Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAP. XVIII.: Of the Judges of Commerce. - Complete Works, vol. 2 The Spirit of Laws
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CHAP. XVIII.: Of the Judges of Commerce. - Charles Louis de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu, Complete Works, vol. 2 The Spirit of Laws 
The Complete Works of M. de Montesquieu (London: T. Evans, 1777), 4 vols. Vol. 2.
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Of the Judges of Commerce.
XENOPHON, in his book of revenues, would have rewards given to those overseers of commerce, who dispatched the causes brought before them with the greatest expedition. He was sensible of the need of our modern jurisdiction of a consul.
The affairs of commerce are but little susceptible of formalities. They are the actions of a day, and are every day followed by others of the same nature. Hence it becomes necessary, that every day they should be decided. It is otherwise with those actions of life which have a principal influence on futurity, but rarely happen. We seldom marry more than once; deeds and wills are not the work of every day: we are but once of age.
Plato * says, that in a city where there is no maritime commerce, there ought not to be above half the number of civil laws: This is very true. Commerce brings into the same country different kinds of people; it introduces also a great number of contracts, and of species of wealth, with various ways of acquiring it.
Thus in a trading city, there are fewer judges, and more laws.
[* ]On Laws, book 8.