The enforceability of our Ricardian contracts ultimately depends on arbitration awards that can be enforced against businesses and assets in any of the 150+ countries that have ratified the New York Convention. The quality of decision in this process depends on the quality of the appointed arbitrators. Whether the outcome is commercially fair and just depends in large part on whether the appointed arbitrator is impartial, independent, and competent in interpreting both the law governing the contract and the particular facts of the dispute. The grounds for appealing an arbitration award are very limited: it is not generally possible to appeal an award on the ground that an arbitrator misinterpreted or failed properly to understand the facts of the dispute. Therefore it is essential that arbitrators have the relevant ability and experience correctly to interpret the factual evidence. In disputes arising out of the use of smart contracts and blockchain technology, an arbitrator’s decision may depend on highly technical evidence.

Mattereum provides an international panel of arbitrators who are technically competent to interpret the facts of smart contract and blockchain disputes. Our Ricardian contracts require parties to appoint from the Mattereum list when a dispute is submitted to arbitration. Mattereum’s early neutral evaluation and case management procedures also rely on appointments from the Mattereum list.

Arbitrators must be assessed as competent before being accepted onto the Mattereum list. Mattereum provides training programmes in the major arbitration centres to prepare arbitrators for assessment. A programme of continuing education supports arbitrators on the Mattereum list in keeping their knowledge up to date in the fast-moving environment of business on the blockchain.

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