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Insularity or Leadership? The Role of the United Kingdom in the Harmonisation of Commercial Law*

  • Roy Goode (a1)

Extract

The last few decades have seen a substantial growth in what has become known as transnational commercial law, by which I mean that body of commercial law principles and rules, from whatever source, which is common to a number of legal systems. The various types of harmonisation fall broadly into four groups, each possessing its own implementing agency:

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1. Saunders, Anthony and Walter, Ingo, Proposed UNIDROIT Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment as applicable to Aircraft Equipment through the Aircraft Equipment Protocol: Economic Impact Assessment (09 1998) p. 32.

2. ‘Coming Together—The Future’ in The Clifford Chance Millennium Lectures, B. S. Markesinis (ed) (Hart Publishing, 2000) at p. 239.

3. Comparative Law (Cambridge University Press, 1949), pp. 157–8. It is not without interest that in the index to the English edition of a leading French textbook on international commercial arbitration the entry under ‘Kompetenz-Kompetenz’ reads: ‘see Competence-Competence’.

4. This article is concerned with private commercial law conventions which are intended to confer rights and duties within the United Kingdom and thus have to be carried into effect in the UK by legislation. Ratification is invariably deferred until after such legislation in order to avoid the risk of the Bill not being passed, resulting in the UK government being in breach of its international obligations, and takes effect at the same time as the Act comes into force. There are, of course, international treaties which are intended to take effect solely in international law. These do not require legislation but UK constitutional practice as crystallised by the 1924 Ponsonby Rule is to lay before both Houses of Parliament for a period of 21 days after signature and before ratification every treaty which is not intended to be enacted or dealt with under some alternative parliamentary procedure.

5. Pigott, Hugh S., ‘Steps Towards the Harmonisation of Collateral Law in Europe’ (2000) JIBFL 347.

6. ‘The Law: An Engine for Trade’, a lecture delivered at the British Academy on 22 Nov. 2000.

7. HL Deb 1964–5, vol 264, cols 1175–6.

9. ‘A New Common Law for Europe’ in The Clifford Chance Millennium Lectures, B. S. Markesinis (ed) 27.

* This article is an updated version of a lecture given on 30 November 2000 (the COMBAR Lecture).

Insularity or Leadership? The Role of the United Kingdom in the Harmonisation of Commercial Law*

  • Roy Goode (a1)

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