Legal Specification Protocol Development Project
Initial Working Session with a Focus on Computable Contracts

By Invitation Only

WHEN Sept. 8-9, 2017
WHERE Stanford Law School

Legal Specification Protocol Development Project

Initial Working Session with a Focus on Computable Contracts

By Invitation Only



CodeX – The Stanford Center for Legal Informatics hosts a working meeting September 8 - 9, 2017, at Stanford Law School. We will launch a process for developing a Legal Specification Protocol, beginning with an initial focus on computational contracts.

Please register here. To facilitate our planning, please register at your earliest convenience.

Registration is free; individuals will need to cover costs of their own participation, including travel and lodging.

Can’t attend in person? Please indicate when you register - we’re exploring remote participation for portions of the meeting.


Summary Schedule

Friday, September 8, 9am - 5pm: Plenary Session
Paul Brest Hall
Stanford University
555 Salvatierra Walk
Stanford, CA 94305

Saturday, September 9, 9am - 3pm: Working Groups
Paul Brest Hall
Stanford University
555 Salvatierra Walk
Stanford, CA 94305

 

Purpose and Goals

The development of computational law has long been impeded by the lack of broadly adopted, interoperable standards for expressing legal formulations in executable code. The social costs of this failure include diminished access to justice, burdens on entrepreneurship and economic performance, and a less responsive government. There has been progress in particular areas and applications, but until there is a broadly shared, widely expressive approach, realizing the full potential that information technology holds for the rule of law will remain elusive. Computational law is in the “dial up” phase – we need the equivalent of the internet protocol to advance: a Legal Specification Protocol (LSP).

At this meeting, we aim to ignite a process of standard setting to fill this need. Employing computable contracts as an opening use case, we invite the participation of a broad range of stakeholders.

Our meeting will:

  • Review public and private work to date on specifying law in executable form.
  • Frame the elements of a stack of component pieces necessary for usefully specifying contracts in executable form, creating the basic architecture for an LSP.
  • Establish working groups around the elements of the stack and other key components.
  • Determine next steps for advancing the process, including the next convening, funding possibilities, the role of standard setting bodies, and other key components.

The process we envision will:

  • Use computable contracts as an opening use case both for its own sake and because it provides a well-defined, and contained context, within which to work on the broader principles of an LSP.
  • Like the internet, create a public standard within which individual applications can be developed either on an open source or a proprietary basis.
  • Move quickly to specific applications: the project will develop a series of high-quality, open-source software tools so that the public can easily create and implement computable contracts.
  • Seek approaches that can integrate the broad range of existing and legacy standards into a mutually intelligible framework and that can interact with a broad range of application contexts and support a number of programming languages. The protocol will be flexible, extensible, and compatible with existing technologies including blockchain and financial contracting standards, but technologically independent enough to be adaptable to future developments.

Questions and Further Information

For questions, please contact tech@law.stanford.edu. Additional information, including a short descriptive white paper on the application of the LSP to the contractual space, is available at http://www.harrysurden.com/research/CContracts/ComputableContractsSummary.html