Asst. Prof. Elif Cemre Hazıroğlu (Hacettepe University, Ankara) & Dr. Güneş Ünüvar (Max Planck Institute for International, European, and Regulatory Procedural Law, Luxembourg)

Aktuelle Forschung im türkischen Recht

  • Datum: 18.09.2023
  • Uhrzeit: 14:00
  • Ort: Online-Veranstaltung

An Identity Crisis? Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAO) and Their Compatibility with Turkish Commercial Law and the Law of Obligations

About the Speakers:
Elif Cemre HAZIROĞLU obtained her LL.M. in European and International Business Law (Adv. LL.M.) from Leiden University School of Law in 2011. She presented an updated version of her master’s thesis at the International Law and Economics Conference organized by Bilkent University in Ankara in 2014, and the associated article was published in a special edition of the European Journal of Law and Economics in 2015. She received her doctorate in private law from Bilkent University Graduate School of Economics and Social Sciences in 2017. During her doctoral research, Ms. Hazıroğlu spent a year as a visiting researcher at the Humboldt University Faculty of Law in Berlin from 2015–2016 with financial support from TUBITAK, the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey. She has been working as a full-time assistant professor in commercial law at the Hacettepe University Faculty of Law in Ankara since June 2018, where she has taught undergraduate and graduate courses while publishing and presenting papers, supervising master’s and doctoral theses, peer-reviewing articles for various law journals, teaching commercial law seminars to lawyers specializing in mediation, and performing the duties of manifold administrative posts within the faculty.

Güneş ÜNÜVAR is a senior research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for International, European, and Regulatory Procedural Law in Luxembourg and of counsel at the Ankara-based law firm Özgür Ünüvar Bakiler. He also acts as counsel on international space law and governance for the Luxembourg-based DAO Alpha Persei, which focuses on democratizing space investments and tokenization of space assets. He obtained his LL.M. degree in international and European law from the Institute for European Studies (now the Brussels School of Governance) at Vrije Universiteit Brussel in 2012 and his doctorate in international and European investment law from the University of Copenhagen in 2016. Before his current position, he was a Carlsberg Foundation postdoctoral researcher at the Centre of Excellence for International Courts in Copenhagen. He was also a visiting researcher at Columbia University in New York and at the Energy Charter Secretariat in Brussels. He is the incoming managing editor of the Journal of World Investment and Trade and editor-in-chief of the space law blog Pulsar.

About the Topic:
Decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) are versatile organizational structures lacking centralized governance. They are typically member-owned communities built on blockchain technology, with tokens or NFTs granting voting rights to their members. Despite their relative novelty they have already proven capable of amassing and managing millions of dollars’ worth of cryptocurrency. Their commercial potential is undeniable. These decentralized structures liberate their members from bureaucracy and paperwork and automate and streamline certain aspects of commercial decision-making. That said, such a fundamental paradigm shift in governance might present novel challenges as the membership of a given DAO expands. For example, an aggrieved member or third party might find it challenging to pinpoint the responsible parties in case of wrongdoing by the DAO.

In light of this complex landscape, the activities, legal identities, responsibilities, and legal and commercial capabilities of DAOs require further legal scrutiny. Despite recent attempts to recalibrate existing legal frameworks to the particularities of this new phenomenon, the global ambiguity and complexity of their status persist.

In the wake of the establishment of GFY DAO, the first Turkish investment DAO, it is high time to discuss the position of DAOs within the legal framework that may potentially govern, or that may at least provide an analogy by which to legally address, their activities. This project seeks to engage in a comprehensive, multi-prong analysis situating DAOs within the framework of Turkish law. Among the traditional company models, this presentation will specifically tackle the extent to which the Turkish Commercial Code (Nr. 6102) and the Turkish Code of Obligations (Nr. 6098) apply to DAOs.

About the Seminar Series:
The seminar series “Current Research on Turkish Law” regularly invites outstanding scholars and practitioners working on different topics of Turkish private law to present and discuss their findings. The seminar series particularly aims to create a platform where both international researchers interested in Turkish law and Turkish researchers working on comparative law can come together and exchange scholarly ideas.
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