[Openid-specs-fapi] "SHALL" vs. "MUST"

Brian Costello BCostello at yodlee.com
Wed Dec 7 00:03:59 UTC 2016

I ran this by a couple of contract lawyers I trust.

They use "shall"  to create ambiguity because it can mean "may" or "will".  "Must" has no ambiguity.   It also connects with rights and responsibilities.  "Must" is a responsibility and "shall" is a right, which is why there can be ambiguity.  One doesn't have to do the "shall" thing, even if there a right to do so.

It also really hinges on jurisdiction and how they have interpreted shall.


-----Original Message-----
From: Openid-specs-fapi [mailto:openid-specs-fapi-bounces at lists.openid.net] On Behalf Of Preibisch, Sascha H via Openid-specs-fapi
Sent: Tuesday, December 06, 2016 9:01 AM
To: Financial API Working Group List <openid-specs-fapi at lists.openid.net>
Subject: [Openid-specs-fapi] "SHALL" vs. "MUST"

Hi all!

I just had a chat with a colleague and he said:

- you know Sascha, I hate to read 'shall' in specifications. I then never know if a product supports it

So my question is: what is the reason for using "shall" instead of "must"?


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