OASIS LegalXML eContracts TC

The original Call For Participation for this TC may be found at http://lists.oasis-open.org/archives/tc-announce/200207/msg00007.html

The charter for this TC is as follows.


The name of the committee shall be the OASIS LegalXML eContracts Technical Committee (eContracts TC) within the LegalXML Member Section of OASIS.

The Technical Committee may constitute the subcommittees or other groupings as shall appear necessary and appropriate to carrying out the Technical Committee's purpose.

Statement of Purpose


The eContracts Technical Committee exists to develop open XML standards for the markup of contract documents to enable the efficient creation, maintenance, management, exchange and publication of contract documents and contract terms.

Language and Applicable Legal Domain

The scope of the eContracts TC will be focused upon contracts in the Anglo-American legal domain, including other common-law based systems. It is expected that the TC will assume English language usage in the XML and, to the extent it is relevant to the work of the TC, in the language of the underlying contracts as well. However, given the International overlay of this topic, the TC may, at its discretion and convenience, deal with other legal systems and language domains.


(i). The core scope of this activity will be to the creation of DTD(s) / schema(s) that can be used by parties:

  1. Negotiating and finalizing contracts in an application neutral format;
  2. Exchanging contract contents as valid XML;
  3. Automating processing of contract content, for example for use in contract management applications;
  4. To support the production of human readable output documents; and
  5. To facilitate the use of reusable or boilerplate information within a contract.

(ii). The TC shall also define a data model or models that describe documents forming legal contracts.

(iii). To support this scope, the TC shall seek to capture the business requirements of end users of the proposed standards.

(iv). To help achieve this scope, the Contracts TC will facilitate, monitor, assess and publicize tests and demonstrations of TC data models & and DTD(s)/Schema(s).

(v). To propose adoption of particular developed model(s) & and DTD(s)/Schema(s) as LegalXML/OASIS-Contracts standards.

(vi). Define the charter for subsequent work once (1 - 4) have been achieved.

(vii). Given the dynamic and fast evolving nature of eContracts at this time, it may become necessary to amend this scope during the life of the TC. Any such amendment will not be entertained for light or transient causes.

Requirements Definition

A. The eContracts TC will conduct a formal and comprehensive process to verify the initial requirements definition in this section. That process will include identification of relevant end-users and their needs, including determining the extent to which downstream users such as courts and other dispute resolution providers may impact requirements for the work of this TC.

B. The eContracts TC will use sample contracts that any proposed DTD(s)/Schema(s) and data model(s) must be able to represent, along with the information in those contracts to be marked up.

C. It is initially believed that the eContracts TC has the following requirements:

(i). XML compliant syntax shall be used for representing the contract documents.

(ii). W3C and OASIS specifications, as well as, ISO or other appropriate standards shall be used.

(iii). A set of XML Core Components shall be specified that can be used universally by all eContracts DTD(s)/Schema(s). These component specifications may include elements and attributes (e.g. unique identifiers, creation dates, etc.), as appropriate.

List of Deliverables

A. The eContracts TC shall define business requirements of end-users and reflect them in the TC's scope of work. The initial requirements definition above shall be the starting point and shall be verified and amended as needed.

B. The eContracts TC shall complete one or more data models meeting the requirements specified in this Charter.

C. The eContracts TC shall complete one or more DTD(s) and/or Schema(s) meeting the requirements specified in this Charter and deriving from the specified data model(s).

D. The TC shall create a "data dictionary" which provides the intended meaning of each element, attribute or other component of the final specification.

E. The TC shall create documents using sample contracts, marked up according to the DTD(s)/Schema(s) developed by this TC.

F. Beyond creating the e-contract data model(s) and DTD(s)/Schema(s), the TC may provide users various 'template stylesheets', CSS, XSLT, XSL-FO to provide them with a 'starting point' to modify and create their own.

Standing Rules

The eContracts Technical Committee will follow the operating rules of OASIS and any operating rules adopted by the LegalXML Member Section Steering Committee with the approval of OASIS management and the OASIS Board of Directors.

In addition, the Technical Committee will abide by the following practices:

  1. All decisions on a Committee specification of a standard will be made by vote of 2/3 or higher.
  2. All decisions made subject to ratification or rejection by the full membership of the Technical Committee on the list serve.
  3. All email discussions concerning the technical work of the Technical Committee and its subcommittees will take place on OASIS supported list serves.
  4. One member of the Technical Committee and of each subcommittee will serve as ombudsman to monitor the public list for that entity and provide input from the public list to the committee and subcommittee discussions.
  5. In no event shall this Technical Committee finalize or approve any technical specification if the use, distribution, or implementation of such specification would necessarily require the unauthorized infringement of any third party rights, and such third party has not agreed to provide necessary license rights on perpetual, royalty-free, non-discriminatory terms.