Lex mercatoria (the law of merchants) has a mythical legal status, which, whether true or not, influences legal thinking to this day. It harks back to a time of Venetian traders and a complex amalgam of European principalities that, it was believed, required merchants to establish their own private “law”’ to facilitate commerce that applied within and beyond borders. In recent years, legal scholars and practitioners are reimagining lex mercatoria in order to facilitate globalization. This special section will consider how these discussions and activities are transforming the nature of the “translocal” (places where the global is made local). We want to understand how these political, economic, social, and technological transformations have affected and continue to affect traders, corporations, and lawyers engaged in transnational, and transsystemic, legal interactions. The special section will examine these issues primarily from historical perspectives, but this essay will also interrogate the contemporary status and reimagined notion of this idea.

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