Law Merchant – a system of customary law (modern day U.C.C.) that developed in Europe during the Middle Ages and regulated the dealings of mariners and merchants in the commercial countries of the world until the 17th century

law merchant:
(15c)

1. A system of customary law that developed in Europe during the Middle Ages and regulated the dealings of mariners and merchants in the commercial countries of the world until the 17th century.  *  Many of the law merchant’s principles came to be incorporated into the common law, which in turn formed the basis of the Uniform Commercial Code. — aka commercial law; lex mercatoria. [1]

     Excerpt from Stephan W. Schill’s “Lex Mercatoria,” in 6 The Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law (Rudiger Wolfrum ed., 2012):

     “The term lex mercatoria or law merchant is used to designate the concept of an anational body of legal rules and principles, which are developed primarily by the international business community itself based on custom, industry practice, and general principles of law that are applied in commercial arbitrations . . . in order to govern transactions between private parties, as well as between private parties and States, in transborder trade, commerce, and finance. _It is a reaction to the increased complexities of modern international commerce . . . and the inability of domestic law to provide adequate solutions that stabilize the parties’ mutual rights and obligations. The notion of (ex rnercatoria is mainly used in scholarly writings in private international law; decisions by arbitral tribunals, domestic courts, and commercial contracts use the notion less frequently, even though the concept of an anational body of rules for international commerce is increasingly recognized in legal practice . . . . [2]

References:

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[1]: Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black, Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-61300-4

[2]: Stephan W. Schill, “Lex Mercatoria,” in 6 The Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law 823, 823 (Rudiger Wolfrum ed., 2012).

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