This Friday I will be presenting a paper at the EUSA AP Conference “Reassessing the EU-Asia Pacific Relationship in the context of the EU crisis”. The conference will take place this Friday and Saturday at Ho Yin Convention Centre, University of Macau. My paper is entitled: “Legal globalization in an interconnected world: Contract Law as a promoter of international trade”.
Here is the abstract: In international trade the differences relating to the applicable legal rules, namely costs related with the difficulty in finding out about the provisions of an applicable foreign Contract Law, obtaining legal advice and negotiating the applicable Law have the effect of a ‘tax’. Therefore, the reduction of costs related to Contract Law in international transactions is one of the main purposes of several entities that pursue the enhancement of international trade. A good example of this is the recent Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on a Common European Sales Law. Given the financial crisis that is currently shaking Europe, the European Commission seems eager to implement the legal instrument as a strategy to provide a targeted boost to growth and employment. Current efforts towards the harmonization of European Contract Law might also (even though such purpose is not clearly assumed) be driven by the need to compete with the United States and China, where harmonization is more advanced and apparently more successful. In our paper we aim to discuss the role of harmonization and standardization of Contract Law as a measure to promote international trade and economic development. We will also analyse how traders have been dealing with the diversity of legal regimes through other mechanisms such as the development of standardized contracts. Our purpose is to consider the following questions: what lessons may the Asia Pacific region learn from the European process of legal harmonisation? Should this region enter into a similar process? What is more, should these two regions use the mechanisms of Contract Law as a tool to promote trade and overcome the current financial crisis?