Laws That Regulate International Business
In September 2002, in the magazine Foreign Policy, Kofi Annan, the Secretary-General of the United Nations and recipient of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize, wrote a long article talking about the new globalization of laws:
what binds us into an international community? In the broadest sense, there is a shared vision of a better world for all people. . . there is a sense of common vulnerability in the face of global warming and the threat posed by the spread of weapons of mass destruction. There is the framework of international law, treaties, and human rights conventions (Koffi, 2002, 12).
This paper will focus on international business law only, and will ignore the laws that have to do with crimes such as smuggling, treaty violations, customs fraud, and so on. It can be argued that those are economic crimes, but the most serious forms of redress for violations of these laws are in the criminal court systems.
International economic law is not derived from a single source or even several sources of law; it has its genesis in many. National, regional, and international law (public and private), policy and customary practices are all components of international economic law. "International economic law encompasses a wide spectrum of subjects including trade in goods and services, financial law, economic integration, development law, business regulation and intellectual property. This expansive scope presents a challenge for identifying relevant information" (Radcliff, 2001, 40).
The international law firm of O'Melveny & Myers prepares a small brochure for its clients who wish to begin doing business with another country. There is one table in that brochure that helps put a focus on the complexity of the situation. That table points out that there are 214 countries which have economic relationships with the United States and that there are more than 100,000 laws within those count...