16th March 2010
"Kingman Brewster's Jurisdictional Rule of Reason, Fifty Years Later"
In 1958, Professor Kingman Brewster published his pathbreaking book on Antitrust and American Business Abroad. This was a time when conflicts among nations over authority to prescribe rules of law for business arrangements were common. The United States stood almost alone in its commitment to strong antitrust enforcement, and it followed similar policies with respect to securities regulation and export regulation. Professor Brewster proposed a "jurisdictional rule of reason" to ameliorate, or perhaps even eliminate, these kinds of conflicts. His approach was later adopted in the United States by some courts and by the American Law Institute, in its Restatement of the Law of Foreign Relations of the United States (Third), which was published in 1987. The talk will consider how well the jurisdictional rule of reason functioned in its heyday; whether it was better suited to executive branch decisionmaking or if it was something that judges were capable of applying; whether such a rule was necessary to prevent transnational corporations from slipping between the cracks of national regulatory systems; and finally whether better devices exist today, in 2009, that allocate jurisdictional competence among nations, facilitate cooperation where it is possible, and manage conflicts when they arise.
Directions to the venue:
The Law Society's Hall
113 Chancery Lane
London WC2A 1PL
Nearest Underground Stations
Chancery Lane (Central Line)
Temple and Blackfriars (Circle and District Lines)
Nearest Main Line Stations
Liverpool Street is a short taxi ride away
City Airport is 8 miles away
Heathrow is 18 miles away
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