Constitution with escalation to decentralized court

Overview of decentralized court escalation systems to enforce constitutions in protocol governance

Decentralized courts

Some key examples include Kleros, Aragon court and Q blockchain.

Both Kleros and Aragon court are Ethereum-based dispute resolution mechanisms leveraging juries.

Q includes dispute resolution as well as enacting governance decisions through its own blockchain network, using DPoS.

See: Decentralized Justice: A Comparative Analysis of Blockchain Online Dispute Resolution Projects

  • Source:
  • Authors: Aouidef Yann, Ast Federico, Deffains Bruno
  • Year: 2021
  • Description: This article offers a review of the decentralized justice industry and of the key players participating in it. It presents a number of key dimensions of the industry and reviews the mechanism design choices made by these different platforms. Finally, it discusses a growth hypothesis for the industry and how it may grow in the future.

Arbitration escalation

Arbitration escalation for off-chain decisions consists of invoking a decentralized court to settle the decision on-chain, for instance, by enacting or reverting a token transfer.

Off-chain decisions optimistically executed on-chain

One such instance of arbitration escalation is permitting off-chain decisions, such as Snapshot proposal votes, to be implemented on-chain. Subsequently, these decisions are subject to a challenge period, during which they can be adjudicated upon by the decentralized court.

See the Kleros Snapshot Module:

Constitutions with arbitration escalation

Using the same principle as optimistic on-chain execution of off-chain decisions, digital constitutions can be used as a basis to enact decisions on-chain.

The Lean Governance Thesis (Pocket Network)

This structure invokes the three branches of government (legislative, executive, judicial) and delegates the constitutionality-checking of the judicial branch to an Aragon Court that checks against on off-chain constitution:

Tentative design: force constitutional compliance of proposals

A very basic design based on proposals might be as follows:

  • A proposal is successfully voted upon.
  • Following this, a challenge period commences during which anyone can challenge the proposal’s constitutionality, provided they are willing to risk a stake.
  • If a challenge arises, a decentralized court is invoked.
  • If the court judges the proposal to be unconstitutional, the proposal is canceled. Depending on the outcome, the challenger either loses their stake or gets it refunded.