Law - ISDA Provision

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2002 ISDA Master Agreement

A Jolly Contrarian owner’s manual™

law in a Nutshell

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law” includes any treaty, law, rule or regulation (as modified, in the case of tax matters, by the practice of any relevant governmental revenue authority), and “unlawful” will be construed accordingly.

Related agreements and comparisons

Click here for the text of Section law in the 1992 ISDA
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Resources and Navigation

This provision in the 1992

Resources Wikitext | Nutshell wikitext | 1992 ISDA wikitext | 2002 vs 1992 Showdown | 2006 ISDA Definitions | 2008 ISDA | JC’s ISDA code project
Navigation Preamble | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14
Events of Default: 5(a)(i) Failure to Pay or Deliver5(a)(ii) Breach of Agreement5(a)(iii) Credit Support Default5(a)(iv) Misrepresentation5(a)(v) Default Under Specified Transaction5(a)(vi) Cross Default5(a)(vii) Bankruptcy5(a)(viii) Merger without Assumption
Termination Events: 5(b)(i) Illegality5(b)(ii) Force Majeure Event5(b)(iii) Tax Event5(b)(iv) Tax Event Upon Merger5(b)(v) Credit Event Upon Merger5(b)(vi) Additional Termination Event

Index: Click to expand:



We are close to the turtles, here, ladies and gentlemen. The ISDA’s crack drafting squad™ definition of the “law” is as interesting for what it does not say as what it does, and all rounded out nicely by that sweetly ambivalent includes. Not means; just includes.

So — well, you know...



Now of all people you, would think a bunch of lawyers would know a law when they see one, but when it comes to the squad you can never be too careful. Nor should one arbitrarily restrict oneself to one’s field of competence — for who knows what sort of things could, under some conditions, from particular angles and in certain lights be for all intents and purposes laws even if, for other times and other peoples, they might not be? The answer is to set out the basic, sufficient conditions to count as a “law”, without ruling out other contrivances that one might also like to regard as laws, should the context recommend them. Here, using “includes” instead of “means” fits the bill admirably.

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  • The JC’s famous Nutshell summary of this clause

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See also


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