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Abstract

While the government presents the MSC as the embodiment of the future, structurally it bears remarkable resemblance to the colonial legal orders. The enclave nature of the MSC is reminiscent of the colonial dual legal orders. At the same time, the international legal and economic orders have undergone profound changes. The international legal order is now premised on sovereign absolutism and equality among nation-states. The reigning economic paradigm is high technology rather than manufacturing or the spice trade. Discussion of the continuities and discontinuities between colonial and present day transnational legal orders must thus attend to a number of variables. Further, to the extent possible, rhetoric must be distinguished from practice.