EW Barker Centre for Law & Business

The CISG as a Model for Harmonisation, Convergence and Law Reform

by Associate Professor Gary Bell

The CISG (The United Nations Convention on Contract for the International Sale of Goods) is the most successful international treaty for the unification of substantive private law in the world. There are 84 countries that have adopted the CISG, including Singapore. Trade between these 84 countries represents about two thirds of all international trade. The CISG is widely used by merchants around the world as their law of sale. Courts and arbitral tribunals around the world interpret and apply the CISG.

The CISG is also a model for other harmonisation and law reform projects. Many elements of the CISG have been adopted by national laws around the world - notably the Chinese contract law adopted many provisions of the CISG verbatim. Many CISG solutions have also been adopted by many other harmonisation projects such as the UNCITRAL Model Law on arbitration, the UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Law etc. This conference focused on the ways in which the CISG influences harmonisation and law reform.

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