The modern notion of a "lex mercatoria" is approaching middle age. Berthold Goldman's seminal article introducing the concept to the legal academy, published in 1964, has weathered 35 years, marked by critical praise and refinement from some quarters and rebuke and rejection from others. As a sort of birthday present for the lex mercatoria movement, Professor Thomas E. Carbonneau's revised edition of his concise volume of collected works on the subject has just been published.
Although the debate over the existence and operation of lex mercatoria has attracted considerable attention in European legal circles, the American legal community has participated in the debate only in limited numbers. In the original 1990 version of this book, Carbonneau set as his task to "fill the gap" by supplying an American audience with "a thorough record of the issues and positions within the debate." In his revised edition, Carbonneau hopes to go farther. By providing a more "elaborate" and "comprehensive" view of the international arbitration process, Carbonneau seeks to set the lex mercatoria concept within a "wider analytical framework," such that its potential value can be assessed.