After years of developing their research methodology, sending out questionnaires, waiting for responses, and compiling results, the authors produced a rich two-volume analysis on the Common Core of Contract Formation (1968).
Here are some screenshots that demonstrate the payoff of this type of multi-jurisdictional analysis. See eg ICJ Statute, Article 38(1)(c).
Schlesinger & Co. might have been puzzled by the far-right column in the table above, containing “Smart Contracts” ~ Ks.
But after running those forms through several streams of functionalist analysis, they would have likely concluded — like the UK Jurisdiction Taskforce — that SCs may be Ks. This may seem like an utterly boring and technical legalistic point, but it actually goes to the heart of whether blockchain parties can opt-out of different legal orders — and, specifically, how.
There are many more valuable takeaways from Schlesinger’s work for blockchain contract builders and theorists today.
Here’s a point written 50 years ago that is especially relevant today:
It follows that in the area of formation of contracts the legal rules embodied in diverse legal systems are much less likely to be displaced by the parties’ autonomous arrangements than in other areas of contract law. Thus, it is submitted, the practical significance of those rules and the need for their comparative study are particularly great in this area. (p. 20, emphasis added)