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Legal codification by software methods
  1. Legal codification has a long history.
  2. Codification is one of the most effective means for improving collaborative relations.
  3. There are many methods:
    1. treaty;
    2. legislation;
    3. rules;
    4. model documents;
    5. master agreements;
    6. precedents;
    This is not intended to be exhaustive.
  4. Despite the usefulness of codification, much of transacting is not codified, including many areas where there are high volumes and low degree of customization.
  5. The entire stack of codification can be handled as a single phenomenon by adopting the methods of open source.
  6. Effects.
  7. It is common to insist that software code and legal code are fundamentally different. It is true that interests systematically oppose in legal text, while many aspects of software do not involve opposing interests. But this difference is of degree and not fundamentally an obstacle. In both cases, texts readable by humans with special training, are used to manage something. In both cases, it is better to start with a text that has a history of success and a community of users. In the case of law, there is an additional reason, of great importance. The text does not run "deterministically" on a machine, it "runs" in the minds of people, and the people whose minds count most are strangers to the transaction - judges, litigators, management, insurers, creditors. Legal text runs socially.