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RHU and Law

One of the difficulties I foresee a co-op platform running into is the difficulty for the average person of understanding, using, and obeying/disobeying laws, in this case in the context of forming and managing organizations. This is especially problematic since each region, country, state/province, county, and municipality does not have exactly the same laws. This could make the formation and management of co-ops difficult or result in organizations without any legal protection/legitimacy.

Does the RHU team have any concerns, solutions, or refutations to/of this?

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My suggestion is to adopt CAcert’s governance structure which creates its own jurisdiction for all civil matters. In practical terms this means everyone creating (and entering into) a community-by-contract in which we all agree to refer all our disputes to our own forum of arbitration.

Setting up your own forum has many advantages, and easily out-performs the alternate. It works across boundaries, it employs our own people as Arbitrators so they are already expert in “our problems”. It defends our people from aggressive legal attacks (costs). It’s really quite familiar in the finance industry, as FIs use it all the time. And, arbitration is fully backed in law in most (approx all) countries.

As an added bonus, lawyers hate it, which tells you you’re onto a good thing.

There are many side-effects that are really valuable as well: because people are under the same jurisdiction, they behave to a higher standard - its as if they leave their dirty tricks at the door. Also, the system is really useful as a sort of administrative catch-all. If you have a problem, ask the Arbitrator to design the solution - creates an entirely new way to create new systems when nobody can figure it out. And it makes the policies so much easier because there is no need to do “exceptions processing” within the policy.


This is excellent!!

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Intriguing. Is their own website the best place to start to look into this?

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The website lists the policies as you have found, but they are a bit dry because they don’t tell you the “why”. Also their has lots more stuff, but again you need to understand the context and/or be part of it to engage.

For the “why” there is a very long and fullsome story that I have written up at:

Especially sections
4: Risks, Liabilities, Obligations
6. Assurance
7. Arbitration

You can almost imagine RHC’s world as being “like” the world of a CA and certificate users… and follow the logic and traps as if applied to a fund and its holders. You might end up at the same place.

Or, perhaps that’s what I’m proposing - copy CAcert means you’re like CAcert.

ps; I tried replying to the notification but it didn’t appear here. Pity!


Great, thanks! Will read asap.

You mean tried to reply to the e-mail notification and it didn’t succeed? Let’s look into that…

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Would be very nice to do email. Logging into portals isn’t my cup of tea, too much hassle with passwords and so forth.


Interesting, glad to see I’m not the only one that sees value in arbitration (of course I didn’t learn about it myself until last week, heh).

The reason I ask is because of another concept I have been tinkering with for about a year now. I have just recently started to do some initial research work on it, reading through basic law books, parsing & abstracting a community land trust charter. Clearly, if we’re going to use contract-based governance for RHU, we will need at least a document assembly solution–which is essentially what I’m building right now (though my prototype uses the .NET stack, it is overwhelmingly HTML5-based and could easily be ported to another server stack).

With a document assembler, new co-ops can just fill in some forms and not have to parse all the legal documents and adjust them as needed. With the more advanced version that I envision in the article, an open-source community could eventually develop a sort of Linux-like system of organizational “software”, modularized legal documents that are actively updated by an open-source community, substantially reducing the barriers to building diverse organizational structures and the risks they face from antagonistic parties.

And with arbitration, there is substantially less need to include the entire legal system, which makes this project well within reach. It looks like the allowed definitions of arbitration allow a nonspecific legal system, so something like “According to Lawtran Specification 1.0” would be suitable to work within the definition of a software system. @Iang, you certainly know more about it, is there anything that arbitration doesn’t cover?


Ryan, you probably want to look at James Hazard’s @CommonAccord project at and also another project called CommonForm that does something similar.

Also, you might want to look at the logic expressed in the Ricardian Contract paper at . Or perhaps easier at for a more dev-focussed guide.


The point of Arbitration is to arrange our affairs with more efficiency ourselves - where we better know the territory. It entirely works in that we can set our rules, and relate it to software. We can specify the code of law (state).

What it typically doesn’t cover is criminal law. In practice this is fine. But even in criminal affairs (!) there are things where Arbitration can assist by for example creating rulings that are done to a legal standard which can then be used as evidence. Also bear in mind the penchant for some agencies to sue in civil court where the standards of evidence are lower. Which is to say, the line isn’t as hard as one would think.


There is a “estate structure course” in one website where they teach how one can create an estate that is not bound by laws and can function independently from them. Same applies to individuals. I am posting this here assuming it might be the very thing that RH and its members intend to become in the future.