The Possibility of a Uniform Legal Language at the Interplay of Legal Discourse, Semiotics and Blockchain Networks

Pierangelo Blandino

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19 Lataukset (Pure)


This paper explores the possibility of a standard legal language (e.g. English) for a principled evolution of law in line with technological development. In doing so, reference is made to blockchain networks and smart contracts to emphasise the discontinuity with the liberal legal tradition when it comes to decentralisation and binary code language. Methodologically, the argument is built on the underlying relation between law, semiotics and new forms of media adding to natural language; namely: code and symbols. In what follows, I will concentrate on the study of factors that explain why such approach can be fruitful for the future of law and innovation. I have three reasons for selecting this topic. The first is a more pragmatic reason, based on my current research of law as a linguistic phenomenon. Secondly, the topic does also touch the matter on binary code language, rivalrous to legal alphabetic language. Lastly, the study aims at emphasizing the pivotal role of the jurist as an interpreter in a changing society accommodating diverging realms of reality. The study is structured as follows. Firstly, a quick exam of the traits of blockchain networks would provide the contextual link to establish the arguments in support of the need of a standard legal language. Secondly, a comparison between liberal legal institutions and theory of semiotics is set to perceive their functioning and ascertain their limits in the light of todays unprecedented changes. Thirdly, a summary on blockchain networks’ legal features would constitute the thrust behind the idea of a uniform legal language. Methodologically, the argument does also establish some relations with classical laws of physics and philosophy of media. Its aim is to demonstrate how the suggested legal interpretation and semiotic-based approach can contribute to overcome existing stumbling blocks including, but not limited to, the lack of cooperation at the international level as well as the gap in State norms when it comes to innovation. In this sense, the proposed strategies do not intend to replace current advances in the legal thought. In contrast, it seeks to harmonise their results providing a methodical approach that can concur to inform a new technique to address new controversial issues. In practice, the proposed method regarding the adoption of a uniform legal language would lower transactive costs in terms of normative coordination in the matter of international cooperation and in the definition of applicable law among different legal systems. Alternatively, it might contribute to the convergence of legal systems and/or their underlying concepts. Differently put, article’s contribution can be envisaged in fostering juridical consistency with regards to different forms of languages’ coexistence.
JulkaisuInternational Journal for the Semiotics of Law
DOI - pysyväislinkit
TilaEnnen painatusta julkaistu e-versio - 9 helmik. 2024
OKM-julkaisutyyppiA1 Vertaisarvioitu alkuperäisartikkeli


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