Russia: Can Smart Contracts be Nullified?

The court does not have a special technical knowledge to study smart contracts, because they are set out in a programming language.

According to Article 79 of the Civil Procedural Code Of The Russian Federation (Code of the Civil Procedure of the Russian Federation), there is a need to involve an expert to conduct a special expertise (a unique expertise for each case): “If questions arise in the course of considering the case which require special knowledge in various fields of science, technology, the arts and the handicrafts, the court shall appoint an expert opinion. The performance of the expertise may be entrusted to a legal expert agency, to a particular expert or to several experts…”

According to paragraph 8 of part 1 of Article 150 in preparing the case for trial, the judge can appoint an expert/experts for its conduct.

Article 55 of the Civil Procedural Code Of The Russian Federation requires a proof as an evidence: “ 1. Seen as the proof of the case shall be information obtained in the legally-stipulated order, about the facts on whose grounds the court establishes the existence or absence of the facts substantiating the claims and objections of the parties, as well as of other circumstances that are of importance for the correct consideration and resolution of the case. This information may be obtained from the explanations of the parties and third persons, from the testimony of witnesses, from written and material evidence, from audio and video recordings, and from expert conclusions.”

An expertise can be appointed not only on the initiative of the court, but also at the request of the persons participating in the case, at any stage of the civil process, prior to the decision of the court. The expert could perform decoding (transcription) of the smart contract code and its version to Russian (or other) language, and also confirm its authenticity.

Also, when carrying out computer and technical expertise, a broader range of issues can be raised, for example: whether the will of the parties to the contract was correctly translated into the program code; whether the improper performance of a smart contract is the result of deliberate (unintentional) actions of software developers of a smart contract or a consequence of a software or hardware failure or a consequence of other causes.

Taking into consideration an expert’s conclusion, the court issues a resolution on the claim, nullifies the deal / determines who will compensate the losses, notifies all involved parties and publishes the resolution online (Articles 10, 13, 146, 198).


Previous Section Next Section

Have a comment, edit, or item to add? Share your thoughts by commenting below!

comments powered by Disqus