Professor Brummer Authors New Book on International Financial Law

February 2, 2012 —

Chris Broomer Chris Broomer
Soft Law and the Global Financial System Soft Law and the Global Financial System

WASHINGTON, D.C. - How does international financial law "work?" How does it differ from other international law? How has the global financial crisis of 2008 affected the way international financial institutions relate to one another?

Georgetown University Law Center Professor Chris Brummer provides answers in his new book Soft Law and the Global Financial System: Rule Making in the 21st Century (Cambridge University Press, 2012).

Brummer describes the various institutions that comprise the international financial system, such as the G-20, Financial Stability Board, Basel Committee, International Organization of Securities Commissions and others. He explains how they work, where they fit in the global financial architecture and how they evolved as a result of the 2008 global financial crisis.

Brummer analyzes the international regulatory and legal responses to the financial crisis. He explores how the crisis gave way to a number of reforms aimed at stabilizing the international financial system, many of which came under heavy criticism because of their ambiguity and a lack of understanding about how international financial law operates.

Unlike other areas of international law, international financial law is based on "soft law," Brummer explains, where regulators use informal and non-binding agreements that confer no international obligations on the parts of states. He contends that as a result, some scholars question the legitimacy of a system where commitments are unrecognized as a matter of international law.

Brummer maintains, however, that under the right circumstances, soft law can be a very effective tool that mitigates risk and facilitates coordination and cooperation. In a rapidly changing global financial system, responses to emerging crises and evolving capital markets can be made quickly and efficiently without the constraints of legal obligation or formality.

"Soft Law and the Global Financial System deepens our understanding of international financial lawmaking just when we need it most," notes Michigan Law Professor Michael S. Barr.

Harvard Law Professor Howell E. Jackson says, "With this invaluable guide to the new financial architecture and the soft law upon which it is constructed, Professor Brummer has established himself as a leading expert on international finance and its supervision."

"This book is just what the field of international financial law needs," according to Andrew Guzman, Berkeley Law professor and associate dean for international and graduate programs.

Prior to joining the Georgetown Law faculty in 2009, Brummer taught at Vanderbilt Law School. He has also taught, or is slated to teach, as a visiting professor at several universities including Basel, Heidelberg and the London School of Economics. Before he began his teaching career, he practiced law in the New York and London offices of Cravath, Swaine & Moore.

Brummer is an expert in international financial regulation. He lectures widely on finance and global governance, as well as on public and private international law, market microstructure and international trade. His writings have appeared in several leading journals including the California Law Review, University of Chicago Law Review, Georgetown Law Journal, Southern California Law Review and Vanderbilt Law Review.

Brummer periodically serves as an expert at NASDAQ hearings. In 2011, he joined the Washington offices of the Milken Institute as a senior fellow. He received an A.B. from Washington University in St. Louis, a J.D. from Columbia and a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.