Reinventing Law for the Commons

Commons Strategies Group
For free
Place of publication
Date of Publication
September 2015
Number of Pages

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.


Table of contents

I. The Purpose of this Memo

II. Legal Innovations in Beating the Bounds: Nine Promising Fields of Action

  1. Indigenous Commons
  2. Subsistence Commons in the Global South
  3. Digital Commons
  4. Stakeholder Trusts
  5. Co-operative Law
  6. Urban Commons
  7. Localism
  8. New Organizational Forms
  9. 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

Shopping cart

Your cart is empty.