For the reasons set out in the IACCM Contract Principles, the contract forms and clauses at CommonAccord are intended to provide a base for contracting among parties. In addition, these materials are made available in the way of open source software, which allows easy sharing and improvement.

There are many perspectives from which to approach contract standards. The IACCM Contract Principles approach standards from the perspective of refining and defining basic contracting ideas.  Analytic software approaches standards by finding common denominators in collections of actual contracts.  “Legal Design” approaches standards from the perspective of communication with users.  Model forms projects create complete solutions for sharply-defined uses.

The joining point of these efforts can be said to be an outline of the ideas and kinds of documents that express the ideas.  The outline:

  • should be organized to correspond to basic ideas;
  • have actual forms and clauses arranged on it, as in systems such as KM Standards and RAVN; and
  • be presented to the parties in a simple and compelling way that allows direct use and can be complemented with guidance and other aids to decision.

Such a shared system should “learn” — become better over time — from the experience of participants, the teachings of analytics and the interventions of experts.

The system should fit with two critical trends in IT:

  • “distributed access control,” such as UMA; and
  • “smart contracts.”

We suggest a starting point for the outline would be a list of some common contract types, each one populated with a list of common section headings …. (to be continued).