The Fragmentation of International Trade Law
Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC); Tilburg Law School; Harvard Law School
February 18, 2010
TILEC Discussion Paper No. 2010-010
The fragmentation of general international law is not a new phenomenon. Nevertheless, it is a sign of our era and essentially results from the legal pluralism that characterizes it. Increasing adjudication also makes the study of this concept even more fascinating. The phenomenon of fragmentation manifests itself with particular tension in international trade law. Private interests and commercial transactions can be irreversibly affected by the absence of legal security or, worse, by the existence of contradictory rulings delivered by adjudicating bodies, which constantly compete for increasing jurisdiction and thus influence. This article reviews the discussion of fragmentation of international law and critically analyzes the problem of absence of coherence in regulating trade. By focusing on adjudication, permissible sources of law, and interpretation, it argues for more openness towards non-trade law when interpreting trade rules.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 26
JEL Classification: F02, F13, F15, F18, F53, K33
Date posted: February 20, 2010 ; Last revised: October 24, 2010
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