United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL)

After the beginning of the expansion of the world trade in the 1960s, national governments started to feel the need to have a global set of standards to modernize and harmonize the national and regional regulations which were the rules regarding international trade at that time. In 1996, The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) was established by the United Nations General Assembly. Since then UNCITRAL became the primary body of the United Nations in the field of international trade law and its official duty is “to promote the progressive harmonization and unification of international trade law”
Members of UNCITRAL are selected from among member states of the United Nations and they are of different legal traditions and levels of economic development. Initially, the UNCITRAL had 29 member States however, the number of members expanded to 60 States. This expansion of members helps to ensure that the various geographic regions as well as the different legal and economic systems of the World are represented. The 60 member States include 14 African States, 14 Asian States, 8 Eastern European States, 10 Latin American and Caribbean States and 14 Western European and other States. The members of The General Assembly elects members for terms that are six years long and every three years, the half of the members’ terms expire, which results in a fair variation among member States. The commission has annual sessions which are held in alternate years at United Nations Headquarters in New York and at the Vienna International Centre at Vienna. Each working group of the Commission generally holds up to two sessions annually which also alternate between New York and Vienna. In addition of the member states, non-member States and interested international organizations are also invited to attend these sessions as observers. Like members, observers are allowed to participate in discussions at sessions since the decisions are not taken by consensus instead of votes. In addition to the annual sessions, UNCITRAL also develops various texts to achieve the purpose of the modernization and harmonization of the international trade law. These constitute of legislative texts such as conventions, legislative guides and model laws as well as non-legislative texts such as contractual rules.The UNCITRAL has a system called CLOUT (The Case Law on UNCITRAL Texts) which collects court decisions and arbitral awards interpreting UNCITRAL texts.

Agenda ItemAdocia v. Eli Lilly

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