"I realise that some of my criticisms may be mistaken; but to refuse to criticize judgements for fear of being mistaken is to abandon criticism altogether... If any of my criticisms are found to be correct, the cause is served; and if any are found to be incorrect the very process of finding out my mistakes must lead to the discovery of the right reasons, or better reasons than I have been able to give, and the cause is served just as well." -Mr. HM Seervai, Preface to the 1st ed., Constitutional Law of India.

Monday, February 1, 2010

SSRN Articles

Rafael Leal-Arcas, The Multilateralization of International Investment Law,
Abstract:     
This article explores whether a multilateral investment treaty is necessary and possible in the framework of foreign direct investment (FDI) law or whether the current multifaceted and multilayered system of bilateral and regional investment agreements should be retained. This article aims to study existing investment regimes with a view toward creating a multilateral investment framework. This goal, however, does not suggest that current bilateral and regional investment regimes should be replaced or that the existing regimes are inadequate. The article analyzes foreign direct investment from an economic, development, and political perspective. The article then reviews the chronological evolution of FDI regulation, followed by an overview of the current principles and rules of FDI. As a necessary next step, the article examines the support for a multilateral investment framework. The main reasons behind such a framework are twofold: the current fragmented international investment regime may encourage regulatory competition among the various models of international investment agreements; and investor-state arbitration is causing issues of inconsistency of arbitral awards as well as forum shopping in dispute resolution. Finally, the article identifies policy considerations for a future multilateral investment framework. The article concludes that the World Trade Organization (WTO) has the opportunity here to incorporate years of experience of bilateral and regional investment agreements and develop a multilateral agreement for investment. Such an agreement in the WTO context would not replace current investment regulatory regimes, but could clarify the relationship among the General Agreement on Trade in Services, the Agreement on Trade-Related Investment Measures, and bilateral investment treaties. 


Abstract:     
This paper develops and tests a model of self-interested judicial behavior to explore the pheno-menon of judicial dissents, and in particular what we call “dissent aversion,” which sometimes causes a judge not to dissent even when he disagrees with the majority opinion. We examine dissent aversion using data from both the federal courts of appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court. Our empirical findings are consistent with the predictions of the model. In the court of appeals, the frequency of dissents is negatively related to the caseload and positively related to ideological diversity among judges in the circuit and circuit size (i.e., the fewer the judges, the greater the collegiality costs of dissenting and therefore, other things being equal, the fewer dissents). We also find that dissents increase the length of majority opinions (imposing collegiality costs by making the majority work harder) and are rarely cited either inside or outside the circuit (reducing the value of dissenting to dissenters). In the Supreme Court, we find that the dissent rate is negatively related to the caseload and positively related to ideological differences, that majority opinions are longer when there is a dissent and that dissents are rarely cited in either the courts of appeals or the Supreme Court. 


Abstract:     
This is a full English translation of the Commercial Code of the Macau Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China. The Code was approved in 1999 and was amended in 2000 and 2009.  


Abstract:     
This article addresses the issues related to specialized courts, specifically focusing on business courts, and provides a comprehensive overview of the evolution of non-Delaware business courts. After addressing the theoretical assumptions of and civil justice goals served by business courts, the article proposes a framework to evaluate and measure the success of business courts by focusing on efficiency, quality of decision-making, and the perception of due process. The article surveys existing business courts and undertakes a comparative analysis of their structural elements: case subject matter, jurisdiction, minimum damages thresholds, and transfer procedures. The article then analyzes the existing programs under the proposed framework by comparing program elements that demonstrate efficiency, such as case management programs, demonstrate quality, such as low reversal rates, and demonstrate due process, such as publication of opinions.


Abstract:     
English Contract Law has long struggled to understand the effect of a fundamental common mistake in contract formation. Bell v. Lever Brothers Ltd. [1932] A.C. 161 recognises that a common mistake which totally undermines a contract renders it void. Solle v. Butcher [1950] 1 K.B. 671 recognises a doctrine of ‘mistake in equity’ under which a serious common mistake in contract formation falling short of totally undermining the contract could give an adversely affected party the right to rescind the contract. This article accepts that the enormous difficulty in differentiating these two kinds of mistake justifies the insistence by the Court of Appeal in The Great Peace [2003] Q.B. 679 that there can be only one doctrine of common mistake. However, the article proceeds to argue that where the risk of the commonly mistaken matter is not allocated by the contract itself a better doctrine would be that the contract is voidable.  


Abstract:     
This article deals with the traditional conception of purchase of a conforming tender of documents under a negotiation letter of credit and the extent to which that understanding has evolved in the courts in recent years to meet the changing needs of bankers involved in credit operations. In particular, it provides a thorough analysis of the conventional view of negotiation as the purchase of complying presentation by a nominated bank. Along the way it tackles thorny problems involving a nominated bank’s promise to pay upon receipt of funds from the issuing bank; the legal nature and effect of the bank’s discounted payment of the amount of a credit after having been advised by the issuing bank that the documents are complying; the question of ascertaining the conformity of a negotiation with the negotiation period stipulated in a credit; and finally the vexed issue of what amounts to good faith purchase by a nominated bank.   

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