Transnational Commercial Law


In order to create a legal framework which supports transnational commerce, the focus should be on a bottom-up approach to ensure that the needs of commerce are properly taken into account. Failing that, one should do more to promote the lex mercatoria. Top-down approaches do not facilitate transnational commerce.

The main text book used for the module are:
Goode, Kronke, Mckendrick and Wool, Transnational Commercial Law (Oxford University Press, 2007); and
Goode, Kronke, Mckendrick and Wool, Transnational Commercial Law – Primary Materials (Oxford University Press, 2007)

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Transnational Commercial Law

The laws controlling international business transactions have an extensive impact. As markets become gradually globalized, companies of all designs become global. The exchange of human resources, services, and goods across national borders ceased to be the reserve of extensive multinational businesses and intercontinental corporations. International commercial laws can influence any industrial entity with several interactions that go beyond national borders. Transnational commercial law or international commercial law refers to the body of regulations that dictate global sale transactions[1]. Transactions can only qualify to be transnational if they apply to more than one country. After World War II, international trade has developed considerably as more and more entrepreneurs perceive the rising significance of transnational commercial law[2].

International trade plays a major role in world development especially through the incorporation of global markets. Within the international trade context, the term ‘lex mercatoria’ is of significance as it refers to that aspect of transnational commercial law that is undocumented, comprising of conventional commercial law; customary laws of evidence and practice; and universal principles of commercial law. Lex mercatoria embodies commercial law that was followed by merchants throughout Europe during the Middle Ages[3]. This set of laws stressed on contractual autonomy and compliance with the principle of limited liability, while ignoring legal procedures and deciding cases based on morals. A unique aspect was the dependence by traders on a legal system created and managed by them. Under this system of lex mercatoria, trade thrived and states realized large amounts of revenue in the form of taxation[4].

In the transnational commerce context, several elements come into play that makes this kind of business different from the conventional domestic trade that occurs at a lower level. The legal framework of the international commerce comprises……….

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