Ralf Michaels, ‘The UNIDROIT Principles as Global Background Law’

In this contribution I assess, empirically and analytically, what role the UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts (PICC) play twenty years after their drafting, and how this role differs from the role for which they were originally intended. First, I present nine surprising findings concerning the actual use of the PICC. (1) Although most academics discuss whether the PICC can be chosen as applicable law, parties rarely choose the PICC. (2) Adjudicators use the PICC even when they have not been chosen. (3) The PICC are increasingly used as customs or international trade usage although this is not their nature. (4) Although the PICC are catered mainly to arbitration, state court judges apply the PICC at least as often as arbitrators. (5) Although the PICC are transnational, they are used very differently in different countries. (6) Although the PICC are advertised as a comprehensive code, their use as a system is rare, and rarely successful. (7) Most use is made of individual provisions, and, contrary to the claim that the PICC are self-sufficient, in connection with other laws. (8) Despite their international focus, adjudicators frequently apply the PICC to domestic situations. (9) The PICC are a model more for domestic than international lawmaking …

Ralf Michaels, The UNIDROIT Principles as Global Background Law (2014).

First posted 2014-10-02 11:51:13

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