Image- Eiffel tower in Paris, France,
Image: Eiffel tower in Paris, France,

France’s National Council of Clerks of Commercial Courts (Conseil National des Greffiers des Tribunaux de Commerce – CNGTC) has announced the deployment of a blockchain network aimed at streamlining the management of commercial and corporate registry.

Image: Justice, Pixabay

The blockchain network will be used from 2019 by the clerks operating in commercial courts across France with the goal of improving transparency and efficiency by enhancing the management of legal transactions related to lifecycle of companies.

The first tests were run successfully, involving four court clerks and IT providers, and subsequently, a roadmap was developed to move the platform gradually into full scale production in the first half of 2019. In the pilot, the CNGTC said it was able to decrease the time to update the registry from several days for some complex cases to a single day.

“This project, which is the result of an autonomous initiative between clerks of commercial courts and IBM, is the continuation of our efforts to be pioneers in the adoption of innovative technologies, to strengthen the quality of the public service provided by the commercial justice system, dedicated to the expectations and requirements of today’s multipolar and interconnected economic world,” said Sophie Jonval, president of the CNGTC.

“We must be both pragmatic and at the forefront of progress on a technology such as blockchain. The latter represents a major potential technology for our profession and for the modernization of the tools of commercial justice, reflecting our status, our mission and our professional rules.”

The blockchain platform is designed to make it possible to streamline the exchange of information among the clerks and ensure traceability of notifications related to legal changes. It will be used to record and share information related to the exchanges of regulatory information related to companies’ difficulties, and the changes of status of companies registered on the French territory, such as corporate names, new branch offices, as well as the dissolution of businesses.

The network was developed by IBM and built on the Hyperledger Fabric framework, an open source project from the Linux Foundation.

“This initiative is a first in the justice sector in France and is a perfect example of blockchain’s role in helping regulated professions as they transform,” said Vincent Fournier, senior manager for blockchain at IBM France.

“Blockchain’s qualities are ideal for this use, improving the clerks’ business processes and adapting to the ever-changing nature of their missions.”