The Many Layers and Dimensions of Contract Design
Research Handbook on Contract Design (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2022).
16 Pages Posted:
Date Written: September 18, 2021
This chapter introduces the many layers and dimensions of contract design. In the past, for legal scholars, it may have been a synonym for planning or drafting contracts around regulatory requirements and default rules, with a focus on preparing for litigation. While the topic has many nuances depending on the context, the views presented in this chapter are all tied together with a common factor: contracts need to be designed, not just drafted. They are no longer the monopoly of any single profession alone and they cannot remain disconnected from digital processes and technological developments. We advocate a user-centric approach to make contracts better by design for all stakeholders in the contracting community: better at serving the goals and needs both of contracting organizations and the people who work with contracts. This introductory chapter presents contracts as core communication tools and business-critical economic instruments, and not merely as legal instruments.
Keywords: contract design, legal design, user-centric approach, communication, contract technology, proactive law
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