Transnational Law, Evolving
This paper is a chapter in Jan Smits (ed.), Encyclopedia of Comparative Law (2nd ed., 2012, Edward Elgar), 899-925.
27 Pages Posted: 22 Dec 2011 Last revised: 25 Aug 2014
Date Written: December 15, 2011
This chapter is the substantively revised and expanded version of the original contribution to the first edition of the Elgar Encyclopedia of Comparative Law (J.Smits, ed. 2006, 738-754). It reviews and discusses the theoretical scholarship of transnational law, going back to Philip Jessup’s introduction of the term in the 1950s and tracing it to the present day. The chapter highlights the relevance and potential of transnational law – as a method of law and legal theory rather than as distinct or even new ‘field’ of law. It is therefore appropriate to investigate the processes and forms of transnationalization as they have changed important areas of law. The chapter focuses, in particular, on commercial law with an emphasis on the so-called law merchant, or the lex mercatoria, on corporate law and corporate governance regulation, international human rights law and transnational human rights litigation, comparative and transnational constitutionalism, transnational legal anthropology as well as the more recent emergence of ‘global administrative law’. It closes with a few reflections on the impact of this transformation of law on current attempts of curriculum reform and law school competition.
Keywords: Transnational Law, Regulation, Global Governance, Corporate Law, Administrative Law, lex mercatoria, legal pluralism, comparative constitutional law, human rights, legal education
JEL Classification: K30
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation