The purpose of the ISCL is to encourage the comparative study of law and legal systems and to seek affiliation with individuals and organisations with complimentary aims. We were established in June 2008 and are recognised by the International Academy of Comparative Law.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

A Plural Account of the Transnational Law Merchant

The Law Merchant is depicted today as a transnational system based on merchant practice operating outside the fabric of national law. It is conceived as cosmopolitan in nature, universal in application, expertly delivered, and independent of other regulatory systems. This article critiques these qualities attributed to the historical as well as present-day Law Merchant. It disputes that it has evolved ‘spontaneously’ out of merchant practice; that it is uniform in nature; and that it transcends national law. It argues instead that the Law Merchant is often fragmentary in nature and subject to disparate national and transnational influences. It challenges, in particular, unitary conceptions of ‘autonomy’ ascribed to the Law Merchant, presenting a pluralistic conception of Law Merchant ‘autonomy’ instead. It illustrates these arguments in relation to the so-called Cyberspace Law Merchant and to transnational commercial arbitration.

Trakman, Leon, A Plural Account of the Transnational Law Merchant (May 14, 2012). (2011) 2(3) Transnational Legal Theory 309–345; UNSW Law Research Paper No. 2012-19.