[The Com­mons Con­ser­van­cy] is a foun­da­tion (“s­ticht­ing”) es­tab­lished un­der the law of The Nether­lands on Oc­to­ber 21st 2016. It has a rather unusu­al le­gal in­fras­truc­ture, which it gov­erns through an in­tri­cate sys­tem of reg­u­la­tion­s. By law the whole sys­tem is boot­strapped through its statutes, which are more or less stan­dard le­gal boil­er­plate for an or­gan­i­sa­tion of its type, with the not­ed ex­cep­tion of the fol­low­ing:

  • [The Com­­mons Con­ser­­van­­cy] has a for­­mal method of pub­­lish­ing it­s reg­u­la­­tion­s, the doc­u­­ments that de­scribe its in­­ter­­nal op­er­a­­tions and pro­ce­­dures as well as how the in­­ter­­nal al­lo­­ca­­tion of rights to in­­­tan­gi­ble as­sets such as copy­­rights is made. This is im­­por­­tan­t, be­­cause Pro­­grammes with­­in [The Com­­mons Con­ser­­van­­cy] can move out again un­der­ cer­­tain con­di­­tions - at which point it needs to be clear who is en­ti­­tled to what.

  • A reg­u­la­­tion on­­ly en­ters in­­­to ef­­fect when it is pub­­lished as part of the DRACC se­ries, which stands for “Di­rec­­tives and Reg­u­la­­to­ry Archive of The Com­­mons Con­ser­­van­­cy”. This is a very com­pre­hen­­sive sys­tem that is de­signed to deal with many sit­u­a­­tions that arise ­­dur­ing the life­­cy­­cle of Pro­­grammes.

    It would not make sense to re­­peat the in­­­for­­ma­­tion here which is ­­con­­tained in the in­­tro­­duc­­to­ry DRACC (ap­t­­ly called “In­­tro­­duc­­tion to the DRACC Se­ries“), but it is im­­por­­tant to know that once pub­­lished, reg­u­la­­tion­s ­­can­not be changed but can (although on­­ly in some cas­es) be ­­su­per­seded.

  • the way Pro­­grammes and oth­­er bod­ies with­­in [The Com­­mons Con­ser­­van­­cy] are gov­­erned, is au­thor­i­­ta­­tive­­ly de­scribed by reg­u­la­­tions as well. This cre­ates a re­cur­­sive mech­a­nism that al­lows a lot of flex­i­­bil­i­­ty when need­ed, whilst the mech­a­nism of mak­ing cer­­tain ­­parts im­­mutable adds the nec­es­sary rigid­i­­ty.

  • the above pro­vi­­sions are them­­selves an im­­mutable part of the statutes of [The Com­­mons Con­ser­­van­­cy] and can­not ev­er be changed.

  • (by de­sign) the foun­­da­­tion can­not hold mon­ey, and is even s­­tatu­­to­ri­­ly for­bid­­den to cre­ate a bank ac­­count (which mean­s there is no po­si­­tion of chan­cel­lor in the Board of the ­­foun­­da­­tion (there is no need for such a po­si­­tion).

  • [The Com­­mons Con­ser­­van­­cy] can have so called ‘af­­fil­i­ates‘, the s­­ta­­tus and roles of which are de­ter­mined by (a­­gain) reg­u­la­­tion­s. This al­lows to for­­mal­­ly an­­chor spe­­cif­ic peo­­ple roles with­­in the ­­foun­­da­­tion (such as an om­budsper­­son) and with­­in its in­­di­vid­u­al pro­­grammes, should such a thing be nec­es­sary.

  • [The Com­­mons Con­ser­­van­­cy] can­not dis­­­solve it­­self with­­out first ­­giv­ing a full year pub­­lic no­tice.

Other aspects

The rest of the statutes of [The Com­mons Con­ser­van­cy] is rather un­spec­tac­u­lar. In sum­ma­ry:

  • the foun­da­tion is gov­erned by a Board, which can es­tab­lish oth­er ­bod­ies such as com­mit­tees and coun­cils
  • there are be­tween three and sev­en board mem­bers
  • board mem­bers are ap­point­ed by the board
  • they serve a term of three years, and can be re-­elect­ed for a lim­it­ed amount of times
  • votes with­in the board are made with a sim­ple ma­jor­i­ty, apart from changes to the mu­ta­ble part of the statutes which re­quire una­nim­i­ty.

All reg­u­la­tions are in En­glish, the orig­i­nal statutes are in Dutch. If y­ou are lin­guis­ti­cal­ly chal­lenged when it comes to un­der­stand­ing the ­Dutch le­gal fras­ing, and have any ques­tions with re­gards to the s­tatutes, af­ter check­ing the FAQ just con­tact legalques­tions [@] ­com­mon­scon­ser­van­cy.org.