Penn State International Law Review


Agasha Mugasha

First Paragraph

Courts in common-law countries throughout history have been aware that they make law and influence commercial practice. They see their role as extending beyond the adjudication of the particular dispute between the immediate parties to the guidance of future activity, and many courts have embraced this task with great responsibility. In this regard, leading courts in the major financial centres make global commercial law. In some recent litigation concerning international financial transactions, national courts have been sensitive to the relevance of other jurisdictions and have expressed a willingness to understand what happens in these jurisdictions. This has been a welcome approach because financial transactions have grown in size and complexity, and the largest and most spectacular of them all tend to be cross-border transactions requiring a resolution that is satisfactory across a number of jurisdictions. In times of economic prosperity, contracting parties are usually ready to re-negotiate and re-structure contracts rather than to litigate; such a general approach changes dramatically when there is the prospect of insolvency of one of the parties or a general economic downturn in an individual country or a global economic downturn.