Lex Mercatoria

Lex Mercatoria

Lex mercatoria, also known as the law merchant, is a body of customary law and commercial customs that has developed over centuries to govern international trade. It is a set of rules and principles that govern the behaviour and interactions of merchants engaged in cross-border commerce, independent of any specific legal system or jurisdiction.

Lex mercatoria is based on the practices and usages of international trade and is designed to address the unique challenges of conducting business across different legal systems, languages, and cultures. It is intended to provide a common framework for commercial transactions that can be applied across national boundaries, while also being flexible and adaptable to the needs of individual businesses and industries.

Some of the key features of lex mercatoria include its reliance on commercial customs and usages, its flexibility and adaptability to changing market conditions, and its recognition of the importance of good faith and fair dealing in commercial transactions. It is also characterised by its emphasis on private dispute resolution mechanisms, such as arbitration, rather than relying on traditional court systems.

While lex mercatoria is not recognised as a formal legal system in most countries, its principles are often incorporated into international trade agreements, model contracts, and other legal instruments. It is also used by arbitrators and other dispute resolution professionals to resolve disputes arising from international commercial transactions.
Back to blog
UOL Case Bank

UOL Case Bank

Upon joining, you become a valuable UOL student and gain instant access to over 2,100 case summaries. UOL Case Bank is constantly expanding. Speed up your revision with us now.

Subscribe Now

Where are our students from?

Yale University
Council of Europe
Baker Mckenzie 
University of Chicago
Columbia University
New York University
University of Michigan 
University College London (UCL)
London School of Economics (LSE)
King’s College London (KCL)
University of London
University of Manchester
University of Zurich
University of York
Brandeis University
University of Exeter
University of Sheffield
Boston University
University of Washington
University of Leeds
University of Law
Royal Holloway, University of London 
Birkbeck, University of London
SOAS, University of London
University of Kent
University of Hull
Queen’s University Belfast
Toronto Metropolitan University
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
University of Buckingham

  • Criminal Practice

    Diagrams and Charts

    Our carefully designed diagrams and charts will guide you through complex legal issues.

  • Criminal Law

    Clear and Succinct Definitions

    Key concepts are concisely defined to help you understand legal topics quickly.

  • Property Law

    Statutory Provisions

    Statutory provisions are provided side by side with legal concepts to help you swiftly locate the relevant legislation.

  • Public Law

    Case Summaries

    We have summarised important cases for you so that you don't need to read long and boring cases.

  • Evidence

    Rules and Exceptions

    Rules and exceptions are clearly listed so that you know when a rule applies and when it doesn't.

  • Company Law


    Legal terms and key concepts are explained at the beginning of each chapter to help you learn efficiently.

  • Case Law

    Case law is provided side by side with legal concepts so that you know how legal principles and precedents were established.

  • Law Exam Guide

    Law Essay Guide

    You will learn essential law exam skills and essay writing techniques that are not taught in class.

  • Law Exam Guide

    Problem Question Guide

    We will show you how to answer problem questions step by step to achieve first-class results.

  • Conflict of Laws

    Structured Explanations

    Complex legal concepts are broken down into concise and digestible bullet point explanations.

  • Legal System and Method

    Legal Research

    You will learn legal research techniques with our study guide and become a proficient legal researcher.

  • Jurisprudence and Legal Theory


    All essential concepts, principles, and case law are included so that you can answer exam questions quickly.