The important bit

Such investment is in turn helping to fuel Britain’s economic recovery, and thereby prove the IMF’s doomsayers wrong. Some of this success is down to Britain’s historic advantages of language, timezone, trustworthy legal system and perceived attributes as a gateway to Europe.

The language part is, I think, important. But even more so is that legal system bit. And that’s the bit I worry most about the usual suspects screwing up.

We can see bits of it. The idea that HMRC should have direct access to bank accounts. That money possibly owed must be paid before an appeal is heard. The objections that so many have to the new trade deal: the objection seemingly being that it has clauses which hold governments to the promises that they have already made.

And this certainty of a air and efficient and entirely non-corrupt legal system really is important. Those Russians aren’t all in Cyprus because of taxes. They’re there so that they’ve a legal system they can rely upon.

We can get away with a lot of things without tanking the economy. Screwing up the commercial law isn’t one of them.

9 comments on “The important bit

  1. And this certainty of a air and efficient and entirely non-corrupt legal system really is important. Those Russians aren’t all in Cyprus because of taxes. They’re there so that they’ve a legal system they can rely upon.

    I am sure in Cyprus they get the best legal system money can buy. This is the problem with the EU. Joining means that their legal culture will subsume our legal culture. As with the football really. You play with corrupt Europeans and pretty soon you have a corrupt league as well.

    Yet another reason to keep out.

  2. We should abolish all laws and treaties and declare unilateral, universal free exchange, contract, and make justice a matter of agreement between parties. Multinational corporations may come to Britain to settle their disputes with pistols should they choose.

    [/irony]

  3. Bloke in Germany – “We should abolish all laws and treaties and declare unilateral, universal free exchange, contract, and make justice a matter of agreement between parties. Multinational corporations may come to Britain to settle their disputes with pistols should they choose.”

    Sounds like a plan. I would love to see Apple and Samsung hire champions to go at each other with broadswords. Or better yet, cut out the middle men and let the CEOs draw pistols at dawn. Quick, cheap and efficient.

    When American rail users decided to adopt binding arbitration, they found the case load plummeted. Once people faced judges who knew the industry and what they were doing, they were pretty certain how cases would end up, and so saw no need to sue. If they were in the wrong, instead of tossing the dice in the hope of getting an idiot on the bench, they settled.

    Not a stunning endorsement of America’s judges.

  4. The legal system in Cyprus is a joke!

    I think the attraction to Russians is more to do with turning a blind eye to holdalls full of cash than the quality of the legal system!

  5. I imagine that one advantage of our legal system is that it seems to be much less biased/corrupt than the American one.

  6. “If they were in the wrong, instead of tossing the dice in the hope of getting an idiot on the bench, they settled.”

    Surely that’s quite an indictment of today’s legal system, that so many cases do go to court?

  7. “Surely that’s quite an indictment of today’s legal system, that so many cases do go to court?”

    I don’t know. When I read Pepys diary, I was quite surprised at the amount of time he spent in courts, treating it as a fact of life. So the number of cases in itself is not an indictment.

  8. SMFS,

    “Not a stunning endorsement of America’s judges.”

    I’d say not much of an endorsement of American juries, but your basic point stands.

    Andrew M,
    “Surely that’s quite an indictment of today’s legal system, that so many cases do go to court?”

    A tiny proportion of cases go to court (apart from ones involving Russian oligarchs). I had less than ten that went to trial in twenty years. One of my colleagues had never been to a trial after about 12 years of practice. These days plenty of disputes are resolved without legal proceedings being issued.

    Whether we should see that as a resounding endorsement of the legal system, or an indication that legal costs are prohibitively high, I’m not sure.

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