New Information Technologies Could Spark a Revolution in Contract Law
The HSE International Laboratory for Information Technology and Intellectual Property Law has conducted an International Summer School on Cyber Law (ISSC). One key topic was how blockchain technology influences traditional contract law.
Who took part?
The first meeting of the School attracted young researchers from Great Britain, the Netherlands, Brazil, Poland, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, Belarus, and Japan. They discussed conventional problems such as protecting personal data online, protecting copyright and patent rights, and some legal aspects relating to information security in the digital era.
The School programme also included visits to major law firms and IT companies, such as PwC, Yandex, and Google. Their experts gave lectures and organized case studies on topical issues of law in the digital environment. Representatives of IBM, Megafon, and Kaspersky Lab gave master classes on some of the most pressing problems in legal regulation in the IT/IP environment.
What’s new in the Russian practice?
The last summer school discussed problems related to implementing the ‘law on the right to be forgotten’ and requirements regarding the localization of personal data. Participants of this latest summer school agreed that Russian IT businesses have survived this period of adjustment to the new requirements, although they experienced certain differences. Many companies were able to compromise and find both technical and organizational solutions, ensuring they would not involve impassable barriers for online business.
However, Russia’s new set of antiterrorist amendments will add to the problems facing the IT industry. The telecommunications industry may stand to suffer the most from them, since the operators will be obliged to store data not only on communications, but also the message contents. This responsibility will add to the costs considerably.
This also limits the civil right to privacy and secrecy of communication. But this argument isn’t always accepted, so operators must focus not on the legal, but on the practical and economic consequences of such solutions.
Why contract law is expecting a revolution
A lecture entitled ‘Contract law 2.0. Will Smart Contract make obsolete classic contract law in the future?’ by Alexander Savelyev, senior research fellow at the HSE International Laboratory for Information Technology and Intellectual Property Law and legal advisor at IBMintroduced a brand new topic to the School.
He looked at how blockchain technologies (robotizing and unifying the contracting processes through mathematical algorithms) will influence traditional contract law. Blockchain technologies are expected to see transactions implemented and obligations performed ultimately and irreversibly.
But laws, in a legal sense, are not as unified and mandatory as their mathematical counterparts. Real life may involve situations that see obligations litigated and canceled. The key question that school participants were trying to solve was how to ensure the co-existence of ‘smart contracts’ based on blockchain technology and working methods of legal protection in contract law, in one legal system.
Some participants suggested the legal presumption of priority for ‘smart contracts’, and others suggested including options for cancelling obligations according to judicial orders in ‘smart contracts’ algorithms. Other alternatives were also put forward. Nevertheless, the discussion revealed that all these approaches had their shortcomings. It was obvious that new technologies can potentially cause a revolution in contract law. One conclusion was clear: lawyers are facing new challenges, which will need some effective solutions in the near future.
Participants of Russian-Chinese Summer School on International Affairs Tackle Trade, International Institutions, and More
On Thursday, July 11, students and faculty of the International Russian-Chinese Summer School on International Affairs bid farewell with a festive awards ceremony and closing lecture by Professor Sergey Karaganov, Academic Supervisor and Dean of the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs.
After a fruitful week of presentations, feedback, and critical reevaluation, the 2019 session of the Russian Summer School on Institutional Analysis (RSSIA) came to a close. Admission to this year's session was highly competitive: out of 100 applications, only 24 were accepted. Participants came from a wide range of countries, including China, Germany, India, Iran, and others, to take their research to the next level in an intimate setting.
If you are planning on applying to one of HSE’s summer schools, it’s time to act now. Read on to learn about events hosted by HSE schools that are still accepting applications from students and teachers.
Exploring Political and Cultural Space of St Petersburg through the Summer School 'Topography of Imperial Power'
On a grey autumn day, it is always nice to warm up by reliving memories of summer adventures. This year, the balmy weather did not leave our city till mid-October, and a summer mood also lingered at HSE University – St Petersburg with the IV International Summer School 'The Topography of Imperial Power: Political and Cultural Space of Saint Petersburg' which ran from September 11 till October 2, 2018.
In August 2018, the Faculty of Law at HSE Nizhny Novgorod hosted the annual summer school ‘Russian – Chinese Business: Cultural and Legal Aspects’. This year, the delegation from China was twice as big as last year, and the number of volunteers increased significantly, which clearly shows that summer schools with partner universities gain momentum!
The second Summer School on Deep Learning and Bayesian Methods (DeepBayes 2018) was held in Moscow from August 27 to September 1, 2018. The summer school was organized by HSE Centre of Deep Learning and Bayesian Methods and Samsung AI Center in Moscow. The lectures were taught by researchers from two centers-organizers, Skoltech, and Lomonosov Moscow State University.
The Russian Summer School, Masterchain, was held at the Higher School of Economics. It provided students with experience in working with this platform beyond the sphere of banking. The students collaborated on innovative projects for solving real business problems in the field of FinTech.
On June 9–15, the town of Pushkin near St. Petersburg, Russia hosted the Sixth International Summer School on Multidisciplinary Higher Education Research organized by the HSE Institute of Education (IOE). Bringing together a premier cohort of accomplished international academics and bright early-career scholars, the 2018 School aimed to explore new and deeper perspectives on how higher education can contribute to positive socio-economic change at all levels.
Every summer since 2007, the Center for Institutional Studies at the National Research University Higher School of Economics has been organizing the annual Russian Summer School on Institutional Analysis (RSSIA). Students and researchers from around the world convene in Moscow to enjoy a whole week of lectures and consultations, presentations, discussions and networking, as well as the opportunity to be inspired by the experts.
On July 17-23 the Third Machine Learning summer school organized by Yandex School of Data Analysis, Laboratory of Methods for Big Data Analysis at the National Research University Higher School of Economics and Imperial College London was held in Reading, UK. 60 students, doctoral students and researchers from 18 countries and 47 universities took part in the event.