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Exploring the rule of law and international trade

A new book written by an academic at Queen Mary University of London sheds new light on the principles of the rule of law in international trade and investment.

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International Trade, Investment and the Rule of Law by Professor Rafael Leal-Arcas, Professor of European and International Economic Law, deals with the essential elements of the rule of law concept that underlie present day legal research. More specifically it explores this concept in key areas of international trade and investment, such as the European Union (EU) and the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Exploring the impact of the rule of law

The book also examines the international investment and trading system and its various aspects including how the rule of law impacts on regionalism and multilateralism. It explores the various elements of the rule of law concept in a succinct manner in four themes: trade law and policy; investment law and policy; energy and finance; and corporate social responsibility.

Professor Rafael Leal-Arcas said: “This book will be of interest to those in the fields of legal theory as well as the law and policy of international trade, investment, energy, and corporate social responsibility. The book is relevant to scholars and academics as well as policymakers and those working in the field of the rule of law.

“This work will be useful for people interested in the international investment and trading system and its various aspects for example multilateralism, regionalism and bilateralism, as well as the overall impact of each on the rule of law.”

“The book is certainly not intended to offer an exhaustive list of all the concepts and principles that are part of the rule of law. The application of the rule of law principles enables fair and just societies, irrespective of their history or background. These principles are universal and therefore valid for any society at any given time.”

The UK’s future trading options

In 2019 Professor Leal-Arcas wrote a book on the UK’s options for a future trading relationship with the EU post-Brexit. According to the book a no-deal Brexit would mean that the UK would have the same relationship with the EU as Belarus.

Professor Leal-Arcas said: “Belarus is the only country in Europe which has no legal or political links to the EU. It is often seen as Europe’s last dictatorship, a country that nobody wants to emulate.”

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