John Linarelli

Professor of Law

Professor Linarelli is a leading global voice in bringing philosophical and critical theories of global justice in contact with international law. His award-winning book, The Misery of International Law: Confrontations with Injustice in the Global Economy, co-authored with Muthucumaraswamy Sornarajah (National University of Singapore) and Margot Salomon (London School of Economics), published by Oxford University Press, won the European Society of International Law Book Prize in 2019. The book has earned critical acclaim, including from Hilary Charlesworth, a judge at the International Court of Justice.

His work in contract law focuses on the increasing role of artificial intelligence in contract transactions. His work in commercial law is comparative, transnational, and interdisciplinary. He is a globally leading comparative commercial law scholar, and his work has won praise for offering the first serious philosophical analysis of commercial law. Professor Linarelli is the book series co-editor with Teresa Rodríguez de las Heras Ballel, Professor of Commercial Law at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, of the Hart Studies in Commercial and Financial Law. His recent work includes co-organizing a symposium with Orkun Akseli (Manchester), Iris Chiu (University College London), and Steven Schwarcz (Duke) on Financial Inclusion, Access to Credit, and Sustainable Finance, published in Law and Contemporary Problems in 2021. He is a co-author of Regulating Public Procurement: National and International Perspectives (Kluwer 2000) with Sue Arrowsmith (Nottingham) and Don Wallace Jr (Georgetown), one the first works in the field with an international and comparative focus and one of the most widely influential in the field. He is a General Editor for the Public Procurement Law Review. 

Professor Linarelli has been invited numerous times to speak and has delivered over 70 talks and papers worldwide. He has served in senior faculty positions on both sides of the Atlantic. He was formerly a Professor of Commercial Law at Durham University in the United Kingdom, where he was co-director of Durham’s Institute for Commercial and Corporate Law. He is a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Global Legal Studies at Jilin University in Changchun, China. While at Durham, he was a Visiting Scholar at Columbia Law School. He was previously Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Law at Touro University Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center. He has served in various capacities for the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, UNCITRAL, UNIDROIT, and other intergovernmental organizations. Professor Linarelli is an elected member of the American Law Institute and a Fellow of the European Law Institute.

    Education & Training

  • PhD, Philosophy, University of California Riverside
  • PhD, Law, King's College London
  • LLM, Georgetown University Law Center
  • JD, American University Washington College of Law
  • BA, Duquesne University
  • Dean’s Fellow, University of California Riverside
  • Elected Member, American Law Institute (as of December 14, 2018)
  • European Society of International Law Book Prize 2019: The Misery of International Law: Confrontations with Injustice in the Global Economy (Oxford University Press 2018) (with Margot Salomon & Muthucumaraswamy Sornarajah)
  • Fellow, European Law Institute Fellow
  • Senior Fellow, HEAdvance, The British Higher Education Academy Thomas Bradbury Chetwood S.J. Prize, Georgetown University
Recent Publications

Books and Chapters

Books (edited) 

Select Book Chapters

  • Artificial Intelligence and Contact Formation: Back to Contract as Bargain?, in Emerging Issues at The Intersection of Commercial Law and Technology (Stacy-Ann Elvy & Nancy Kim eds., Cambridge University Press (forthcoming) 
  • Multilateral Rules in Government Procurement, in The International Law of Economic Integration (Julien Chaisse & Christoff Herrmann, Oxford University Press forthcoming)
  • Globalizing Public Procurement Law and Policy: The Early Period, in TLiber Amicorum for Sue Arrowsmith: The Revolutionary of Procurement! (Annamaria La Chimia & Martin Trybus co-eds. Hart forthcoming 2024)
  • A Philosophy of Contract Law for Artificial Intelligence: Shared Intentionality, in Contracting and Contract Law in the Age of Artificial Intelligence (Martin Ebers, Cristina Poncibo, & Mimi Zhou eds. Hart 2022)
  • Transatlantic Divisions in Methods of Inquiry About Law: What it Means for International Law, in Handbook on Research Methods in International Law 28 (Rossana Deplano & Nicholas Tsagourias eds., Edward Elgar 2021)
  • Global Legal Pluralism and Commercial Law, in The Oxford Handbook on Global Legal Pluralism 689 (Paul Schiff Berman ed., Oxford University Press 2020)
  • Behavioral Comparative Law: Its Relevance to Global Commercial Law Making, in The Future of Commercial Law: Ways Forward for Change and Reform 69 (Orkun Akseli & John Linarelli eds., Hart 2020)
  • Legal Certainty: A Common Law View and a Critique, in The Shifting Meaning of Legal Certainty in Comparative and Transnational Law 159 (Mark Fenwick, Mathias Siems, & Stefan Wrbka eds., Hart 2017)
  • Law, Rights, and Development, in Research Handbook on Global Justice and International Economic Law 301 (John Linarelli ed., Edward Elgar 2013)
  • Global Procurement Law in Times of Crisis: New Buy American Policies and Options in the WTO Legal System, in The WTO Regime on Government Procurement: Challenge and Reform 773 (Sue Arrowsmith & Robert Anderson eds., Cambridge University Press 2011)
  • The Limited Case for Permitting SME Procurement Preferences in the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement, in The WTO Regime on Government Procurement: Challenge and Reform 444 ((Sue Arrowsmith & Robert Anderson eds., Cambridge University Press 2011)
  • TRIPS, Biotechnology and the Public Domain: What Role Will World Trade Law Play? in Agriculture and International Trade Law, Policy and the WTO 193 (Chris Rodgers & Michael Cardwell eds., CABI 2003)
  • Informing the WTO’s Transparency Agenda: Law, Economics and International Relations Theory, in Public Procurement: The Continuing Revolution 235 (Sue Arrowsmith & Martin Trybus eds., Kluwer 2003)

Select Scholarly Articles

  • The Place of the CISG in Transnational Contract Law, J. L. & Com. (forthcoming 2024)
  • Reparations and the International Law Origin Story, 11 J. Race, Gender, & Ethnicity 102 (2022)
  • Inequality and Access to Credit: A Social Contract Framework41 Law & Contemp. Probs. 165 (2021)
  • Artificial General Intelligence and Contract, 24 Uniform L. Rev. 330 (2019) (Special Issue on Transnational Commercial Law and the Technology/Digital Economy 2019)
    • Reviewed by Nancy Kim, Bargaining with an AI, Jotwell, Mar. 19, 2021
  • Debt in Just Societies: A General Framework for Regulating Credit14 Reg. & Governance 409 (2020)
  • Luck, Justice, & Systemic Financial Risk34 J. Applied Phil. 331 (2017)
  • Toward a Political Theory for Private International Law, 26 Duke J. Comp. & Int'l L. 299 (2016)
  • Concept and Contract in the Future of International Law, 67 Rutgers L. Rev. 61 (2015)
  • How Trade Law Changed: Why It Should Change Again, 66 Mercer L. Rev. 621 (2014)
  • Reasonable Pluralism and International Law’, 105 AM. Soc'y Int'l L. Proc.  455 (2012)
  • Redesigning Global Trade Institutions, 18 Sw. J. Int"l L. 75 (2011)
  • Organizations Matter: They are Institutions, After All, J. Institutional Econ. 83 (2010).
    • Invited response to an article by Richard Posner
  • Analytical Jurisprudence & The Concept of Commercial Law114 Penn St. L. Rev. 119 (2009) 
  • International Law: Practical Authority, Global Justice. 103 Am. Soc'y Int'l L. Proc. 382 (2009)
  • When Does Might Make Right?: Using Force for Regime Change, 40 J. Social Phil. 343 (2009)
  • What do We Owe Each Other in the Global Economic Order?: Constructivist and Contractualist Accounts, 15 Fla. St. J. Transnat'l L. & Pol'y 181 (2006) 
  • The WTO Agreement on Government Procurement and the UNCITRAL Model Procurement Law: A View from Outside the Region’, 1 Asian J. WTO & Health L. & Pol'y 317 (2006)
  • Treaty Governance, Intellectual Property, and Biodiversity, 6 Envt'l L Rev. 21 (2004)
  • The Economics of Uniform Laws & Uniform Law Making., 48 Wayne L. Rev. 1387 (2003)
  • Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights and Biotechnology: European Aspects, Singapore J. Int'l & Comp. L. 406 (2002) 
  • The Economics of Private Law Harmonization, 96 Am. Soc'y Int'l L. Proc. 339 (2002) 
  • The Role of Dispute Settlement in World Trade Law: Some Lessons from the Kodak-Fuji Dispute, 31 Geo J. Int'l L. 263 (2000)


  • Centre for the Study of European Contract Law Conference, "European Private Law at the Time of Growing Inequality," University of Amsterdam, Sept. 30, 2016. Topic: "Inequality and Financial Markets" 
  • Plenary Panel, 21st Annual Common Core of European Private Law: "Property and Inequality in the 2l51 Century," June 12-13, 2015, University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Topic: "Property and Inequality: Two Paradigms

Select Presentations, Panels, and Conferences

  • Association of American Law Schools (AALS) Annual Meeting 2023, The Comparative Law Classroom panel, January 4, 2023, Co-Sponsored by the Comparative Law and East Asian Law and Society Sections 
  • Association of American Law Schools (AALS) Annual Meeting 2023, Works in Progress Panel, Comparative Law Section, January 5, 2023, Paper: "Behavioral Comparative Law: An Emerging Field?" 
  • Law and Society Annual Meeting, May 27-30, 2021, Panel: Global Legal Pluralism: Philosophical and Historical Perspectives, Paper: "The History and Future of Plural Commercial Normative Orders: Fintech, Machine Learning, and the New Normative Order for Finance" 
  • Contracts and Contract Law in the Age of AI Conference, University of Turin, Feb. 12, 2021. Paper: "Artificial Intelligence and Contract Law: Rethinking Contract Theory" 
  • American Society of International Law Mid-Year Meeting, Oct. 29-30, 2020, Paper: "A Cognitive Turn for International Law: Implications for Understanding Global Justice" 
  • Co-Organizer, with Steven Schwarcz (Duke), Iris Chiu (UCL), and N. Orkun Akseli (Manchester), Financial Inclusion, Access to Credit, and Sustainable Finance Symposium, to be published in Law and Contemporary Problems, Spring 2021
  • Fifth Global Procurement Conference, University of Rome Vor Tergata, July 6-8, 2020. Session (with Caroline Nicholas, UN Office of Legal Affairs): “Raising Public Procurement from Local to Global Standards: Worth It?’
  • University of Luxembourg Faculty of Law Scholarship Workshop, "More Misery: Why it is Difficult for International Law to Address Inequality," Dec. 18, 2019 
  • Class Crits Conference XII, Nov. 15-16, 2019, Western New England University School of Law, Paper: “Inequality and Access to Credit: A Social Contract Framework”
  • European Society of International Law Annual Conference 2019, “Conversation with the ESIL Book Prize Winners,” Athens, Greece, Sept. 14, 2019
  • Private Law Consortium, “Artificial General Intelligence and Contract,” Bar-Ilan University, Tel Aviv, Israel, June 3-4, 2019 (Consortium members: Bar Ilan, Durham, City Hong Kong, NUS, Penn, Rotterdam, Trento, Tromso, UCL, and Vanderbilt)
  • Financial Inclusion and Access to Credit Symposium, Durham Castle, “Regulating Access to Credit: From Financial Stability to Distributive Justice, May 28, 2019. Co-organizer
  • University of Liverpool London Workshop on International Law, the “Left Behinds” and the Populism Fatigue, “When Rights and Reasons Fail: How to Think About Populism and International Law,” May 2, 2019
  • Boston College Clough Center for the Study of Constitutional Democracy Workshop on Consent, Coercion, and Democracy: Trade and Foreign Relations in the Trump Era, "Trade Agreements, Renegotiation, and the Structure of Coercion," March 14, 2019 
  • Tenth Annual Transnational Commercial Law Teacher's Conference, University Carlos III de Madrid, "The Law and Economics of Blockchain: Implications for Commercial Codes and Commercial Transactions," Oct. 18-19, 2018 
  • Symposium on Challenges and Cooperation Opportunities Amid the Globalization of Legal Education, Jilin University School of Law, “The History of Legal Education in the United States and England: Why it Matters Today,” Sept. 8. 2018
  • Symposium Co-Organizer, When Corporate and International Law Meet: Corporate Agency in a Global Context, American Society of International Law, Washington DC, May 11, 2018. Co-sponsored by Durham and Jilin (China) University Law Schools. Paper: “Tribes, Corporations, and Harm”
  • Lecture, Renmin University Law School, Chinese University of Political Science and Law, and Jilin University School of Law, “Cost-Benefit Analysis of Financial Regulation and Distributive Justice,” Oct. 17, 2017
  • UNCITRAL 50th Anniversary Congress Modernizing International Trade Law to Support Innovation and Sustainable Development. Invited to moderate panel, July 4-6, 2017
  • Fairness in Law-making Conference, Queen’s University Belfast School of Law, Panel 1: The Concept of Fairness, May 19, 2017
  • Panelist. Socio-Legal Studies Annual Conference, University of Lancaster UK, April 5-7, 2016, Topic: “Debt in Just Societies”
  • Panelist, Institutions and Human Behavior Third Annual World Interdisciplinary Network for Institutional Research (WINIR) conference, Sept. 2-5, 2016, Boston, MA, Topic: “Debt in Just Societies”
  • Economic Assessment of International Commercial Law Reform Workshop, Commercial Law Centre, Harris Manchester College, University of Oxford., invited participant, Mar. 29-30, 2016, and various other dates, including at UNIDROIT (Rome) Oct. 8-9, 2018, April 10-11, 2019 (paper presented on cost-benefit analysis), September 15, 2022
  • Panelist, Public Procurement Global Revolution VII, University of Nottingham, June 15-16, 2015, Topic: “Shareholder Derivative Litigation and Debarment: An Assessment and Future Prospects”
  • International Law Association (ILA) British Branch Spring Conference: Foundations & Futures of International Law, May 23-24, 2014. Paper: “The Analytical and the Normative in the Philosophy of International Law”
  • World Bank Global Forum on Law, Justice and Development, Second Colloquium on Suspension and Debarment, May 15, 2014, Washington DC. Panel: “Who Should be the Decision-maker?” 
  • Symposium on Socio-Legal and Theoretical Perspectives on International Economic Law, University College London Faculty of Laws, Nov. 14-15, 2013. Paper: “Luck, Justice, and Systemic Financial Risk”
  • London School of Economics, Laboratory for the Advanced Research on the Global Economy in the LSE Centre for the Study of Human Rights, Oct. 31, 2013. Event: Greed, Humanity and the Neoliberal Retreat in International Law. Commentator on paper by M. Sornarajah 
  • School of Law, Queen Mary University of London, Seminar Series on Transnationalism, Legal Theory and History Research Group, Oct. 23, 2013. Paper: “On the Philosophy of Transnational Law.”
  • Public Procurement: Global Revolution VI, University of Nottingham, June 24-25, 2013, Paper: “Development Bank Procurement and Anti-Corruption Policies and the Rise of Global Administrative Law”
  • Global Challenges – Global Law: A Symposium on the Future of International Law and Global Governance, Swansea University, June 6-7, 2013. Paper: “Concept and Contract in the Future of International Economic Law”
  • American Society of International Law (ASIL) Private International Law Interest Group and Duke University School of Law Centre for Comparative and International Law Symposium, What is Private International Law, Nov. 1-2, 2012. Paper: “Private International Law, Obligation and Authority”
  • American Society of International Law (ASIL) 105th Annual Meeting, Harmony and Dissonance in International Law, Mar. 23-26, 2011, Panel: International Legal Theory Interest Group Panel: Harmony and Dissonance in International Legal Theory. Paper: “Reasonable Pluralism and International Law”
  • 2021: International Law: Ten Years from Now, Feb. 26, 2011, Symposium, Southwestern Journal of International Law and International Law Association (American Branch) International Law Weekend-West. International Trade Law Panel. Paper: “Redesigning Global Trade Institutions”
  • Public Procurement: Global Revolution V, Sept. 9-10, 2010, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Paper: “Global Procurement Law in Times of Crisis: New Buy American Policies and Options in the WTO Legal System." Panel Chair: “Current Issues for the GPA”
  • What Makes States Successful? Afghanistan and the Future of State Building, April 14-17, 2010, University of La Verne. Conference Co-Organizer with Vice Admiral (Ret.) Bruce MacDonald (former US Navy Judge Advocate General) and Robert C. O’Brien, former California Managing Partner, Arent Fox
  • Association of American Law Schools (AALS) Conference on Business Associations, June 7-10, 2009, Long Beach, California. Paper: “Contractualism and Corporate Law”
  • American Society of International Law (ASIL) 103rd Annual Meeting, International Law as Law, Mar. 25-28, 2009, Panel: “Visions from International Law: Insights from Normative Theories.” Paper: “International Law: Practical Authority, Global Justice”
  • Association of American Law Schools (AALS) Mid-Year Meeting: What is Wrong with the Way We Teach and Write International Law?, June 17-20, 2007, Vancouver B.C. Paper: “Might Does Not Make Right: Thinking Through Stromseth, Wippman and Brooks”
  • Rethinking the Social Contract: The Social Contract and the Modern Welfare State, April 18-20, 2007, Rhodes House, Oxford University. Paper: “Contractualism and the Moral Evaluation of International Institutions: The Case of Odious Debt.” Conference funded by the Foundation for Law, Justice and Society, associated with Wolfson College Oxford.
  • 2nd Annual International Conference on Asian and WTO Law and Policy: Rules, Practices and Policies in Government Procurement, July 27-28, 2006, National Taiwan University.  Paper: “The New Law and Development Movement and the Revised UN Model Law on Procurement of Goods, Construction and Services.” Sponsored by the National Taiwan University College of Law, Asian Centre for WTO, and International Health Law and Policy
  • Public Procurement: Global Revolution III, June 19-20, 2006, University of Nottingham, UK.  Paper: “Public Procurement in Times of Wars and Catastrophes: Iraq and Other Cases”
  • American Society of International Law (ASIL) International Economic Law Annual Conference, Feb. 24-26, 2005, American University Washington College of Law, Washington DC. Conference Theme: “Does Free Trade Guarantee Peace, Liberty and Security?” Paper: “Principles of Fairness for International Economic Treaties: Constructivism and Contractualism”
  • American Society of International Law (ASIL) 96th Annual Meeting, Mar. 13-16, 2002. Panel: Why (Not) Uniform Legal Solutions?  Paper: “The Economics of Private Law Harmonization”
  • Public Procurement: Global Revolution II, Sept. 6-7, 2001, University of Nottingham, UK. Paper: “Informing the WTO’s Transparency Agenda: Law, Economics and International Relations Theory”
  • Conference sponsored by US Department of Agriculture and University of Arkansas Centre for Agricultural Law Research and Information, at the USDA’s National Agricultural Library, Greenbelt, Maryland, USA, May 14-15, 2001.  Paper: “TRIPS, Biotechnology and the Public Domain: What Role Will World Trade Law Play?” Funding provided by the US Department of Agriculture and the University of Arkansas


Research Interests

International Economic Law
Commercial Law
Financial Regulation
Artificial Intelligence and Law - Select Aspects