident in an disregard for the rights of human beings of refugees that lawmakers and policymakers are unable to afford.

The Traditional Law, As Well As Climate Legal Risk

Funded with the help of AXA Research Fund and United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), my current research concentrates on the principal two legal systems in place in the Pacific which are the state law or national law and the Kastom law (the customary, traditional law). It examines how the distinctions between these two laws could result in legal issues when implementing international laws relating to climate change, like that of the Paris Agreement.

In contrast to state law, which governs legislative or executive laws, Kastom law governs local community law. It’s also called the law of families, clans or tribes, based on the specific arrangements.

The incorporation of international conventions in laws of the country typically is a top-bottom process that is derived from the executive or legislative level and extending to the community. A different legal system at the a local levels could significantly alter the way of thinking. Laws are often interpretable through the lens that is Kastom law. What communities’ members know about the new law may alter the original intent or the expected outcomes of the laws.

International laws are not generally accepted by local residents and it is a global problem. But there are many local communities that do not have a law enforcement system like that may impact the tubular top-bottom method.

In some regions of the Pacific for instance, the planting of trees can lead to the ownership of land immediately, which often isn’t recognized in laws governing land in the country. It is also not a signatory to any international rules governing the management of land.

My research is founded in a human rights-based perspective which emphasizes a bottom-up perspective. It is based on a progressive understanding of law, which emphasizes the need for openness, flexibility and the practical application of law in the implementation of climate science and supporting it. The law in general should be seen as a supportive concept, not a strict (sometimes overtly oppressive) state-led system.

My research project will end in 2018 with another phase of field research which will see the final results completed and the results released and distributed. There are signs of differences between the two legal systems which affect legislators and communities. In addition, it appears that reforms to the legal system in the country’s structure might be needed to fix the differences.

Hybrid Law

The method employed for this study is known as the hybrid law. The concept was first developed in 2007 as a prerequisite to understand the relation between customary law and climate change in the Pacific that is often only spoken about, and is difficult to discern or analyze.

Hybrid law is one of three facets of international law, namely environment law, human rights and refugee or immigration law. It demonstrates an unquestionable connection between the three branches, as well as the fact the fact that climate change can’t be dealt with without reference to human rights or migration in direct or indirect ways.

It’s not enough to analyze human rights without taking into consideration the effects of climate change, or to look at the mobility of people without taking into account climate triggers as the major causes of causality. Migrants, refugees or relocated individuals whether they are cross-border or internal have rights as human beings, and the state should not apply or change policies to block their safe passage and access to legal protection.

Under the international human rights laws and international customary law, states are bound to protect their rights of refugees and migrants as well as in order to provide them respect and dignity and to safeguard against their return in the event that they are at risk of having their rights violated.

Although international refugee law does not specifically mention environmental risks as causes of conflict or persecution however, it doesn’t relieve states from the obligation to meet the needs of those seeking protection from the effects of climate changes.

A Regional Framework

The preliminary results of my research indicate that the most effective approach to tackle human mobility within relation to climate changes is on a regional scale. This is especially applicable to the Pacific in which a few regional strategies have recently proven their effectiveness.

A regional framework that could be developed regarding human mobility as well as climate change, that could consider both customary and regular customary law, will address the rights of migrants and to fill in the gaps at an international level, and aid the state’s individual inability when it comes to addressing this issue on a national scale.

It is evident that on a global scale the process of negotiating on an international framework to deal with climate change could be lengthy and not always focused on the needs of migrants. It requires political will and sometimes, it doesn’t benefit the countries that are most affected. However it takes time and time is something that people who are affected by climate changes, who are able to move, but don’t have.

On a national scale, many states in which displacement or migration occur are lacking human and financial resources, and have a limited capacity to deal with the issue by themselves.

In the course of an regional meeting of Climate Change and Migration in the Pacific hosted by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) as well as the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN-ESCAP) in early December high-ranking Pacific island government officials advocated the need to find quick solutions to meet the demands of people who are in motion by creating an appropriate regional framework.

The 10 Pacific country representatives who took part at the conference aimed to develop internal guidelines to tackle the issue of human mobility, but also respecting the sovereignty of states when making decisions on their own. They are also looking at developing a legally binding document that regulates human mobility across borders, with a focus in sharing of experiences and respect for each other and a shared cultural identity.

The efforts will continue in 2017 on both the political as well as technical levels – to speed up this groundbreaking regional effort to tackle climate change and mobility of humans.

Again the Pacific is in the frontline.

June 30, 2024

South Australia’s Plans To Prohibit Political Donations Is A Big Potential Risks, As Do The Benefits

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The South Australian government has made a proposal of prohibiting political donations due to of the risks and perception that they purchase undue influence and contribute to corruption. The Premier Peter Malinauskas said the intention is to “give South Australians confidence that decisions are being made because they’re the right thing to do” instead of the reciprocity of donations.

Malinauskas said that the legislation had been hard to write, and many considerations given to the way it would stand when tested by the High Court.

What is this law proposing? What is the likelihood that it will stand up to legal contests? What does this be for the rule of law?

What Is The Law’s Role?

This legislation proposed will bar politicians and political candidates (other except new candidates) from receiving donations from political parties. Instead, they will be given public funds for both campaigns and administration. The amount of campaign spending for political parties as well as candidates will be restricted in the months prior to the state election in order to reduce the cost of public funds low.

Political parties can still be eligible for dues for membership in the party, which can be up to $100 per member. This is designed to motivate parties to be more involved in the community and increase their membership. In the absence of this there is a significant possibility that, if the parties are completely funded by government grants the party will lose touch with the local community.

Influence From Outside On Campaigns

One of the most difficult issues when it comes to reforming the political donation system is the issue of how to deal with third-party campaigners. These are those individuals and groups that aren’t in the race for elections themselves and are interested in politics and want to support. They include environmentalists and miners, charitable organizations welfare organizations and business associations and pubs and clubs, as well as Indigenous organizations. In the event that they spent more than specified amount of money on political activities in the months before an election, they are required to be registered.

Attempts to block third-party campaigners including trade unions from expressing their opinions during elections were previously rejected in the High Court. This is likely the reason why this new plan will not impose any limits on political contributions to third-party organizations or the amount they spend on their election. The only thing third parties have to comply with obligations to disclose the amount of their donations, debts and expenditure. They must also utilize an “state campaign account” for receiving donations and also for political spending.

The danger is that once the political parties and candidates are prohibited from receiving donations and are able to limit spending however, donations to political parties will go to third-party organizations who can be able to receive and spend however much they want.

This grants significant political power to interest groups from third parties that can leverage their money to influence candidates and parties to support their agendas. This has the potential to alter the course of elections, because well-funded interest groups dominate the debate and requiring the political parties to follow their own tune.

A better option is to place carefully-planned expenditure caps on third party organizations which allows them to express their political opinions effectively, however, they should not influence the election process in the face of political both candidates as well as parties.

The Rules Around “Associated Entities”

When spending caps are set when spending caps are in place, it is essential to stop parties from bending them by creating associated with third-party entities that have different caps or, in cases like the South Australian case, no spending cap whatsoever.

The proposed law bans the arrangement between a political group and a third party in order to bypass the limit on expenditures. Furthermore, any gift made to the “associated entity” is treated as a contribution to the entity with which it is affiliated.

The definition of an associate entity explicitly exempts “registered industrial organisations” (trade unions). The affiliation costs paid paid by trade unions can be considered donations, and therefore fall within the donation prohibition.

Preferring Incumbents

Another issue with public funding plans is that they are typically heavily influenced by major political parties and incumbents. This is due to the fact that they are linked to the number of first-preference votes a candidate receives or their number of seats that a party gets at an election.

In the case of donations, if they are regulated for a time, the SA scheme will be able to provide funds to party administration during elections. The money will be redirected to registered political parties in accordance with the number of MPs it has. This means that the funding is not just a benefit for incumbents however, it also has the effect of favoring the government (which usually has the highest number of MPs) over opposition and smaller parties even though all parties share the same administrative expenses.

The majority of the funds must be used to fund administration, the remaining funds can be used to fund election expenses. This increases the amount that is available to incumbent parties and favors the party that gained the most seats in the previous election.

Independent MPs receive less administrative assistance which is available for any reason. Additionally, MPs are provided with staff and allowances which give them an advantage in campaigning.

New political parties and independent candidates do not receive all from this support. Their only benefit is that they are not subject to the restrictions on donations to political organizations and can therefore raise funds that are limited to $2,700.

There are other distinctions in the advance financing of election campaigns. In the SA scheme that allows registered political parties to get a share of their campaign funds in advance, which is calculated through using the first preference votes that were given to candidates endorsed by the party in the last general election.

Because new voters do not have previous results from elections They are granted advance access to a very modest fixed amount per candidate. They cannot also claim this privilege unless they provide sufficient numbers of voters who support their candidate (100 for an incumbent House of Assembly candidate and 500 for the Legislative Council candidate). If they fail to garner at minimum 4% of first-preference votes in the following election, they’re legally entitled to no funding from the public whatsoever.

What is the significance of this? First of all, an effective democracy must accept newcomers, competition, and disruption. A law that only protects and supports the existing parties will likely lead to political stagnation and a decline of the public’s involvement in the political process.

Then second, The High Court in the Australian Capital Television case invalidated an act that prohibited political advertisements due to the fact that it unfairly favors incumbents. The law bans political ads in electronic media, with the exception of for political advertisements that were free that, for 90% of the time, were given to parties that had elected members in accordance with their percentage of votes in the first preference vote at the previous election.

A mere 10% of free time was allocated to the newly elected and unrelated candidates. This was not enough to protect the law. Justice McHugh argued one cannot justify a law as if it levelled the playing field when that law “favours the sitting members and their political parties at the expense of the views of those who do not hold political power”.

If the SA scheme is doing enough to help new participants is a question for the High Court to assess if the scheme is being challenged.

Constitutional Challenges

A law that has the goal of restricting political advertising could be subject to being challenged for violating the constitutionally-protected liberty of political communication. Alongside the possibility that the law could be biased in favor incumbents The High Court has also previously upheld an act that sought to block political donations from any organization or individual that is not a registered voter.

In this case however, there was a gap in what amount of government money given and the amount of expenditure caps that the party was required to pay for, including donations. The question of whether a ban that goes further (prohibiting all donations to political parties) could be enforceable would depend on the relation to the spending cap and different types of funds that are available to independents, parties and newcomers.

Can This Be A National Issue?

Federal government officials have indicated its interest in reforming the electoral system. We aren’t aware of the details of its plans.

One of the benefits of the federal system is that reform experiments can be conducted by states with a smaller size. All the rest of nation will then be able to determine if they succeed and if they should be applied elsewhere.

The SA proposal is a prime example of an trial. If it succeeds, is able to withstand any constitutional challenges, and achieves its goals, other countries could be tempted to adopt it. However, it must demonstrate itself first.

June 30, 2024