Has the CISG Advisory Council Come of Age?
48 Pages Posted: 22 Nov 2009
Date Written: November, 19 2009
The United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG) is intended to serve as a uniform law for international sales. Like all conventions and uniform laws, it suffers from a practical weakness: there is little benefit in enacting uniform rules if they are applied inconsistently. More than seventy countries have now ratified the CISG and their courts have reached significantly diverging interpretations on several CISG provisions. Moreover, there is no centralized authoritative body to promote uniform interpretation. Since 2001, a group of scholars called the International Sales Convention Advisory Council (CISG-AC) has issued opinions on unsettled matters of CISG jurisprudence. A private initiative with no official status, the CISG-AC has nevertheless begun to garner attention from both academics and the courts, including one citation by a U.S. Federal District Court. This article considers the formation, composition, procedures, and mission of the CISG-AC, assesses the impact that it has had thus far on the uniform interpretation of the CISG, and considers its proper role in the CISG interpretive community. While the CISG-AC has not as yet had a significant impact on uniform interpretation of the CISG, it has generated increasing legitimacy as an authoritative commentator on the CISG.
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