Economic Assessment of Law

Economic Assessment of International Commercial Law Reform

This project seeks to develop standards for the economic assessment of international commercial law reform (ICLR).

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.

This project provides a platform for work in this and seeks to create principles, standards, and parameters, including the development of guidelines for governmental economic impact and cost-benefit analyses of ICLR. It is an inter-disciplinary project with involvement from industry, national governments, international organisations, legal scholars and economists.  It is run by the Cape Town Convention Academic Project, in partnership with the UNIDROIT Foundation, and the Aviation Working Group.

The project has three main objectives:

i. To research, collect, and assess information relating to the production of economic benefits of ICLR, centered 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.

Five workshops for the project have previously been held at the University of Oxford and UNIDROIT. Executive summaries for these can be accessed from the column on the right. Over the course of these workshops, progress has been made towards the development of a comprehensive framework to conduct economic assessments of ICLR projects. A large gap was identified between theory and practice in this area, as rigorous economic analysis processes are not consistently used in regulatory decision making. At the end of the fifth workshop, the below framework was produced: