This Strategy Memorandum is a first attempt to survey the more significant realms of commons-based legal innovation occurring today. Besides providing a rough inventory of more than sixty projects and theaters of legal innovation, David Bollier proposes that these disparate initiatives be conceptualized as a new strategic framing, “Law for the Commons.”
The essential goal of this body of law is to develop novel legal forms that can incubate, maintain and defend commons. A related goal is to use the banner of “Commons Law” to help federate isolated players in this sprawling, emergent realm (commons-based social and political struggle) to strengthen their collective impact through the use of law. If we’re serious about catalyzing systemic change, we need to start articulating a coherent vision and provide specific legal and policy mechanisms for achieving it.
The Strategy Memo is presented in a wiki format for easy access here.
I. The Purpose of this Memo
II. Legal Innovations in Beating the Bounds: Nine Promising Fields of Action
- Indigenous Commons
- Subsistence Commons in the Global South
- Digital Commons
- Stakeholder Trusts
- Co-operative Law
- Urban Commons
- New Organizational Forms
- Re-imagining State Policy to Empower Commons
III. The Strategic Value of Developing Law for the Commons
IV. Next Steps
Appendix A: Some Notable People Developing Law for the Commons