The Inter-American Juridical Committee and Private Law in the Americas (or a Road Map for Making the Best the Enemy of the Good)
EL COMITE JURIDICO INTERAMERICANO: UN SIGLO DE APORTES AL DECRECHO INTERNACIONAL OAS Secretariat, Rio de Janeiro, pp. 299-336, 2007
28 Pages Posted: 17 Oct 2007
In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Inter-American Juridical Committee (IAJC) of the OAS, this study analyzes the contribution the IAJC has made, and may make in the future, to the development of private international law in the Americas. The first part reviews the historical antecedents of the current process involving Inter-American Specialized Conferences on Private International Law (the CIDIPs), both before and in the initial phases of the current OAS. The second part focuses on the various CIDIPs and the input provided by the IAJC on specific proposed instruments. In this section exhaustive treatment is neither desirable nor appropriate, because it is largely a story of the IAJC's diminishing role. For, as the technical expertise required for the development of increasingly narrow instruments addressing profoundly important but increasingly specialized and technical bodies of law grew, experts naturally supplanted the role of the public and private international law specialists at the IAJC. The third and final part of this study traces the evolution of the CIDIP process into a form not envisioned by its founders. This part studies the end of an era and speculates as to future directions, not only of the IAJC's role but also of the institutional processes of the Inter-American Legal System as a whole, in the development of the critical topic of eliminating legal impediments to greater interaction, both commercial and non-commercial, among the peoples of the Americas. The paper analyzes the relative utility of varying instruments for regional private law harmonization, arguing that in the short term model laws may be more efficacious than traditional treaties but that, in the longer term and in light of the increasing convergence of the issues traditional addressed by private international law and the cutting edge issues addressed in regional trade regimes, regional economic integration agreements may well prove to be the most effective vehicle for private law harmonization in the Americas.
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