Privatizing Commercial Law

6 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2001

See all articles by Gillian K. Hadfield

Gillian K. Hadfield

University of Toronto; Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence; OpenAI; Center for Human-Compatible AI


History offers many examples of legal regimes that were designed and administered by private entities. These examples offer insight into how we might develop competitive, private legal regimes that are efficient, cost-effective, and suitable to the economy of today. Democratic legitimacy does impose limits on the extent to which we can use private legal regimes to direct the state's coercive powers. But the state can legitimately delegate significant areas of the law to private entities, especially the areas governing relationships between corporate entities. Privatizing commercial law is not a simple task, but we should do so because it holds the promise of significantly decreasing the cost of law.

Suggested Citation

Hadfield, Gillian K., Privatizing Commercial Law. Available at SSRN: or

Gillian K. Hadfield (Contact Author)

University of Toronto ( email )

78 Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5
4169784214 (Phone)

Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence ( email )

OpenAI ( email )

Center for Human-Compatible AI ( email )

310 Barrows Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

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