United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL)

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[edit] General Information

  • Official name: United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL)
  • Country: Austria
  • City: Vienna
  • Type of organization: International Commission
  • Date of creation: 1966 (December 17th)
  • Interests: International trade law - Arbitration
  • Fields of expertise: Commercial

[edit] Description

[edit] Origin

The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) was established by the General Assembly in 1966 (Resolution 2205 (XXI) of 17 December 1966). In establishing the Commission, the General Assembly recognized that disparities in national laws governing international trade created obstacles to the flow of trade, and it regarded the Commission as the vehicle by which the United Nations could play a more active role in reducing or removing these obstacles.

[edit] Mandate

The General Assembly gave the Commission the general mandate to further the progressive harmonization and unification of the law of international trade. The Commission has since come to be the core legal body of the United Nations system in the field of international trade law.

UNCITRAL's mandate does not extend to participation in either public or private disputes. Consequently, UNCITRAL does not offer legal advice in specific disputes, and, in particular, does not nominate arbitrators, administer arbitrations, certify arbitral authorities, or recommend any legal practitioner for legal assistance.

A reference in a dispute settlement clause to the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules or (in a frequent, but inaccurate formulation) to "UNCITRAL arbitration" or any other provision to the same effect means that the parties agree that an existing or a future dispute should be settled in arbitral proceedings conducted in accordance with the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules.

Although UNCITRAL and its Secretariat have prepared legislative and contractual provisions and rules relating to international commercial arbitration and conciliation, it is not within UNCITRAL's mandate, as set out by the General Assembly, to become involved in individual cases. UNCITRAL and its Secretariat do not act as an arbitral tribunal, administer arbitration proceedings, or otherwise perform any function related to individual arbitration proceedings, or any other system of public or private dispute settlement.

Although UNCITRAL prepared the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules as well as other texts on the subject of arbitration, it is beyond its mandate, and is indeed inappropriate for UNCITRAL, the Secretariat, or individual legal officers to offer advice regarding the interpretation of provisions of UNCITRAL texts or to otherwise offer legal advice. In particular, UNCITRAL does not administer arbitration or conciliation proceedings, nor does it provide services to public entities or private parties in connection with dispute settlement proceedings. Furthermore, UNCITRAL does not keep any list of potential arbitrators or conciliators, nor act as appointing authority under the UNCITRAL arbitration and conciliation rules.

Parties to a contract may agree to use the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules to guide the resolution of disputes arising between them.

Nothing in the Rules limits their use to nationals of States which are Member States of the Commission.

[edit] Composition

The Commission is composed of sixty member States elected by the General Assembly. Membership is structured so as to be representative of the world's various geographic regions and its principal economic and legal systems. Members of the Commission are elected for terms of six years, the terms of half the members expiring every three years.

[edit] Contact

UNCITRAL Secretariat, Vienna International Centre PO Box 500, A-1400 Vienna - Austria

Phone: +43 1 260 60 4061

Fax: +43 1 260 60 5813

Email: uncitral@uncitral.org

Official Website

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