[Lecture Series FS22] Decentralized Autonomous Organization and the Law


Prof. Dr. Florence Guillaume & Sven Riva
(Faculty of Law of the University of Neuchâtel | LexTech Institute)


For the past twenty years, Web 2.0 has enabled a worldwide network of users to connect, collaborate and share content, facilitating international commercial relations. By bringing shared ownership and governance, Web 3.0 facilitates even more connections between people around the world and brings a new type of digital economy where users are empowered. Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) are one of the major products of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT). As the main actors of the crypto economy, these new forms of social organizations are having a growing importance worldwide. However, creating, participating in or contracting with a DAO raises new legal questions that are still to be answered. This lecture explores the following questions:

  • What is a DAO from a legal point of view?
  • What is at stake in qualifying a DAO as a company?
  • What is the law governing a DAO?


  1. Florence Guillaume/Sven Riva, Blockchain Dispute Resolution for Decentralized Autonomous Organizations – The Rise of Decentralized Autonomous Justice, in Bonomi/Lehmann (édit.), Blockchain and Private International Law, Leyde 2022 (to be published).
  2. Florence Guillaume/Sven Riva, Loi type sur les DAOs: un régime juridique adapté aux nouvelles formes de sociétés numériques. Model Law for DAOs: a legal regime adapted to new forms of digital companies, Blog du LexTech Institute, 25.01.2022.
  3. Florence Guillaume/Sven Riva, DAO, code et loi – Le régime technologique et juridique de la decentralized autonomous organization, Revue de droit international d’Assas (RDIA) 2021, p. 206-232.
  4. Florence Guillaume, L’effet disruptif des smart contracts et des DAOs sur le droit international privé, in: Richa/Canapa (édit.), Droit et économie numérique, Berne 2021, p. 35-59.
  5. Sven Riva, Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) in the Swiss Legal Order, Yearbook of Private International Law, Volume 21 (2019/2020), p. 601-638.
  6. Sven Riva, Les DAOs existent-elles en Suisse? Do DAOs exist in Switzerland?, Blog du LexTech Institute, 22.10.2020.


Tuesday, 5th July, 2022
18:00 – 20:00

[Hybrid] Gallery Lab, Thurgauerstrasse 119, 8152 Opfikon

Zoom link will be visible to registered people


Prof. Dr. Florence Guillaume

Florence Guillaume is a Full Professor of civil and private international law at the Faculty of Law of the University of Neuchâtel (Switzerland). Her research and publications cover a wide array of topics, including international corporate law, international business litigation, international intermediated securities law, national and international succession law, international trust disputes, and legal issues of digitalization. She founded in 2020 the LexTech Institute, which is an academic center dedicated to research and training in digital technologies. Before entering academics, Professor Guillaume practiced as a lawyer at the Geneva Bar and the Zurich Bar. She also worked as a Deputy to the Head of the Private International Law Department at the Swiss Federal Ministry of Justice.

Sven Riva

Sven Riva is a Ph.D. candidate in private international law at the Faculty of Law of the University of Neuchâtel (Switzerland) and a member of the LexTech Institute. His thesis deals with the international legal scope of Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) with a focus on international corporate law, a field in which he specialized in writing his Master Thesis and as a member of an international group of experts that drafted a Model Law for DAOs. He has a general interest in financial market law, in particular fintech regulation and blockchain law. He has written on the application of the rules of private international law to DAOs as well as in the areas of decentralized justice, digital integrity, artificial intelligence, and international judicial assistance.


Time Speaker Event Title Presentations
18:00 -18:15Welcome & Introduction & SBHACK22
18:15 -19:00Prof. Dr. Florence Guillaume
& Sven Riva
Decentralized Autonomous Organization and the Law
19:00 -19:30Q&A
19:30 -20:00Apéro


UZH Blockchain Center

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