Table of Contents
0. Table of Contents
5. Important Achievements
a. UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts
b. Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment
6. Criticism and Setbacks
Today international trade is still a both difficult and complex matter. One does not even have to be a businessperson anymore to realize that. In this age everyone can browse the internet and with just a few clicks have almost everything delivered right to one’s doorstep from all around the world. Due to this simplicity it is often overlooked that ordering goods from the other side of the globe or even just a few steps beyond the closest border involves many differences and problems that need to be taken care of. But while a small order from a private person causes enough trouble, still far more legal issues arise from trade from businesses to business (B2B) contracts over borders. The reason for this is that every state has its own laws, rules and customs and it needs to be clarified which is to be prioritized and obeyed. As the cross-border trade has grown dramatically during the last decades, it therefore has become essential that organizations fight for unifying the laws and regulations for international trade against. One of the most famous and most important institutions is the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law or UNIDROIT. Its main tasks consist of harmonizing and coordinating international private law. Currently (July 8, 2007) the organization has 61 members, including the majority of the leading industrial nations like the United States, Germany, India and China. (Member States of UNIDROIT, 2007) (International Institute for the Unification of Private Law, 2007) (UNIDROIT, 2007).
In the following paper I am going to analyze and explain the UNIDROIT and its achievements in detail. Therefore I am going to start with a brief summary of its history and evolvement since its foundation. After this I will concentrate on the goals and objectives the organization has been founded upon. Then I will concentrate on the structure and working principles of it, followed by UNIDROITS certainly most important achievements concerning what they say and what importance they have. Before ending with a brief conclusion of what has been discussed, I will also come to setbacks in the organizations history and structure.
The roots of the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law go back as far as to 1926. Then it was founded by vote of the League of Nations, the predecessor of the United Nations, in Rome. Two years later it started its work, but already in 1940 it split from the League of Nations to become an independent international organization. Its most important achievements, which are going to be analyzed and discussed later in detail, are the “UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts” and the “Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment”. The first one published in 1994 with a revised and extended version ten years later. The latter was signed in 2001. Both are also to be updated and rereleased in the future. During it’s more than 75 years of existence UNIDROIT has all together published more than 70 studies and drafts. (International Institute for the Unification of Private Law, 2007) (UNIDROIT, 2007) (UNIDROIT’s Achievements, n.d.).
If one takes a look at the Statue of UNIDROIT, the first article states, that the organization’s general aims are to analyze possibilities to abolish differences and problems connected to private law involving different nations. In the long run it should lead to a state in which its members, ideally the whole world, can agree on a single international private law system.
But since this is just a vision which still lies far in the future, if at all, the Statute also list various minor objectives to gradually approach the overall goal. First UNIDROIT certainly shall work on bills of international law or conventions. Through each signing and ratification of conventions the member states legal systems always get a bit closer together to eventually reach the general aim. Additionally, it is important for the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law to construct agreements to improve the affairs between countries with respect to private law. Another self set field of work is supposed to be the investigation of differences and commonalities between states with respect to private law. Besides doing all this, UNIDROIT also demands from itself to study and support current and past initiatives by similar institutions and organizations. Finally, they want to inform about and distribute their works to the public, if they see a benefit for the public or other organizations. (Statue of UNIDROIT, n.d.)
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- International University in Germany Bruchsal – Business School