- Code LAWS8101
- Unit Value 6 units
- Offered by ANU Law School
- ANU College ANU College of Law
- Course subject Laws
- Areas of interest Human Sciences, Music, Immunology and Microbiology
- Work Integrated Learning Projects
- Academic career PGRD
- Dr Ntina TZOUVALA
- Mode of delivery Online
Summer Session 2024
See Future Offerings
The technology of blockchain, smart contracts, and AI is set to revolutionise many industries. It allows for automated, trust-minimised interactions that limit the need for gatekeepers and middlemen. The widespread adoption of the technology could have profound impacts on the law, lawyers, and the justice system since lawyers and governments are key gatekeepers and middlemen in the justice delivery process. This course examines the legal issues underlying the "Lex Automagica" tech stack of blockchain, smart contracts, and AI. It provides an overview of each layer of the technology, how they can interact, and an examination of the many legal and policy issues arising from the implementation of the technology. It will examine the many other uses to which blockchain is or may be applied, including the development of so-called smart contracts. It concludes with an holistic view of the ways blockchains may impact the shape of our legal systems and our societies as more and more social and commercial interactions are forced “on-chain”.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Research, synthesise and analyse the legal principles and issues arising from the use of blockchains, digital assets and smart contract technology.
- Synthesise and critically evaluate current and potential laws regulating blockchains, smart contracts and digital assets.
- Critically reflect on the way in which these technologies may impact the law, access to justice, and society generally.
- Assess current policy, legal and regulatory frameworks in order to develop proposals which recommend changes required to improve the use and adoption of blockchain, digital assets and smart contracts in legal and regulatory processes.
Work Integrated Learning
This course provides students with the opportunity to engage deeply with the technology of blockchain, smart contracts, and AI and explore the practical implications on the legal industry. Students are provided with the opportunity to engage in teamwork and tasked to build and deploy a simple smart contract by problem solving and developing skills to identify the ways in which technology may impact the shape of our legal systems and our societies as more and more social and commercial interactions are forced “on-chain”.
- Blockchain - Selected Legal Issues - Group Presentation (15) [LO 1,2]
- Digital Assets - Selected Legal Issues - Group Presentation (15) [LO 1,2]
- Smart Contracts - Build, Deploy & Critique a Smart Contract - Group Project (20) [LO 1,2,3]
- Major Research Paper - Blockchain Law, Governance & Justice (50) [LO 1,2,3,4]
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- Classes offered in non-standard sessions will be taught on an intensive base with compulsory contact hours (approximately 26 hours of face to face teaching). The course will also require advanced preparation through assigned readings. In total, it is anticipated that the hours required for completion of this course (class preparation, teaching and completion of assessment) will not exceed 120 hours.
- Classes offered during semester periods are expected to have three contact hours per week.
Click here for the LLM Masters Program course list
Requisite and Incompatibility
Students must rely on the approved Class Summary which will be posted to the Programs and Courses site approximately two weeks prior to the commencement of the course. Alternatively, this information will be published in the Program course list when known.
DE FILIPPI, P. & WRIGHT, A (2019). BLOCKCHAIN AND THE LAW. [S.l.]: HARVARD UNIV PRESS.
WERBACH, K. (2018). The blockchain and the new architecture of trust. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press.
WALCH, A (2018) "In Code(rs) We Trust: Software Developers as Fiduciaries in Public Blockchains" (https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3203198)
General understanding or interest in blockchain/crypto-currencies
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.
- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.
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Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links
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Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.
|Class number||Class start date||Last day to enrol||Census date||Class end date||Mode Of Delivery||Class Summary|
|1480||30 Jan 2024||31 Jan 2024||16 Feb 2024||05 Apr 2024||Online||N/A|