The Bolero Rulebook
The Bolero Rulebook is a common user agreement entered into between all the parties using the Bolero System. It ensures that all users adhere to a set of common ‘rules of the road’ so that if you send or receive a Bolero message you understand what that means. As a legally binding agreement, the Rulebook deals with the precise language typically seen in contracts as this is required to ensure legal certainty.
Why do we need the Rulebook?
A detailed set of rules and laws has built up over many years dealing with traditional paper-based transactions and messages. The origins of these rules and laws are varied (legal precedent, statute, commonly accepted customs and practices). These rules are not standard – there is variation from country to country.
As the world moves quickly into the electronic age the pace of change means that the rules and practices cannot keep pace with that change so it is necessary for the parties to agree on what those rules and laws are in a contractual agreement. (This approach is already recognised by international law and rulemaking bodies – for example, the United Nations with the Rotterdam Rules and the International Chamber of Commerce with eUCP).
The guiding principle of the rulebook is ‘light touch’. Its objective is to include only those rules that are required to make the electronic messaging work (from a legal point of view) in the same way that paper-based Q transactions do. Current rules and laws are not perfect and there is considerable variation on how certain matters are dealt with in different countries. The rulebook is not designed to address legal standardisation of rules and laws in all contexts, simply those that relate to the media used. Businesses involved in international trade should have the freedom to choose how they do business and how they handle the risks of that business.
What does the Rulebook cover?
In addition to the eBL, the Rulebook covers matters concerning the sending and receiving of messages. For example, a user is responsible for messages sent that have been signed using that user’s digital signature and that all users agree that they will not contest the validity of a message on the grounds that it is sent in electronic form. Other important rules deal with the presumption of 3 sending and receiving a message and these are closely linked to Bolero’s technology. The non-eBL terms of the Rulebook are not unusual and closely resemble the types of clauses seen in individual bilateral agreements covering the use of electronic document communication. The close relationship between the Bolero Rulebook and the Bolero technology provides a more robust and universally applicable rulebook eliminating the need for individual bilateral agreements between parties.