European Commonwealth ?

Comparative public law in Europe

Call for Papers – Conference ‘Blockchain, Public Trust and Public Law’ – Groningen – November 29-30, 2018

Throughout the world, governments are experimenting with blockchain in different areas. However, it remains a black box to many citizens, public bodies, and companies. This in itself raises concerns for areas where democratic processes are essential to create legitimacy. Additionally, many question whether the technology is stable and secure over the long-run, if total transparency is desirable for all kinds of public services, whether it is scalable enough or consumes too much energy, what its social impact is, whether existing legal frameworks are challenged by this system, and how the technology and its users can be “fixed” if mistakes occur. Hence, the ‘trust machine’ has not been able to conquer the minds and hearts of many skeptical public and private actors.
The conference ‘Blockchain, Public Law, and Public Trust’ will bring together reputed academics, talented professionals, and a selection of innovative entrepreneurs working on blockchain to discuss the applications of this technology to government as well as its regulatory, ethical and policy challenges. Both public and private law contributions are welcome.
The conference will consist of plenary and parallel session presentations. We particularly encourage abstracts on the following themes:
  1. Blockchain and social impact (immigration, citizenship, social welfare, and human rights);
  2. Blockchain, initial coin offerings, bitcoin, and financial regulation;
  3. Blockchain, privacy, and public health;
  4. Blockchain, land registers, and urban planning;
  5. Blockchain and democracy (elections, citizen participation, openness, and e-citizenship);
  6. Blockchain, smart contracts, public procurement.
  7. Blockchain governance and nudging.

Abstracts (max. 500 words) can be submitted to by no later than April 15, 2018. Upon review of the submissions, the Program Committee will notify the authors by April 30, 2018. Final papers should be submitted by October 26, 2018. A selection of academic papers will be considered for publication in an international peer-reviewed journal.

Speakers are responsible for their travel and accommodation costs.
Our list of confirmed speakers includes:
  • Aaron Wright (Cardozo Law School) and
    Primavera De Filippi (CNRS/Berkman Klein Center, Harvard University (TBC), Authors of ‘Blockchain and the Law’ (Harvard University Press);
  • Liav Orgad (EUI/ Humboldt/ IDC, ERC project Global Citizenship Law); 
  • Balazs Bodo (University of Amsterdam Ivr, ERC project Blockchain & Society)
  • Marcella Atzori (UCL);
  • Michele Finck (Max Planck Institute & Oxford University)
  • Bart-Jan van Ettekoven (President of the Dutch Supreme Administrative Court);
  • Catalina Goanta (University of Maastricht/St. Gallen)

This conference is hosted by the department of Constitutional Law, Administrative Law and Public Administration of the Faculty of Law of the University of Groningen that specializes on the study of how public law can contribute to public trust in government, in close collaboration with the research programme Public Interests and Private Relationships.

Contact information:

For any queries please send your email to or For more information or visit our website.



This entry was posted on March 22, 2018 by in Uncategorized.
Follow European Commonwealth ? on
%d bloggers like this: