Over the last decade, the Institute of International Commercial Law has formed partnerships with academic institutions and individual scholars around the world to provide the legal community with high quality professional translations into English of foreign case law (including arbitral awards) relating to the CISG and UNIDROIT Principles (“The CISG Translation Network”). This organized effort has generated over 1,800 translations of CISG decisions and arbitral awards.
To obtain permission to reproduce full translations for commercial or non-commercial use, please contact Pace Law.
Institutional partners in the network have included:
- Centre for Commercial Law Studies at Queen Mary, University of London (“Queen Mary Case Translation Programme”, the nominal description used for a transatlantic joint venture between the Institute of International Commercial Law at the Pace University School of Law)
- International Law Project ('ILP') (a partnership between the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot's Moot Alumni Association ('MAA'), the Institute of International Law at Pace Law School and UNCITRAL). Further details in relation to the ILP can be obtained from the Moot Alumni Association's webpage at www.maa.net.
- New York University School of Law
University of Belgrade
University of Heidelberg
Professor Tang Houzhi Case Translation Program
We are also grateful to the members of our Autonomous CISG Network who regularly provide cases, recommend translators and edit case translations on our behalf.
Hundreds of individuals have also contributed their skill and time to make the translation program a success. The individuals are identified and given due credit on the case translation(s) that they completed on behalf of the Institute of International Commercial Law.
Taming the Dragons of Uniform Law Case Law:
Sharing the reasoning of courts and arbitral tribunals
Commentary by Albert Kritzer
["Taming the Dragons of Uniform Law" (title purloined from a scholar who coined it in another context) is a report on sharings of judicial reasoning in over 1,885 English texts and English translations of court and arbitral awards on the UN Convention on Contracts for International Sale of Goods (CISG). "Dragon taming" is also an overture. We invite colleagues to serve our profession and the world trade community with us by collaborating on additional case translations.]
Calling attention to the need to consider foreign case law to "promote ... the uniform application of the CISG", Ferrari identifies uniform-law dragons. He states:
"[R]equiring interpreters to consider foreign decisions can create practical difficulties. On the one hand, foreign case law is not readily available, i.e., it cannot easily be retrieved. On the other hand, foreign case law is often written in a language unknown to the interpreter.
Franco Ferrari, "Applying the CISG in a Truly Uniform Manner, Uniform Law Review (2001-1) 206 [citations omitted].
To comply with the mandate recited in article 7(1) CISG, courts must have due regard to the "international character" of the CISG "and to the need to promote uniformity in its application," and scholars must be equipped to assist judges struggling to comprehend the ramifications and applications of this uniform international sales law. Schlechtriem reminds us of a corollary responsibility of scholars. He states:
A major help scholars can provide is by analyzing the cases of their countries and of other countries "as thoroughly as possible to present the full picture of interpretations and applications to our jurists."
Peter Schlechtriem, "Uniform Sales Law - The Experience with Uniform Sales Law in the Federal Republic of Germany", 3 Juridisk Tidskrift 1 (1991-92) 16 (emphasis added).
In collaboration with centers of learning of many countries, we make CISG case law of all countries freely and readily available on this Database. We provide:
- English texts of rulings of rulings on the CISG by courts of Australia, Canada, and the United States and texts of arbitral awards on our uniform law handed down in English by ICC and Stockholm Chamber of Commerce arbitral tribunals, and by arbitral tribunals of Switzerland;
- English translations of rulings on the CISG by courts of Argentina, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iran, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Stockholm, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom and Vietnam, including rulings of the Supreme Courts of Argentina, Austria, Colombia, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland, and of arbitral interpretations of the CISG handed down by ICC tribunals and tribunals of Egypt, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Mexico, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland and Yugoslavia.
In ruling on an international convention, Lord Denning stated: "We are told that there have been no decisions so far in other countries on this article of the convention ... So where we lead, others may follow. But I would like to assure them that if it had come first before them, we would be only too glad to follow them."
James Buchanan & Co Ltd v Babco Forwarding and Shipping (U.K.) Ltd  1 All ER 518 (CA) at 522, 524,  2 WRL 107 (CA) at 113, 113-14; reinforced by Fothergill v Monarch Airlines  AC 252 (HL),  All ER 696 (HL).
We also report compatible views of representatives of Latin American (Argentina), Scandinavian (Finland), United States, and German legal cultures, and of a