Chapter 13: Transnational Commercial Law, Multi-level Legal Systems, and Evolutionary Economics
Wolfgang Kerber 1. INTRODUCTION Markets need a complex set of institutions in order to work properly. Within a state, the national legal order with its legal rules, courts, and enforcement agencies have the task of fulfilling this role. Besides safeguarding property rights, the national legal order encompasses (1) the facilitating of market transactions by offering enabling (facilitative) law (as legal standard solutions) and helping private parties to enforce contracts within the domain of freedom of contract, and (2) the regulation of market transactions for solving or mitigating market failures problems and achieving other policy objectives. A comparable consistent legal system is missing on the international level for ensuring the working of global markets and the governance of cross-border transactions. However, the dynamic process of globalization has brought about the development of a number of new institutional solutions for solving these problems. The most prominent issue is the regulation of international markets (‘global governance’). This chapter, however, will focus on the evolution of institutions for the enforcement of contracts for cross-border transactions between firms. Although there have always been institutional solutions for the governance of cross-border contracts (lex mercatoria), in recent years, a number of new governance solutions for the enforcement of cross-border transactions have emerged (‘transnational commercial law’).1 The increasing use of choice of law, private governance instead of private law (provided by states), and private arbitration instead of public courts are the most important characteristics of this development. This also includes hybrids as new combinations between private and...
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