Call for Papers and Network Launch: ‘Regulating the Decentralised Autonomous Organisation’

Dr John Picton is convening this upcoming conference (Thursday, 25 January 2024 at the University of Liverpool) and has opened a call for UoM researchers to contribute papers.

Regulating the Decentralised Autonomous Organisation

Call for Papers and Network Launch: ‘Regulating the Decentralised Autonomous Organisation’ 
Date: Thursday, 25 January 2024. 
Location: The conference will be held in person at the University of Liverpool.

Event Description Decentralised Autonomous Organisations (DAOs) are digital organisations that operate on the blockchain (distributed digital ledger). They have no centralised structure (i.e., no formal management) and decisions are made by community members through digital tokens. 

The rules that govern any particular DAO are enforced by smart contracts which the DAO founder(s) ‘code’ into the blockchain. Participation is generally unrestricted, meaning anyone who acquires tokens can take part. The current use cases are many and varied, straddling decentralised finance (i.e., investment circles), digital asset management, governing for profit and not-for profit organisations (i.e., decentralised donation circles), content creation and to incentivise activity.

Given their relatively new emergence, and breadth of their application, the legal questions raised by DAOs are fundamental i.e., of a basic and conceptual type which transcend many traditional legal containers.

For this reason, the organisers are keen to include speakers from a wide variety of legal disciplines and do not intend to be prescriptive in terms of the methods, theory, object or approach taken. Relevant topics include, but are not limited to:

Relevant topics include, but are not limited to:

  • DAOs and finance law;
  • DAOs and company Law;
  • Charitable DAOs and the law;
  • DAOs and intellectual property law;
  • DAOs and financial crime;
  • DAOs and insolvency;
  • DAOs and smart contracts;
  • DAOs, fiduciary law and liability.

The goal behind this call for papers is to bring together a new group of researchers to explore these, and other fundamental legal questions. It will ultimately result in the forming of a DAO legal network to pursue emergent themes in future. The conference is jointly funded by the Society of Legal Scholars and the Charity Law & Policy Unit (University of Liverpool). 

No conference fee is applicable. We are happy to be able to fund reasonable travel expenses and overnight accommodation for delegates, so please express your interest in this when submitting your abstract. There will be a subsidised Conference Dinner on the evening of Wednesday, 24 January 2024 thanks to the aforementioned sponsors.

The organising committee are Dr Bonnie Holligan (University of Sussex), Dr John Picton (University of Manchester) and Dr Matthew Shillito (University of Liverpool).

Submission Details Abstract of no more than 250 words should be emailed to John Picton (john.picton@manchester.ac.uk), Bonnie Holligan (B.Holligan@sussex.ac.uk) and Matthew Shillito (M.Shillito@liverpool.ac.uk) by 5pm on Monday, 16 October 2023.

Key Dates:

  • 18 September 2023 - Call for papers published;
  • 16 October 2023  - Deadline for abstract submission;
  • 24 October 2023 - Applicants notified of success and registration opens;
  • 7 December 2023-  Registration closes;
  • 25 January 2024 - Conference takes place.