The Accord Project consortium of legal tech companies, law firms and standards-setting organisations has released its first working prototype for Ergo, a new domain specific language for smart legal contracts.
Ergo is designed to capture the operational details of legal contracts and ‘supports contracts and clauses as first-class elements of the language, allowing lawyers and developers to quickly, easily and safely develop and verify the operation of computable legal contracts‘ said the group.
‘Ergo will advance the state of the art by offering a blockchain neutral, typesafe, formally verifiable programming language that can be compiled to multiple execution targets.’
Cicero, another of Accord’s projects, is the templating structure that comprises a smart legal contract – natural language, a model, and executable logic. Ergo is a way of expressing the latter.
One of the main differences with other smart contract languages is that Ergo focuses on expressing legal contract logic rather than low-level programming. In other words, it features programming constructs specifically designed for legal contracts (e.g. how to declare preconditions to the execution of a specific clause, how to declare contract obligations, how to manipulate the state of the contract).
Also, writing in Ergo means the contract is not tied to a specific blockchain/distributed ledger technology (DLT).
That means, according to Accord, that using Ergo anyone can build a legal contract with ‘smart’ functionality for any platform through a common interface.
Source: Artificial Lawyer