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Courts, Tribunals, and Legal Unification - The Agency Problem

Paul B. Stephan III

University of Virginia School of Law

December 2002

Univ. of Virginia Law & Econ Research Paper No. 02-16

I discuss the roles of adjudication bodies in promoting the unification of law. Then I clarify the redistributive dimensions of unification projects. Working within the familiar framework of game theory as applied to international relations, I distinguish between the coordination and defection problems that underlie most international interactions. I argue that adjudication bodies have the ability to generate solutions to some coordination problems, but face major obstacles when seeking to implement stable solutions to others, and to many defection problems. The difficulties vary depending on the types of adjudication bodies involved, but each type has its own drawbacks. I offer examples from a range of current unification projects - carriage of goods, antitrust, and environmental law - to illustrate how application problems can frustrate unification.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 21

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Date posted: November 26, 2002  

Suggested Citation

Stephan, Paul B., Courts, Tribunals, and Legal Unification - The Agency Problem (December 2002). Chicago Journal of International Law, Vol. 3, No. 2, p. 333, Fall 2002. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=353240 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.353240

Contact Information

Paul B. Stephan III (Contact Author)
University of Virginia School of Law ( email )
580 Massie Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States
434-924-7098 (Phone)
434-924-7536 (Fax)

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