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Lex Mercatoria & International Trade/Commercial Law Monitor Information


Lex Mercatoria
Disclaimer, and History of the Site
This part of the site is now maintained and presented elsewhere on the site, if in doubt start from www.lexmercatoria.org

<< ~/. >>

Lex Mercatoria
Disclaimer, and History of the Site
This part of the site is now maintained and presented elsewhere on the site, if in doubt start from www.lexmercatoria.org

List Objective

List Short Description of the site

List Our Disclaimer

List Further Information

TOC linked .html More on the Site and its History
Full Text .html Text presentations and Navigation


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.

"To explore, utilize and demonstrate the potential of the new IT mediums insofar as they pertain to our chosen subject area."

Towards greater: transparency; harmonization and unification; and uniformity of application - in international trade (law).

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.

Short Description

Lex Mercatoria was begun in 1993 at the Law Faculty of the University of Troms? 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.

Apart from the Law Faculties of the University of Troms? and the University of Oslo which kindly hosts the site, Lex Mercatoria collaborates with: the Institute of International Commercial Law of Pace University School of Law, which provides the premier example of the Web being used by an academic institution to research and assist in the promulgation of a harmonizing standard for the international sale of goods through the building of the most comprehensive information available anywhere on the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG); and, the Australasian Legal Information Institute, which has become a legend for revolutionising legal publishing on a continent. We hope to see further positive developments result from our collaboration.

Here are a number of attempts at describing the narrower and broader interest of this site:

One of the very first law related WWW sites, and the first dedicated to a particular area of law, Lex Mercatoria (alias the International Trade Law Monitor ITLM (also referred to as ITL & ITM - & on occasion by others as RA*); originally named Ananse), run by Ralph Amissah, was originally hosted by the Law Faculty of the University of Tromso, Norway. Lex Mercatoria is kindly supported and hosted by the University of Troms? of Norway and by The Institute of International Commercial Law, Pace University of the USA, in a collaborative venture.

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 organizations. 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:

• the infrastructure for global commerce more generally that which facilitates global commerce, such as

• uniform laws and rules for international commerce

• technological standards for electronic commerce

• enabling technologies for electronic commerce

• information technology useful to commerce and law

• trends related to publishing on the Net and in particular legal publishing

• open standard file formats

• alternative citation systems

• information management

• the use of open standards

The site was supported by the Law Faculty of the University of Tromso until September 1997 after which it continued to be hosted by the Law Faculty of the University of Tromso but was updated off-line. The site went off the Net in March 1999 due to a critical hard disk failure. In 1996 the site already received well over a million hits annually, though it will take time and effort to regain that stature. Work has continued off-line, but has until now been primarily related to developing automating scripts to ease the maintenance and improve the presentation of documents on the site. Substantive updating of content will commence, though it will be infrequent as updates at first will occur off-line and be posted periodically.

LM (alias Ananse, ITM & ITLM, occasionally referred to by others as RA*) was started in July 1993 as an adjunct to a specialisation study on Private Law aspects of International Trade.


LM/ITLM's DISCLAIMER: Whilst we do make an effort to provide accurate material, this service is under construction and free. You are advised that you: USE OR RELY UPON THESE MATERIALS AT YOUR OWN RISK. No assurance or warranty is given as to the accuracy of any of the information provided here [or as to its being comprehensive or up to date]. You are advised to verify any information that is reproduced here against original documents.

Please report any errors to Mail e-mail www@lexmercatoria.org

Further Information

TOC linked .html More on the Site and its History

Full Text .html Text presentations and Navigation

* RA having been the name of the server on which the site at one time resided.

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Lex Mercatoria -->

( International Trade/Commercial Law & e-Commerce Monitor )

W3 since October 3 1993
1993 - 2008

started @The University of Tromsø, Norway
hosted by The University of Oslo, Norway
in fellowship with The Institute of International Commercial Law,
Pace University, White Plains, New York, U.S.A.


Ralph Amissah


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