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Jurisdictional Choice in International Trade: Implications for Lex Cybernatoria


  • Benson Bruce L.

    (Florida State University)


Lémergence des marchés en Europe de lEst, en Asie et celle du cyber-espace ne se fait pas avec la rapidité que beaucoup dobservateurs voudraient. La lenteur de ce développement provient de lenvironnement institutionnel : les systèmes législatifs ne soutiennent pas les droits de propriété privée et ne font pas plus respecter les contrats. Ainsi, beaucoup soutiennent que les Etats doivent intensifier leurs efforts pour établir un droit commercial. En réalité, il faut réclamer un désengagement de lEtat dans le droit commercial. Tout au long de lhistoire, le recours efficace de lactivité commerciale est toujours provenu dun système polycentrique de droit coutumier avec des querelles résolues par le biais de cours de commerce ou darbitrage eux-mêmes appuyés par des sanctions dostracisme imposées de façon privée, et il en est de même pour le droit commercial international aujourdhui. Nous proposons une description des institutions et des processus du droit commercial international, suivie de discutions sur la nécessité dun droit polycentrique et des caractéristiques du droit coutumier. Finalement, nous expliquons pourquoi nous devrions compter sur un système de droit coutumier polycentrique sans Etat pour lémergence récente des marchés.The emergence of markets in Eastern Europe, Asia, and cyberspace is no occurring as rapidly as many observers would like. Slow development is a function of the institutional environment: legal systems do not support private property rights or enforce contracts. Thus, many contend that states must step up their efforts to establish commercial law. In reality, less state involvement in commercial law is called for. Throughout history effective recourse for commercial activity has been produced through a polycentric system of customary law with disputes resolved through merchant courts or arbitration backed by privately imposed ostracism sanctions, and the same is true for international commercial law today. A description of the institutions and processes of international commercial law is provided, followed by discussions of the desirability of polycentric law and the characteristics of customary law. Finally, an explanation is provided for why a stateless system of polycentric customary law should be relied upon in modern emerging markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Benson Bruce L., 2000. "Jurisdictional Choice in International Trade: Implications for Lex Cybernatoria," Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-32, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:jeehcn:v:10:y:2000:i:1:n:1

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Krecké Elisabeth, 2002. "The Role of Entrepreneurship in Shaping Legal Evolution," Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, De Gruyter, vol. 12(2), pages 1-18, June.
    2. Jean-Michel Josselin & Alain Marciano, 2002. "The Making of the French Civil Code: An Economic Interpretation," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 193-203, November.

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