Blockchain Technology, Data Management and Smart Contracts: Challenges and Opportunities

Date & time
8.30am–6pm Thursday 27 February 2020

Moot Courts, ANU College of Law, Building 6A, 6 Fellows Road, Acton

Professor Sjef van Erp


For interstate visitors, we offer suggestions for accommodation near ANU.

Marketing and Communications

Presented by ANU Centre for Commercial Law (CCL) and ANU Centre for European Studies

Blockchain Technology, Data Management and Smart Contracts

Blockchain and smart contracts are technological developments with significant implications for private law transactions in a range of areas. Blockchain or ‘distributed ledger technology’ (DLT) is already being used in the financial services sector and has great potential in a range of areas including land registration systems and global supply chains. These technologies also raise questions concerning data management, data protection, adjudication and dispute settlement.

The ANU Centre for Commercial Law and the ANU Centre for European Studies are hosting a one day conference on recent developments and implications of blockchain technology and smart contracts. Speakers will include academics, policymakers and practitioners. The keynote address will be delivered by Professor Sjef van Erp, co-chair of the European Law Institute Project Blockchain Technology and Smart Contracts which is aimed at providing policymakers, legislators and legal practitioners with a legislative guide, a toolbox, on how to approach questions in this emerging legal field. The conference will be relevant to those seeking a better understanding of the legal and policy implications of these new technologies.

Speakers and conference program to be announced soon.


  • Professor Sjef van Erp »

    Professor Sjef van Erp is Professor of Civil Law and European Private Law at the University of Maastricht (Netherlands) and visiting professor at the University of Trento (Italy). He is an internationally renowned scholar in the fields of comparative, private and property law, co-founder and immediate past Vice-President of the European Law Institute (ELI). He holds the position of Deputy Justice at the Court of Appeals of 's-Hertogenbosch and he is past President and Honorary Member of the Netherlands Comparative Law Association. Professor van Erp makes a significant contribution to scholarship and the academy through his roles as Secretary-General of the International Association of Legal Science, co-founder and advisory editor of the European Journal for Comparative Law and Governance, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of the European Property Law Journal. His research focuses on comparative and European private law and the comparison of the American federal experience with European integration. Professor van Erp currently co-chairs two projects, Access to Digital Assets and Digital Eco-Systems (Blockchain and Smart Contracts), of the European Law Institute (ELI), an organisation modelled after the American Law Institute (ALI).

  • Dr Philippa Ryan »

    Philippa (Pip) Ryan is a barrister and a senior lecturer in the College of Law at ANU, where she is the Director of the ANU LLM program. She is a member of the Treasury Audit Committee and in her role on the Standards Australia blockchain technical committee, she is the lead author of the international standards for smart contracts. Pip is a non-executive director on the board of Australian law firm, Lander & Rogers and she is on the editorial board of Stanford's Journal of Blockchain Law and Policy.

    Pip’s current research explores the automation of trust, the accountability of algorithms, and the creeping tendency of regulators in developed economies to blame professionals, service providers and financial institutions for the sins of their employees, customers and strangers. In 2018, she was the first Australian recipient of the American Bar Association’s Legal Rebel Award. Pip co-authored Van Rijmenam and Ryan, Blockchain: Transforming Your Business and Our World (Routledge 2019). Her most recent title is Trust and Distrust in Digital Economies (Routledge 2020).

  • Matthew Baldwin »

    Matthew Baldwin is the Special Counsel at Clayton Utz, specialising in contracting and procurement law. With his focus specifically on telecommunications, intellectual property and pharmaceuticals, Mathew has acted on a variety of commercial agreements for Global Telecoms, while also drafting and providing advice on bespoke software agreements. Mathew is qualified to practise law in Australia as well as being admitted to the courts of England and Wales. This gives Mathew an in-depth understanding into the potential legal issues clients may face  when dealing in multiple jurisdictions. Through his experience, Mathew has demonstrated a clear and trusted understanding of the Public Sector. 

  • Hannah Glass »

    Senior Associate, King & Wood Mallesons

  • Karen Cohen »

    Director, Blockconsulting Group

  • Katrina Donaghy »

    CEO and Co-Founder, Civic Ledger

  • Scott Chamberlain »

    Senior Lecturer, ANU College of Law

  • Samuel Brooks »

    Chief Technology Officer, Block8

  • Dr Damian Clifford »

    Postdoctoral Researcher, ANU College of Law

  • Rajiv Cabraal »

    Director, Commercialisation, Legal & IP, CSIRO Data61

Research theme: 

Updated:  10 August 2015/Responsible Officer:  College General Manager, ANU College of Law/Page Contact:  Law Marketing Team