Law and the Commons Wiki Project

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Introduction

David Bollier:

"This wiki section is a curation of select documents and websites that deal with the history of commons-based law and emerging legal innovations that seek to empower commoners and protect commons.

Historically, commons have had a problematic relationship with conventional law, which reflects the mindset and priorities of the sovereign (monarch, nation-state, corporation) and not the lived experiences and practices of commoners. Still, there are times in which commoners must grapple with the realities of the sovereign, fight for control over their common wealth and lives of commoning, and develop working legal arrangements with the law.

This is in part what led to the Magna Carta and Charter of the Forest in the early thirteenth century – but it is also what is spurring many commoners today to invent creative new types of law – formal, social, technological – to protect their shared interests, assets and social relationships. This wiki is intended as an introduction to key documents in the history of Law for the Commons, and as a survey of some of the more notable initiatives to invent contemporary forms of commons law in a variety of contexts and locations.

The listings below were compiled by David Bollier, cofounder of the Commons Strategies Group. They were augmented and placed on this wiki by Michel Bauwens, founder of the P2P Foundation and cofounder of the Commons Strategies Group, in collaboration with Stacco Troncoso of Guerrilla Translation."