From Diplomacy to Law: The Juridicization of International Trade Relations

Reich, Arie | January 1, 1997

This article deals with the development of law; i.e., the evolution of a legal regime in a field which prior thereto was not subject to law. It is my view that such a process took place in recent decades in the area of trade relations between sovereign nations. The period since World War II, and particularly recent years, is marked by the clear development of a conventional legal regime which regulates trade re- lations among the majority of countries of the world, as expressed by the multiplication of legal norms and the strengthening of the binding nature of these norms and the procedures for enforcing them. An in- depth examination of this phenomenon and an analysis of its political and economic causes may shed light on not only an important phe- nomenon in the field of international law, but also on the role of law generally in human society.