The second academic workshop on best practices in the field of electronic registry design and operations was held at Harris Manchester College on 27 and 28 March 2017, as part of the e-registry project run jointly by the Commercial Law Centre at Harris Manchester College and the UNIDROIT Foundation.  This purpose of this project is to develop a framework to establish and evaluate best practices in electronic registration, both as a guide to registrars and those involved in such registration and, if appropriate, as part of the process of establishing liability for loss caused by malfunction of registers.

Several leading industry experts, academics, and registrars, some of who had already participated in the first workshop the previous year, attended the Roundtable, which was chaired by Professor Jeffrey Wool (University of Washington and a Senior Research Fellow of the Commercial Law Centre, Harris Manchester College, Oxford).

The discussions of the workshop focused on addressing best practices in electronic registries through the creation of a functional framework.  The main points addressed were the following:

  1. definition of electronic registries;
  2. identification of critical performance factors;
  3. risk management of those factors; and
  4. the usefulness of technical standards.

These discussions made a substantial contribution towards a more refined and detailed framework for electronic registries, which will be the basis for further academic research.  To complement this process, a smaller expert group consisting of practitioners and registrars was created that will provide additional expertise and insights from the industry.

Overall, the workshop was considered to be extremely useful by all delegates attending, with requests for follow up meetings.