Afterthoughts: International Commercial Contracts and Arbitration
Australian International Law Journal, Vol. 17, pp. 197-204, 2010
9 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2011 Last revised: 3 May 2011
Date Written: May 1, 2011
This article mainly responds to Professor Bonell’s three proposals to expand usage of the UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts (UPICC). As UPICC are primarily opt-in rules, they can be more ambitious than the United Nations Sales Convention (CISG). They also needed to be, being designed for all commercial contracts - including many more relational contracts. This imparts a somewhat different 'vibe' to UPICC, creating one impediment to the proposal for a UN Declaration urging interpretation of CISG in light of UPICC. As a formal reasoning based legal system, particularly in contract law, Australia also still struggles with such soft law initiatives. More promising will be law reform clarifying that courts, not just arbitrators in proceedings with the seat in Australia governed by the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration, are free to apply 'rules of law' - including UPICC - as the governing law. Elevating UPICC into a Model Law for International Commercial Contracts would also be useful. Australia could then adopt or adapt provisions as the basis for more comprehensive reform of its contract law. This would better mesh with burgeoning relational transactions, and many norms (such as good faith) could also extend to domestic dealings.
Keywords: international law, contract law, arbitration, lex mercatoria, comparative law, Australian law, CISG, UPICC
JEL Classification: K10, K12, K30, K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation