Civil litigation and arbitration: a new world?

If you search BeckOnline for the keywords “metaverse” and “ZPO” (Code of Civil Procedure), you currently do not get a single hit. This is an astonishing search result from one of the major German online legal libraries. On this basis, at least, it would seem that from a German point of view, little or no attention has been paid to dispute resolution issues in connection with civil litigation and arbitration law in the metaverse context. The results are a little better if you search for “Streitbeilegung” (dispute resolution) and “smart contract”, but even then the list is not exactly long.

When it comes to international arbitration, the situation is quite different. For example, an article in Global Arbitration Review from March 2022 entitled “Get versed in the metaverse!” explains “why the arbitration community needs to pay attention to blockchain, the metaverse, NFTs and sundry new technologies (even if many think it’s a faddish waste of time)”. Against this background, the present article seeks to provide a tour d’horizon of potential issues that may arise under German civil litigation and arbitration law in the future when resolving disputes in connection with the metaverse.

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