Economic Assessment of Law

Economic Assessment of International Commercial Law Reform

This project, run by Professor Jeffrey Wool, seeks to develop standards for the economic assessment of international commercial law reform.

Economic benefits, whether micro, macro, or developmental, are usually stated to be the central and driving objective of, and justification for ICLR. Yet the evidence of such benefits, the characteristics of law reform needed to produce such benefits, the data and methodology to establish such benefits (the core EA elements), inter alia, has not yet been subject to systematic academic work. There are few, if any, agreed international principles, standards, or parameters for assessing economic benefits in this context.

Initiated in 2015, this project is a collaboration between the UNIDROIT Foundation and Harris Manchester College’s Commercial Law Centre at Oxford University. It was initially established through a generous donation from the Aviation Working Group. This project provides the platform for such work by seeking to create, principles, standards, and parameters. The project has three main objectives:

i. To research, collect, and assess information relating to the production of economic benefits of ICLR, centred on the core EA elements.
ii. To develop guidelines for governmental economic impact and cost-benefit analyses of ICLR.
iii. To produce a framework document on the economic assessment of ICLR, which would be a resource for those involved in the creation or implementation of an ICLR instrument.

This is an inter-disciplinary project with involvement from industry, national governments, international organisations, legal scholars and economists.

Presently, two workshops have been conducted at Oxford University for this project. Work has been undertaken to develop a comprehensive formula that would serve as a framework for EA quantification. A draft formula has currently been put forth which needs further refinement and examination. A third workshop will be held to further refine the formula in September 2017

This project is a joint undertaking between the Commercial Law Centre and the UNIDROIT Foundation.