Legal Innovation in Contracting, and Beyond: Merging Design and Technology Tools for the Information Age

Thomas D. Barton, Helena Haapio, James G. Hazard, Stefania Passera

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


During the Industrial Revolution, the structure and methods of Western legal systems facilitated commercial expansion and technological innovation. But as the Information Age gradually re-shapes pre-conditions for successful innovation, legal systems generally—and contracting in particular—may be obstructing rather than enabling continuing growth. To re-align commercial and technical needs with legal methods, traditional legal systems must themselves innovate. This Chapter highlights three perspectives for imagining legal innovation: first, alternative structures for contracting, like relational/collaborative and outcome/performance-based contracts; second, information design tools like simplification and visualization, and computer coding tools; and finally, systemic measures designed to resolve the kinds of problems that have increasingly challenged traditional legal methods. Throughout, the Chapter adopts the attitudes and methods of Proactive/Preventive Law to untangle the difficult relationship between law and innovation: stronger innovation requires the law to offer diverse methods, flexibly applied, to meet varied contextual needs; and yet any new legal reform must be efficient and feasible as well as effective and just.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMapping Legal Innovation
Subtitle of host publicationTrends and Perspectives
EditorsAntoine Masson, David Orozco
ISBN (Electronic)9783030474478
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2018
MoE publication typeA3 Part of a book or another research book

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