Books Developments in PIL Scholarship

Kessedjian and Pironon on International Commercial Law

droit-du-commerce-international-9782130814931Catherine Kessedjian (Emeritus Paris II University) and Valérie Pironon (University of Nantes) have published the second edition of Catherine Kessedjian’s manual on international commercial law.

The authors have provided the following abstract in English:

The book aims at speaking not only to students, but also to practitioners and specialists in the field. Therefore, the authors have been careful at keeping a balance between basic information and some cutting edge developments in areas where the law is evolving fast.

First, the book addresses sources of the law and how applicable law is determined. It makes clear that international commercial activities are regulated at all levels (multilateral, regional and national) but also by a-national norms that have taken an ever increasing role in the field, thereby recognizing that Non-State actors do have a role in establishing norms for their own activities (and perhaps even further). As far as conflict-of-laws is concerned, the book starts with the study of mandatory norms because they are the ones that really matter in a field where party autonomy is the centerpiece. Any practitioner negotiating a deal needs to ascertain the extend of the freedom her client enjoys so that to craft the contract in the most efficient way.

The second part of the book is devoted to the actors of international commercial activities. Companies are the first and foremost actors in a world where the States have withdrawn from many fields. Now this was true before the covid-19 disease suddenly broke into our lives. States are now back and it will be for the third edition to appraise how much they will stay as the main player in the future. Two topics are covered when dealing with State activities: investment (when States are on the receiving hand) and immunity (when States as an actor ask for some sort of special treatment).

The third part deals with activities themselves and cover not only the access to markets but also some of the most classic international business activities (sales, distribution, transport). It also deals with the most common contract provisions (confidentiality, bona fide and cooperation, force majeure, CSR etc.) and takes into consideration trade practices. A section is also devoted to the guarantees put in place for the proper accomplishment of the activities.

The fourth part is devoted to dispute resolution. The first chapter is the most original. It gives a roadmap to negotiators as to how to choose the best dispute resolution mechanism for the contract. The rest is more classic and deals with mediation, arbitration and dispute before national courts (essentially French and European Law).

Finally it must be noted that emphasis is placed on contemporary debates such as globalization, electronic commerce, ecological challenges, CSR, transnational group actions, etc.) without avoiding the most controversial ones.

More details, including a full table of contents, can be found here.