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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Dr Jason Allen, LLM

 


 

Fellow and Researcher

 

Contact

jgallen@cantab.net

jason.allen@hu-berlin.de

 

 


Jason’s role at the GBZ

Jason is a Senior Research Fellow (Projektleiter mit eigener Stelle) at the GBZ. His position as a Principal Investigator is directly funded by the Deutsche Forchungsgemeinschaft (DFG). Together with Professor Gerhard Dannemann, Jason leads the project “F.A. Mann (1907-1991) and his Contribution to the Development of English, German, European, and International Law”. This project explores an extensive corpus of unpublished documents bequeathed to the GBZ by the family of F.A. Mann, onetime doctoral student at (then) the Berlin University and, after his flight to the United Kingdom, one of the most important jurists of the 20th century. The project, which involves a group of some 25 eminent co-investigators and collaborators around the world, seeks to provide a definitive account of Mann’s impact on the fields of monetary law, international private law, the law of arbitration and the trans-nationalisation of law. Mann is also an important identity in the study of German-Jewish legal biographies. Jason focuses, in particular, on the law of money—exploring the influences on Mann and critically examining Mann’s influence on the law over the 20th century. The project involves the British Institute of International and Comparative Law (London) and the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History (Frankfurt) as cooperating institutions. Individual co-investigators hail from Europe and the UK, North America, South East Asia, and Australasia.
Jason is a Senior Fellow at the Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society, where he collaborates with Research Group 17: Trust in Distributed Environments. The Weizenbaum Institute is an interdisciplinary centre for research into the way that digitalisation changes society. The Weizenbaum Institute is a joint project between several universities and research organisations in Berlin and Brandenburg, including the HU Berlin, and is funded by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research

 

International research connections

Jason collaborates regularly with an international research network. Jason is a Research Associate at the Queen Mary University London Centre for Commercial Law Studies, where he is a Co-Investigator on the project “Legal and Economic Conceptions of Money” along with distinguished colleagues from the UK and North America.
Jason co-leads (with Dr Will Bateman of the Australian National University) a project on the legal regulation of central bank money creation, which investigates the past, present and future of the exercise of monetary authority by central banks.
Jason holds a number of other academic affiliations and appointments. He is a Visiting Fellow at the University of New South Wales, an Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Tasmania, and a Research Affiliate at the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance at the Cambridge Judge Business School.

 

Biography

Jason studied law and German language and literature at the University of Tasmania, graduating in 2007 with a combined BA & LLB with first class honours in law. He took the NY Bar Examination in 2008 and was admitted to practice as a NY Attorney the following year. He took an LLM in International Economic Law at the Universität Augsburg in 2010 as a DAAD Post-Graduate Scholar, graduating magna cum laude (1,18 on the German scale). Jason qualified as an Australian Lawyer in 2011 following a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice with the College of Law (currently non-practising). He completed his PhD at the University of Cambridge as a Poynton Scholar in 2017. His dissertation, supervised by Prof. T.R.S. Allan, examined the judicial review of non-statutory powers. Jason served as the Judicial Assistant to the Rt. Hon. Sir Geoffrey Vos, Chancellor of the High Court of England and Wales, during the 2016-2017 judicial year. He conducted an independent research project at the GBZ during 2017 to 2019 as an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellow.

 

At the interface of law, economics, and technology

Jason’s research focusses on the points of interaction between law, economics, and technology. His work has a strong focus on the way that technology changes the law—both by demanding a response to novel forms of social action, and also by affording the legal system itself new tools and modalities. Jason’s expertise straddles the “public” and “private” law divide, building on his work in constitutional theory to integrate core private law questions (such as property rights in money) and core public law questions (such as the role of central banks in money creation or the concept of monetary sovereignty). Jason was a member of the Cambridge Social Ontology group, and his research maintains a strong ontological focus, a critical engagement with the categories of economics, and an interest for the interaction of different disciplines and their methodologies. This is relevant to his work on money, in particular. His work is interdisciplinary and comparative, embracing Civilian and common law legal systems (albeit with a strong focus on the latter).
Jason’s research as a Post-Doctoral Fellow made some leading contributions to current issues in the legal treatment of new technological processes and artefacts. On this basis, Jason is currently editing a Special Edition of the Journal of Law, Information and Science on “smart legal contracts”. Representative publications include:

 

Policy, impact and consulting work

Jason’s interest in payments technology and alternative finance began in 2013 through involvement in a start-up commercialising an off-grid solar solution combining smart metering, peer-to-peer energy transmission, and a mobile-based payment system. While Jason has remained in legal academia, he actively looks for opportunities to engage with regulators, innovators, technologists and legal practitioners to ensure that his work combines deep theoretical rigour with a commitment to the law’s practical role in society, and engages with the most recent developments in technology and practice.
In the past years, Jason has provided expert advice to the European Parliament ECON Committee on “virtual currencies” (with Prof. R.M. Lastra), has participated in the public consultation process leading to the 2019 “Legal Statement” of the UK Jurisdiction Taskforce on cryptoassets and smart contracts in English law, and has provided thought leadership on the legal and regulatory implications of a digital asset platform for the Stock Exchange of Thailand (through the CCAF).
Jason speaks regularly on his topics of expertise. In the recent past, he has spoken at a number of international conferences and seminars at institutions including the University of Oxford, Sciences Po, HEC Paris, the Jagellonian University, the University of Edinburgh, the London School of Economics, Queen Mary University of London, the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies London, the Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society, the Bank of England, the Max Planck Institute Luxembourg for Procedural Law, the University of Pennsylvania, and the National Institute of Economic and Social Research London. Representative policy and impact publications include:

 

Teaching

Jason is a committed teacher of law. He has tutored Contract Law and the Law of Trusts at the University of Tasmania, has supervised in the Equity Tripos at Gonville and Caius’ College in the University of Cambridge, has designed and delivered a course on English Company law at the Universität Osnabrück, and teaches English law in the GBZ MA programme in British Studies. Jason welcomes the opportunity to supervise masters students in suitable areas.

 

On a personal note…

Jason loves living in Kreuzberg with his wife Stefanie, whom he met at university in Augsburg, and their dog Poppy, who accompanied the couple on their move from Cambridge to Berlin. Poppy enjoys the green spaces, dog-friendly office culture, and world-class scrounging in the capital. In his spare time, Jason collaborates on a FinTech start-up whose mission is to deliver credible financial services including insurance, savings, and credit to informal and low-income workers in emerging economies.