Talk: 2021 – Year of the Sandbox?


Thomas Buocz has given a talk on “2021 – Year of the sandbox? Comparing Legal Experimentation Concepts” at the Next Generation IT-Law conference on 15 April 2021.

Legal experimentation concepts increasingly appear in national and EU policy. The Austrian Federal Government wants to increase the use of “regulatory sandboxes“, according to its government policy programme, and the Council of the EU only recently emphasised the importance of “experimentation clauses” as instruments of better regulation.

Regulatory sandboxes aim to aid companies and authorities in assessing the opportunities and risks of innovative productsservices, or business models. In collaboration with authorities, companies can evaluate whether the tested innovation is legally compliant, and, if not, how a legally compliant innovation development could look like. By this, regulatory sandboxes enable authorities to understand business models and market developments at an early stage and to adapt the legal framework accordingly.

With experimentation clauses, the legislator allows selective deviations from a current legal ruling. In doing so, the experimentation clause itself does not provide for a different substantive rule, but instead empowers the administration to enact an alternative rule for experimentation. By this, tests for different forms of innovations can be enabled in practice. For further definitions see for example the Interdisciplinary Study “EXTRA LAW – MOBILITY” (Lachmayer, Eisenberger, Rehrl. 2019)

The Next Generation IT-Law conference is organised by young researchers at the Department of Innovation and Digitalisation in Law at the University of Vienna and took place online.

The talk by Thomas Buocz as well as those of the other speakers is now available online: