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Global Law: The Spontaneous, Gradual Emergence of a New Legal Order

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Chapter Summary

This chapter argues that the debate over whether international law can apply to non-state actors misses the point. The distinction between international and global law is not an entirely clean one. They can even coexist within a single instrument, as in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). One still lives in an essentially Westphalian world order, so global law continues to depend on the operation of national legal processes: treaties must be ratified by states and model laws implemented by their legislatures; standards must be adopted by national regulatory agencies; the decisions of international tribunals must be enforced in state courts. Since global law emerges largely as a reaction to socio-economic conditions, its emergence is largely driven by individuals and organizations that are independent of governments. International arbitration is currently the most dynamic source of new global commercial law.

Keywords: global commercial law; global law; international arbitration; international law; international tribunals; UNCLOS; Westphalian world order



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