The book offers a theoretically justified and pragmatic concept of the so-called 'lex mercatoria' contributing to the debate concerning the existence of this law as an autonomous, a-national and universal legal system established by trade practice.
This new work equips commercial arbitrators and counsel with a formula to 'recognise' and apply a rule of the lex mercatoria in practice. It argues that a rule of the lex mercatoria is established if there is a majority congruent behaviour within the business community followed out of fear of criticism and a willingness to criticise others in case of deviation. This two element test increases legal certainty and potentially reduces the time and costs of proving the rule.
Case studies are included to illustrate the practical implications of the analysis and more difficult issues such as burden of proof, admissible evidence and the role of written harmonisation measures are also considered. The approach adopted in the book reduces the elusiveness of the concept and offers an analysis which makes the lex mercatoria clearer for scholars and more attractive for practitioners.
Orsolya Toth, Associate, Allen and Overy LLP Dr Orsolya Toth is an Associate in the International Arbitration Group at Allen & Overy. She was educated at Keble College, Oxford where she obtained her DPhil, MPhil and MJur degrees. She was awarded the Allen & Overy Prize for best performance in Transnational Commercial Law during the BCL/MJur examinations at Oxford. She has acted as counsel on numerous commercial and investment treaty arbitrations in a range of industry sectors. Dr Toth is the author of several articles in the field of legal harmonisation and arbitration.
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