Anton K. SchnyderInternationales Wirtschaftsrecht – zu Begriff und Phänomenologie

Anton K. Schnyder, Internationales Wirtschaftsrecht – zu Begriff und Phänomenologie, Kluwer Law International – 6 – 2000.


In this essay, Prof. Dr. Anton K. Schnyder deals with the concept and the phenomenology of international economic law, which encompasses the question of where national issues take on cross-border relations. Schnyder defines international economic law as “the law of the international economy and for the international economy.” In this respect, however, the peculiarities and difficulties of economic law are generally accentuated by the cross-border, international dimension. The internationality of economic issues provokes the question of the allocation of regulatory powers (“jurisdiction to prescribe”), which depend on the question of the “jurisdiction to adjudicate and to enforce”. Which authorities, and based on what legal grounds, are competent to conduct a procedure; and, if are they required to enforce measures, what legal grounds are these based upon? Ideally, jurisdiction in international economic matters is governed by world law and by globally competent authorities. Since this holds true only for certain exceptions and submarkets (e.g., International Monetary Fund and the Bank for International Settlement), the separation of competences between individual sovereign powers is necessary. General international law gives the states a basic framework. However, the jurisdiction under international law with regard to the specification of individual market approaches can hardly indicate where the limits of international law exist.

In a further section of this essay, Schnyder discusses the control principle of economic law: This principle controls economic behavior and intervenes in market processes in order to enforce certain objectives of economic planning. As a matter of fact, the extension of facts to foreign countries does not alter the proper mandate of economic law. A banking regulator supervising the solvency of a bank must obviously take the bank’s international activities into account. However, a comprehensive application of domestic economic law leads to facts which also have foreign effects; in many cases, this leads to the so-called extraterritoriality conflicts with regard to regulatory requirements of foreign rights. For this reason, it is becoming more and more apparent that economic rights are transnational in a particular way. Such an insight, according to Schnyder, is undoubtedly a real and important step. Because of the still open and controversial concretization of the individual routes, this is however still too small, in Schnyder’s opinion. He points out that it would be sensible to apply special laws of cross-border economic law from as many facets as possible.

In a brief perspective, Schnyder finds that International Economic Law remains dogmatic, and it is not yet conclusively recorded. There is an important focus on the proper regulatory mandate of the not yet harmonized economic conventions. Science, legislation and the application of the law are called upon to promote and refine the discussion on the specific aspects of the international implementation of economic law. Because of the greater tendency of globalization of facts and the resulting constraint on problem solving, there is a certain degree of confidence in this regard. With regard to international economic law, two important questions remain open:

1. Can this law be properly systematized?
2. Will it be characterized by an individual case-related plurality of methods to be applied (due to the obvious heterogeneity of the problems to be tackled)?


You can find a scan (PDF) of the original text here: Anton K. Schnyder – Internationales Wirtschaftsrecht – zu Begriff und Phänomenologie