Blockchain and distributed ledger technologies – Smart Contracts that may be Legally Binding – Technical Specification

Blockchain and distributed ledger technologies


This project was developed in response to worldwide demand for minimum specifications for blockchain technology developed and used internationally, since blockchain is a type of distributed ledger technology and has so far been used predominantly to create and launch for public investment controversial cryptocurrencies (such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple) and token schemes implemented on smart contracts (such as those on the Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple platforms).

This Technical Specification provides an overview of Smart Contracts in DLT systems, describing what smart contracts are, how they work and the benefits they bring. Also methods of interaction between multiple smart contracts will be discussed. Technical and legal aspects will be considered.

The endeavour of standards in the context of smart contracts, is to consider how such smart contracts are written, how they are enforced, and how to ensure that the automated performance of a smart contract is faithful to the meaning of any relevant contractual documentation.

Fields of research

Legal Practice, Lawyering and the Legal Profession; Emerging Technologies

Project team

Lead author: Dr Philippa Ryan, Chair of the Standards Australia Blockchain Technical Committee’s Smart Contracts Working Group

Other contributors: Members of the ISO Technical Committee TC-307 – Working Group 3. ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) is a worldwide federation of national standards bodies (ISO member bodies).

Project start

November 2017

Project status


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