The proposed research will analyze the rising phenomenon of transnational arbitrations between private economic actors and public law bodies as a mechanism of global regulatory governance. It breaks with the prevailing view that arbitration involves no more than settling individual disputes and hypothesizes instead that arbitrators generate the rules governing public-private relations rather independently of specific domestic legal systems and their democratic processes, and thereby prospectively steer and restrict government conduct. The body of law thus crafted by arbitral tribunals is what the project designates as lex mercatoria publica, in allusion to the a-national law generated by arbitral tribunals in international private-private disputes.
Unlike existing research, the proposed project will provide a comprehensive (historic, sociological, political, economic, and legal) perspective on the lex mercatoria publica and explore its legitimacy. It will, by empirically charting the modern and historic practice of private-public arbitration, describe and analyze the content of the lex mercatoria publica and develop, through comparative law research, normative criteria to assess the legitimacy of private-public arbitrations in democratic societies that are based on the rule of law. The research will result in a comprehensive online database and a codification of both the principles of private-public arbitration and of the lex mercatoria publica as developed and applied by arbitral tribunals.
The project will enable arbitrators, judges, and other international and national decision-makers to render more predictable, more circumspect, overall better, and fairer decisions concerning private-public arbitration. This will provide solid foundations for enhancing transnational private-public arbitration as an institution of global regulatory governance in the interest of better and more efficient cooperation between states and private economic actors in the global economy.
Call for proposal
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Funding SchemeERC-SG - ERC Starting Grant