October 3, 1993 Ananse aka the International Trade Law Monitor and then Lex Mercatoria, is live online from this date.
The origins of SiSU were intertwined with those of the International Trade Law project, first named Ananse (subsequently named the International Trade Law Monitor and then Lex Mercatoria) which was started at the Law Faculty of the University of Tromsø, and had a web presence from this date. From this date the efforts that resulted in SiSU had begun and progress was visible on the Net.
The project presented legal content (conventions, treaties related to international commercial law) on the web through the site LexMercatoria (aka. Ananse, The International Trade Law Monitor) and resulted in the exploration of the techniques by which this was best done started out as a single multi-faceted project which began in 1993 at the University of Tromsø. The activities of providing legal information, and developing content generating technologies were conceptually easily distinguishable, though most of the early history of what became SiSU was shared/common (between the law content, and the programming for the generation of documents) until LexMercatoria, (the law content of the site, and domain) was acquired in 2000 by the International Law Publishers, Cameron May.
Lex Mercatoria is dedicated to the provision of information on international commercial law with subsidiary interests in commerce and (mostly open standard) Net technologies that may be of interest to law academics and professionals worldwide.
Lex Mercatoria is dedicated to the provision of information on international commercial law with subsidiary interests in commerce and (mostly open standard) Net technologies that may be of interest to law academics and professionals worldwide. As such Lex Mercatoria provides information and links related to international commerce and trade law. The LM presents the full texts and where relevant country implementation details of several of the most important conventions and other documents used in international trade and commerce. These materials are presented by subject (e.g. free trade, sale of goods, transport, insurance, payment), chronologically, and has information pages on trade related organisations. LM also maintains extensive links to other sites related by the subject international commerce.
The subsidiary interests result in a rather large scope of interest for which we try to keep a manageable set of links. Lex Mercatoria is interested in global commerce, both traditional and electronic, and in following the use made of the Web and Net for its promotion. It is interested in the legal and technological infrastructure that exists and that is being developed to facilitate global commerce (both traditional and electronic). More generally Lex Mercatoria is also interested in the means by which paper is replaced electronically in commerce and publishing. Lex Mercatoria is particularly interested in the use of Open Standards and in the availability of adequate information on matters related to the conduct of global commerce. As such interests include:
Another attempt to describe Lex Mercatoria's origins and purpose:
Lex Mercatoria was begun in 1993 at the Law Faculty of the University of Tromsø, in Northern Norway. It was originally named Ananse and then the International Trade Law Monitor. It was the first legal website devoted to a particular subject area (admittedly a general and broad one) namely, international trade and commercial law. Lex Mercatoria provides the text of some of the more important treaties, conventions, model laws, rules aimed at harmonizing international trade/commerce, and sets of links to sites that are of interest for (the working of) international commerce. Lex Mercatoria has continued in its original spirit to grow its independent and egalitarian set of link collections in response to a continuous exploration of the use and implications of the Net for international commercial law, international commerce and publishing. Recognising the problems for information management resulting from the glut of information available on the web an attempt is made to organise and restrict the links provided to those that are likely to be most useful in the area targeted.
Lex Mercatoria is particularly interested in uses made of the Net (both in international commercial law and in technology related to electronic commerce) for the provision and development of: open (and harmonizing) standards; and for readily available deep and accurate information.
Always remembering that we are a small unit and will continue to do what we can, we have defined our objective broadly and generously as being:
"To investigate the potential of W3 as an information resource, with regard to legal research and education. This we plan to do taking a practical example, - focusing on international trade law as a limited and vitally important area of law that is of global interest". [This we shall pursue as far as we are able.]
This statement of "our objective" dates back to the project's conception in 1993. It ought now be moderated, but its spirit remains unaltered. Within this time span The Web has proven its worth, independently of any individual's efforts or investigations - its' creators apart.
We however have multiple objectives, which include:
The area of attention of Lex Mercatoria has expanded somewhat with the developments in use of the Net as they pertain to international commerce, a short description is attempted in the next section.
The history and more general information on LexMercatoria may be found at ‹http://www.lexmercatoria.org/› or ‹http://www.jus.uio.no/lm/› its home pages, or more specifically off information pages on the site ‹http://www.jus.uio.no/lm/lm.information/toc.html›
Eric von Hippel
Erik S. Raymond