On Air: Jur interview with students from the Lab for New Justice at Radboud University
At the conclusion of our highly successful Lab for New Justice partnership with Radboud University in The Netherlands, we sat down with a few of the participants.
We wanted to know more about how the Lab For New Justice participants were applying their knowledge in the legaltech industry and hear first-hand their thoughts on the role blockchain and smart contracts would have.
Four of our top students, Michael de Borst, Lana Koster, Tom Vennmanns, and Xander Kranenberg joined us for the interview with CMO Federico Angeloni and Legal Engineer Luigi Cantisani. We began by asking them about their connection to legaltech, which gave us a glimpse into their past.
Both Xander and Lana were convinced that smart legal contracts and blockchain were going to be an important part of society in the near future, with Lana noting that she thought smart legal contracts were going to be “impossible to escape” based on how accessible and convenient they will be for companies and individuals to use.
Tom spoke at length about his personal interest in the emerging field, calling himself a “legaltech enthusiast” who was focusing all of his activities on the industry. Tom had previously used his background in both German and Dutch law to become active in the legaltech space, even giving talks about it at previous local events. It was interesting to hear him discuss the two different regions, as he described the Netherlands as open and liberal compared to the more closed industry in Germany.
For Tom, it was obvious that countries which embraced legaltech were making it possible to improve consumer rights and small claims legal systems. He spoke about how in Germany many people are unable to pursue small claims, which he suggests led to the legal culture that created Dieselgate, a scandal which saw many former auto executives from Volkswagen and Audi get charged after their vehicles were determined to have software installed during testing to perform at safe levels.
Despite paying large fines, many customers are still demanding compensation, and may be unable to get it. In an environment like this, businesses are less likely to put consumer interests ahead of their own.
For the next question, Fede asked about their role at Radboud University and any previous relevant experience they might have had. Xander had a lot to offer, noting he was completing his Masters in Business Law at Radboud, after getting his Bachelors at European Law School.
Lana and Michael were both at Radboud to get a Bachelors degree, with the latter previously starting his own design and development company, where he got exposed to contracts, and really took his interest in the combination of IT and legal technologies to a whole new level. Tom used the opportunity to remark on how Radboud is very future-oriented, attracting him back for his masters degree, in order to get the chance to work on groundbreaking projects such as the Jur Lab [for New Justice]
For the final question, Fede quizzed the students on their ideas about the future of technology in the legal industry. Xander went first, and talked about how notaries and the process of verifying documents can be made more efficient through the use of blockchain. He also thought that alternative dispute resolution systems like the Jur would make a major impact, reducing the number of cases that end up in physical courts.
Lana was confident that contract law would be changed by blockchain, as a smart legal contracts could replace a lot of the need for personal lawyers, mediators, and court systems. She was impressed by how blockchain made everything more quicker and more accessible in the legal industry.
Michael chimed in to agree with Lana, noting that contract law would be impacted heavily. He then turned to Intellectual Property Law, mentioning how the space could be improved by automation and dispute resolution systems like the Jur platform. The final answer came from Tom, who agreed with what the others had said, but made it clear that he thought the entire legal industry would be affected, based on legaltech’s ability to influence efficiencies, cost reduction, and accessibility to justice across the board. He also confided that Procedural Law would be the most dramatic, and bemoaned the amount of time it takes for the court systems and administrations related to those systems to get anything done.
We at Jur are extremely grateful for the participation of these bright young legal experts in our Lab for New Justice.