Lex mercatoria is anotion that comes from the Latin for and mean “merchant law”. It represents the body of commercial law used by merchants in Europe during the medieval period. This Law evolved as a system of custom and practice, which was enforced through a system of merchant courts along the main trade routes. It functioned as the international law of commerce and emphasized the contractual freedom and alienability of property, while avoiding legal technicalities and deciding cases ex aequo et bono. A distinct feature was the reliance by merchants on a legal system developed and administered by them.
Lex mercatoria was initially a body of rules and principles laid down by merchants to regulate their dealings. It consisted of rules and customs general to merchants and traders in Europe, with some local differences. It originated from the need for quick and effective jurisdiction, administered by specialized courts. The guiding spirit of the merchant law was that it ought to derive from commercial practice, respond to the needs of the merchants, and be comprehensible and acceptable to the merchants who submitted to it. International commercial law today owes some of its fundamental principles to the lex mercatoria. This includes choice of arbitration institutions, procedures, applicable law and arbitrators, and the goal to reflect customs, usage and good practice among the parties.
Lex mercatoria provided quick and effective justice. This was possible through informal proceedings, with liberal procedural rules. This important law rendered proportionate judgments over the merchants’ disputes, through concepts of fair price, good commerce, and equity. Judges were chosen according to their commercial background and practical knowledge and gradually, a professional judiciary developed through the merchant judges. Their skills and status would however still rely upon practical understanding of merchant practice. These characteristics serve as significant measures in the appointment of international commercial arbitrators today.
Here is a collection of most unusual and humorous lawsuits and related incidents, that happened in various countries:
- A German bank robber was arrested after a teller realized the robber was hard of hearing and tripped an alarm. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the robber is now suing the bank for exploiting his disability.
- In Japan, a court has ordered the organizers of the Nagano Winter Olympics to pay damages for mental anguish to a spectator who missed an event because of heavy traffic.
- A woman in Israel is suing a TV station and its weatherman for $1,000 after he predicted a sunny day and it rained. The woman claims the forecast caused her to leave home lightly dressed. As a result, she caught the flu, missed 4 days of work, spent $38 on medication and suffered stress.
- A woman driving a car collided with a man who was riding a snowmobile. The man died at the scene. Since his snowmobile had suddenly cut in front of her, police said she was free of blame. She sued the man’s widow for the grave and crippling psychological injuries she suffered from watching the man die.
- A woman went to her friend’s house and asked for a haircut. Unhappy with her new look, she claimed her friend had willfully, intentionally and maliciously cut her hair without her consent … and sued him for $75,000.
- A surfer sued another surfer for “taking his wave.” The case was ultimately dismissed because they were unable to put a price on “pain and suffering” endured by watching someone ride the wave that was “intended for you.”
- A man who had purchased a BMW took his new car to a detailing shop for a fancier look and discovered that the car had been partly repainted before it was sold, due to damage done by acid rain. The man was awarded $4,000 in compensatory damages, and $4 Million in punitive damages. The court upheld the verdict, but cut the punitive damages to $2 million.
- A jury awarded $178,000 in damages to a woman who sued her former fiance’ for breaking their seven-week engagement. The breakdown: $93,000 for pain & suffering; $60,000 for loss of income from her legal practice, and $25,000 for psychiatric counseling expenses.
- A man bought a house. He later claimed it was haunted .. and sued the former owner seeking to undo the sale and collect damages.
An international non-governmental organization established as a result of a special meeting held at the UN Office in Vienna on 19–20 April 2006. The headquarters of IAACA are in Beijing, China. The main objective of the organization is to promote the effective implementation of the UN Convention Against Corruption, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 30 December 2003, and to assist anti-corruption authorities in the world in fighting against corruption.
During the informal consultations on the establishment of an international association of anti-corruption authorities at UN Office in Vienna in April 2006, representatives of anti-corruption authorities from Argentina, Azerbaijan, France, Germany, India, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Malaysia, Namibia, Netherlands, Pakistan, Romania, Singapore, South Africa, Uganda, United Kingdom and United States of America, as well as the leaders of the UNODC, agreed on the draft statute of the IAACA.
Currently the IAACA has more than 300 organizational members which cover nearly all law enforcement for national institutions and bodies entrusted with the task of fighting against corruption and more than 2000 individual members, including prosecutors, investigators and experts with experience in anti-corruption research or practice.
Every nation has its own intelligence agencies for the protection of its people and gathering of important secret information which can impact their interests. Intelligence agencies are a symbol of country’s defense strength and power and are called the arm of government.
Here are world’s most important intelligence agencies:
Mossad is the national intelligence agency of Israel. It is one of the world’s best and top-secret intelligence agencies. Mossad was formed in 1949 and its main objectives are intelligence collection, covert operations, and counter-terrorism. Main focus of this organization is on Arab nations and organizations. Mossad has total eight departments, each of them performing special duties assigned to them.
Ministry of State Security is the main intelligence agency of China. The organization was created in 1983. It is responsible for foreign intelligence and counterintelligence operations. MSS is believed to be one of the strongest and largest intelligence agencies in the world.
General Directorate for External Security is regarded as one of the most powerful security agencies. It was formed in 1982 to serve as external intelligence agency for the Government of France. It works under French Ministry of Defense. The organization gain information, defend its people and prevent terrorist activities in the country.
Bundesnachrichtendienst is federal intelligence agency of Germany. Created in 1956, it is one of the best and well-organized intelligence agencies in the world. Its headquarters are situated in Pullach near Munich. The main responsibility of BND is to gather intelligence data, detect threats and inform the German Government about terrorist and criminal activities and to safeguard their people.
Federal Security Service is one of the world’s best intelligence agencies. It is main security agency of Russia and was formed in 1995. The main goals of FSB is to collect information, defend and fight with terrorist and ensure country’s security.
Formed in 1909, Secret Intelligence Service is UK’s intelligence agency. It has an impressive headquarter, called SIS Building, in Vauxhall Cross, London. The organization works with the Joint Intelligence Committee, the internal Security Service, the Government Communications Headquarters and the Defence Intelligence, and provide foreign intelligence and secret information about other countries and organizations to Government of United Kingdom.
CIA, United States
Central Intelligence Agency is independent secret intelligence agency of United States working under commands of Director of National Intelligence. It was created in 1947 by President Harry S. Truman. The organization is divided into four other departments including the Directorate of Support, the Directorate of Intelligence, the Directorate of Science and Technology and the National Clandestine Service. The organization collects data and insights of different foreign organizations, governments and individuals for the US President and policymakers so that they can analyze and take proper action to ensure security and safety of people of America.
Inter Services Intelligence is the world’s best and strongest intelligence agency as ranked by American Crime News. It is the most notable intelligence agency of Pakistan. ISI was formed in 1948 as an independent unit to protect the nation and strengthen military services. Its headquarter is located at Shahrah-e-Soharwardi in Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan and Lt Gen Ahmad Shuja Pasha is its director. The organization works under a predefined constitutional and legal frame-work.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS; French: Tribunal arbitral du sport, TAS) is an international quasi-judicial body established with the purpose to settle disputes related to sport. The headquarters of this organization are in Lausanne (Switzerland) and it has courts are located in New York, Sydney and Lausanne. There are also temporary courts are built in current Olympic host cities.
By intermixing of sports and politics, the body was originally conceived by International Olympic Committee President Juan Antonio Samaranch to deal with disputes arising during the Olympics. It was established as part of the IOC in 1984.
In essence a dispute may be submitted to the CAS only if there is an arbitration agreement between the parties which specifies recourse to the CAS. According to rule 61 of the Olympic Charter all disputes in connection with the Olympic Games can only be submitted to CAS. And all Olympic International Federations have recognized the jurisdiction of CAS for most of the disputes. Through compliance with the 2009 World Anti-Doping Code all signatories, including all Olympic International Federations and National Olympic Committees, the jurisdiction of CAS for anti-doping rule violations has been recognized.
A non-belligerent state or other organization is the entity that does not fight in a given conflict. The term is often used to describe a country that does not take part militarily in a war. However, this status is non-existent in international law.
A non-belligerent state differs from a neutral one in that it may be supporting certain belligerents in a war but with the exception of not being directly involved in military actions. The term may also be used to describe a person not involved in combat or aggression. Thus in a situation of civil unrest, such as a riot, civilians may be divided into belligerents, those actually intending to fight, and non-belligerents who are only bystanders.
A notable example of non-belligerent in an environment of total war was the American economic support of the Allies in World War II prior to their entry into the war following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
Another example is Italy, which was non- belligerent from September 1939 until June 1940, when it joined the war with Germany and again after late 1943, when it quietly adopted a formal state of neutrality.
In this context we also should consider the example of political stances of the United States and Peru during the Falklands War and that of The Netherlands during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, which was described by politicians as “political support, but with the lack of military support.”
As of November 2013, 30 countries worldwide are operating 435 nuclear reactors for electricity generation and 72 new nuclear plants are under construction in 14 countries.
Nuclear power plants provided 12.3 percent of the world’s electricity production in 2012. In total, 13 countries relied on nuclear energy to supply at least one-quarter of their total electricity.