Interpreting Images in Contracts
Marcelo Corrales, Helena Haapio and Mark Fenwick (eds), Research Handbook on Contract Design, Forthcoming in 2022, Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd.
Posted: 7 Feb 2021 Last revised: 5 May 2022
Date Written: November 27, 2020
Contracts and the law seek to remove uncertainty and provide predictability. Contracting parties need clarity as to their performance, roles, rights and duties. For lawyers, predictability is also about predicting how a contract, intertwined with the applicable law, will be interpreted and applied if a legal dispute arises. The increasing use of images in contracts can enhance the parties’ shared understanding and remove the need for legal interpretation. But when the need arises, images raise new questions: for centuries, contracts’ legal interpretation has been about the text – now there is a need to interpret images embedded in contracts, either alone or in combination with text. This chapter explores the needs and expectations of contracts’ different audiences and how they could be better aligned at the contract design stage, so as to guide and shape business and legal users’ image interpretation, provide predictability and prevent unnecessary disputes.
Keywords: Contract design, Design patterns, Coding and decoding of meaning, Proactive Law, Text/image relationships, Visualization
JEL Classification: K12
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation