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Law and Long-Term Economic ChangeA Eurasian Perspective$
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Debin Ma and Jan Luiten van Zanden

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780804772730

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804772730.001.0001

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The Resolution of Commercial Conflicts in Bruges, Antwerp, and Amsterdam (1250–1650)

The Resolution of Commercial Conflicts in Bruges, Antwerp, and Amsterdam (1250–1650)

Chapter:
(p.244) Chapter Twelve The Resolution of Commercial Conflicts in Bruges, Antwerp, and Amsterdam (1250–1650)
Source:
Law and Long-Term Economic Change
Author(s):
Oscar Gelderblom
Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804772730.003.0012

This chapter presents a broad survey of different ways in which commercial conflicts in long-distance trade were resolved in northwestern Europe between 1250 and 1650. Different kinds of courts—linked to fairs, local, consular, and finally national—played a role in contract enforcement. As the needs of merchants changed, the role played by different courts changed as well. Increasingly local courts took over the function of specialized consular courts, which previously had catered for the needs of alien merchants in. The discussion notes that this process is the result of a growing convergence of business practices, creating a more comprehensive set of contracting rules shared by the merchant community at large. It also demonstrates that even the procedures for arbitration were increasingly formalized, with arbiters often drawn from legal professionals and arbiters' decisions made legally binding.

Keywords:   long-distance trade, fair courts, consular courts, arbitration

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