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International Economic Law

International economic law is widely understood as a field of international law that includes both the conduct of sovereign states in international economic relations, and the conduct of private parties involved in cross-border economic and business transactions.¹ This includes, but is not limited to, international trade law, law of international financial institutions, and traditional private international law.¹ It also includes the following fields¹:

  • Regional Economic Integration (European Union, ASEAN, and other regional trade organizations);
  • International law and development;
  • International commercial arbitration;
  • International intellectual property law;
  • International business regulation.

International economic law regulates the international economic order or economic relations among nations. The term covers a variety of areas, however.² The International Economic Law Interests Group of the American Society of International Law includes the following non-exhaustive list of topics within the term²:

  1. International Trade Law (international law of the World Trade Organization and GATT and domestic trade laws;
  2. International Economic Integration Law (law of the European Union, NAFTA, and Mercosur);
  3. Private International Law (international choice of law, choice of forum, enforcement of judgments, and the law of international commerce);
  4. International Business Regulation (antitrust or competition law, environmental regulation, and product safety regulation);
  5. International Financial Law (private transaction law, regulatory law, the law of foreign direct investment and international monetary law, law of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank);
  6. The role of law in development;
  7. International tax law;
  8. International intellectual property law.




1. Cornell Law. International Economic Law. Retrieved May 7, 2014, from

2. London International. International economic law. Retrieved May 7, 2014, from