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Progressive Development of the Law of International Trade:
Report of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, 1966

Introduction

I. The law of international trade

A. Concept of "law of international trade"

B. Legal techniques used to reduce conflicts and divergencies

1. Choice of Law Rules

2. Harmonization and Unification of Substantive Rules

C. Development of the law of international trade

1. Similarity

2. Application

3. Formulation

II. Survey of the work in the field of harmonization and unification of the law of international trade

A. Inter-governmental organizations

1. The International Institute for the Unification of Private Law

2. The Hague Conference on Private International Law

3. The League of Nations

(a) The Geneva Conventions on the unification of the law relating to bills of exchange (1930) and to cheques (1931)

(b) The Geneva Protocol on Arbitration Clauses of 1923 and the Geneva Convention on the Execution of Foreign Arbitral Awards of 1927

4. The United Nations

(a) The Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards of 1958

(b) Industrial property legislation

(c) United Nations regional economic commissions

(i) Economic Commission for Europe (ECE)
a. The ECE General Conditions of Sale and Standard Forms of Contract
b. European Convention on International Commercial Arbitration
(ii) Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East (ECAFE)
(iii) Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLA)
(iv) Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)

(d) United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

(e) Centre for Industrial Development

5. The United Nations Specialized Agencies

(a) International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)

(b) Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization (IMCO)

(c) The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)

6. United International Bureaux for the Protection of Intellectual Property (BIRPI)

B. Regional inter-governmental organizations and groupings

1. The Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (CMEA)*

2. The European Economic Community (EEC)

3. The European Free Trade Association (EFTA)

4. The Latin American Countries

(a) Unification of conflict rules

(b) International commercial arbitration

(d) Other activities

5. The Council of Europe

6. The Benelux Countries

7. The Nordic Council

8. The Organization of African Unity (OAU)

9. The Asian-African Legal Consultative Committee

C. Non-governmental organizations

1. The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)

(a) The Court of Arbitration

(b) Incoterms 1953

(c) Uniform customs and practice for documentary credits

2. The International Maritime Committee (IMC)

3. The International Association of Legal Science

4. The International Law Association (ILA)

5. The Institute of International Law

D. Summary: main areas of harmonization and unification

III. Methods, approaches and topics suitable for the progressive harmonization and unification of the law of international trade

A. Methods

B. Approaches

C. Suitable topics

IV. Role of the United Nations in the progressive harmonization and unification of the law of international trade

A. Progress and shortcomings of the work in the field of harmonization and unification of the law of international trade

B. Desirable action to remedy the existing shortcomings

C. Role of the United Nations

1. Is the Unification and Harmonization of the Law of International Trade an Appropriate Subject for United Nations Action?

2. Would a United Nations Participation in this Activity Unnecessarily Duplicate the Work of Existing Agencies and Reduce or Abolish their Usefulness?

3. Would the United Nations be in a Position to Make a Significant Contribution to Furthering Unification on A World-Wide Scale or Otherwise?

4. Should the Functions of the United Nations be Confined to Co-Ordination or Should they Also Encompass Formulation?

5. Is There a Realistic Chance of Success or is the Task too Diffficult for Tangible Results?

D. Establishment of a United Nations Commission on International Trade Law

E. Financial implications of the establishment of a United Nations commission on international trade law

Endnotes

Endnotes

Concordance (wordlist)

Manifest (alternative outputs)

Metadata

Progressive Development of the Law of International Trade: Report of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, 1966

United Nations (UN)

copy @ Lex Mercatoria

II. Survey of the work in the field of harmonization and unification of the law of international trade

C. Non-governmental organizations

1. The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)

(a) The Court of Arbitration

156. The Court of Arbitration is an institutional arbitration tribunal having a permanent secretariat and utilizing the ICC national committees, however, the arbitrators are appointed ad hoc in every arbitrable dispute. There is no panel of arbitrators, but according to article 7 (2) of the Rules of conciliation and Arbitration of 1 June 1955,  68  arbitrators suggested by the parties must be confirmed by the Court of Arbitration. If the parties fail to appoint one or several arbitrators and that task falls upon the Court, the Court will choose the national committee or committees from which it shall request nominations. Sole arbitrators and umpires must be nationals of countries other than those of the parties (article 7 (3)). Unless the parties agree in advance on the place of arbitration, the Court of Arbitration determines the venue of the arbitration.

157. Conciliation procedure is optional and is carried out by the Administrative Commission for Conciliation established at the ICC (articles 1-5).

158. In major international transactions, arbitration before the Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce is becoming increasingly popular. It is used not only in disputes between private enterprises, but also between private enterprises and States which have submitted to its procedure. It is also sometimes used in disputes between trading concerns of free enterprise and centrally planned economies.

159. In February 1963, the ICC published an analysis of 300 cases decided by the Court.  69  Of these, about 4 per cent concerned disputes between States and individuals. The following is the breakdown according to parties.

Twenty-two European countries: 253 plaintiffs and 246 defendants.

The American continent: 26 plaintiffs and 33 defendants.

Asia: 18 plaintiffs and 13 defendants.

Africa: 15 plaintiffs and 12 defendants.

Australia: 2 plaintiffs and 2 defendants.  70 

160. While the sums involved in the disputes submitted to the Court varied as widely as the subjects of the disputes, the average sum in dispute in the 300 cases under review was approximately $US 150,000, the total amount involved in the 300 cases thus amounting to almost $US 40 million.


 68. International Chamber of Commerce, Rules of Conciliation and Arbitration (Paris, 1955).

 69. International Chamber of Commerce, Guide to /CC Arbitration (Paris, 1963), p. 11.

 70. Ibid., pp. 9-10.

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