Private International Legal Research An Introduction.


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  • NOTE: Exercise #5 is due today. We will be discussing the research plan next Monday (2/23). Please come w/any questions that you might have then. **Handout on prevalence of citation(s) to Int’l Law, especially the CISG (many disputes now!).
  • Private International Legal Research An Introduction.

    1. 1. Private International Legal Research: An Introduction. ALR – International Law February 18, 2004
    2. 2. What is private international law? <ul><li>The body of international law that governs mainly commercial and business disputes among countries or private parties. </li></ul><ul><li>International jurisdiction through treaty application or national courts apply concepts of international law, depending on the type of dispute (could be several claims in one suit). </li></ul><ul><li>Three levels of international trade agreements: bilateral relationships, multilateral relationships, supranational relationships, and regional agreements. </li></ul>
    3. 3. Starting Research in this area: <ul><li>Consult a research guide, bibliography, or website with a collection of links for the subject matter. </li></ul><ul><li>Locate the applicable International Agreements/Treaties. </li></ul><ul><li>Look for laws, regulations, restrictions, and special arrangements in the country that has jurisdiction over the claim. </li></ul>
    4. 4. UNCITRAL – UN Commission for International Trade Law. <ul><li>Website – . </li></ul><ul><li>Significant work toward the harmonization of private international law. </li></ul><ul><li>UNCITRAL site has primary documents and status information about established int’l instruments (e.g.CISG). </li></ul><ul><li>Numerous translations of documents (French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, and Russian). </li></ul>
    5. 5. UNIDROIT – Int’l Institute for the Unification of Private Law. <ul><li>Traces its origins to the League of Nations. </li></ul><ul><li>Official Site: . </li></ul><ul><li>Best-known accomplishment = UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts. </li></ul><ul><li>Status Information / Current Projects. </li></ul>
    6. 6. Hague Conference on Private International Law and Conventions: <ul><li>Active in development of conventions in various areas of private law ( e.g. conflict of laws to intercountry adoption). </li></ul><ul><li>Website: . </li></ul><ul><li>Full-text conventions, status and bibliographic information, and explanatory reports, when available. </li></ul><ul><li>Translations of conventions: . </li></ul>
    7. 7. Private Int’l Law in the U.S. <ul><li>UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG). </li></ul><ul><li>CISG and UNIDROIT principles – Pace University School of law website. </li></ul><ul><li> - CISG database (contains annotated text of the CISG). </li></ul><ul><li>Int’l Sales Law – UNILEX ( ). </li></ul>
    8. 8. Other places to start research after establishing topic . . . <ul><li>Research Guides. </li></ul><ul><li>Bibliographies. </li></ul><ul><li>Web Collections. </li></ul>
    9. 9. Web Collections: <ul><li>Hieros Gamos, “Guide to Global Trade Law” - . </li></ul><ul><li>Georgetown University, “Researching Int’l Economic Law on the Internet” - htm . </li></ul><ul><li> The Online Source for World Trade Law - . </li></ul>
    10. 10. International Agreement Collections: <ul><li>Lex Mercatoria - . </li></ul><ul><li>Fletcher’s Multilaterals Project, “Trade and Commercial Relations” - . </li></ul><ul><li>Foreign Trade Information Center, OAS - . </li></ul><ul><li>Private Int’l Law Database (U.S. Dept. of State) - htm . </li></ul><ul><li>Juris International - . </li></ul>
    11. 11. Major Multilateral and Regional Agreements: <ul><li>Andean Community - htm . </li></ul><ul><li>CARICOM - . </li></ul><ul><li>European Free Trade Association (EFTA) - . </li></ul><ul><li>Free Trade of the Americas (FTAA) - . </li></ul><ul><li>MERCOSUR (IDRC site of Canada) - . </li></ul>
    12. 12. Other Considerations . . . <ul><li>Major international organizations involved in trade and related issues. </li></ul><ul><li>U.S. Government Resources. </li></ul><ul><li>Country Guides ( e.g. “Doing Business in…). </li></ul><ul><li>Statistics – EUROSTAT: . </li></ul><ul><li>ARBITRATION / DISPUTE SETTLEMENT… </li></ul>
    13. 13. Int’l Commercial Arbitration - <ul><li>An important component of private international law. </li></ul><ul><li>TYPES: “ad hoc” vs. “institutional” international arbitration. </li></ul><ul><li>Background information on Int’l Dispute Settlement (Harvard) - . </li></ul>
    14. 14. Reasons for Choosing Arbitration… <ul><li>Distrust of a foreign legal system by one or more parties. </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid long delays in court systems. </li></ul><ul><li>Resolution of dispute by someone w/expertise in a particular business. </li></ul><ul><li>Exercise more control by specifying governing rules. </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid problem of lack of int’l standard on the enforceability of foreign judgments. </li></ul>
    15. 15. Types of Arbitration - <ul><li>Institutional vs. Ad Hoc (mentioned above). </li></ul><ul><li>State vs. Private Parties. </li></ul><ul><li>Specialized vs. General Purpose Institutions. </li></ul>
    16. 16. Treaties - <ul><li>Aim to facilitate international commercial arbitration across national borders. </li></ul><ul><li>United Nations Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards of 1958 (New York Convention), 330 U.N.T.S. 3, 21 U.S.T. 2517 (June 10, 1958). </li></ul><ul><li>Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes Between States and Nationals of Other States (Washington Convention), 575 U.N.T.S. 159, 17 U.S.T. 1270 (March 18, 1965). </li></ul>
    17. 17. Major Arbitral Institutions - <ul><li>Permanent Court of Arbitration – . </li></ul><ul><li>Int’l Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes – . </li></ul><ul><li>International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) - . </li></ul><ul><li>London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) – htm . </li></ul><ul><li>American Arbitration Association (AAA) – jsp . </li></ul><ul><li>WWW Virtual Library Arbitration - . </li></ul>
    18. 18. Arbitration Rules - <ul><li>Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw’s Int’l Arbitration site - . </li></ul><ul><li>ICSID Rules of Arbitration/Conciliation - htm . </li></ul><ul><li>LCIA Rules – htm . </li></ul><ul><li>ICC Rules – . </li></ul><ul><li>UNCITRAL Rules – htm . </li></ul>
    19. 19. Decisions/Awards - <ul><li>Often difficult to locate, even in print, in libraries. </li></ul><ul><li>ICSID provides the full-text of selected cases and awards - htm . </li></ul><ul><li>Abstracts/Decisions for UNCITRAL texts are available through the “CLOUT” database - htm . </li></ul>
    20. 20. Internet Resources & Online Databases: <ul><li>American Arbitration Association - jsp . </li></ul><ul><li>International Chamber of Commerce - . </li></ul><ul><li>London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) - htm . </li></ul><ul><li>LEXIS / Westlaw (Releases in July 2003). </li></ul>
    21. 21. BNA – Int’l Trade Reporter <ul><li>Available at (on-campus) or through the Law Library’s “Electronic Resources” page/”Databases and Subscriptions.” </li></ul><ul><li>General Search Engine (plus advanced); Search by Topic; Search by Case Citation. </li></ul><ul><li>Also, separate databases searchable within Lexis/Westlaw (must have a subscription). </li></ul><ul><li>In print (Law Lib. HF3000.I57). </li></ul>
    22. 22. Westlaw Databases: <ul><li> . </li></ul><ul><li>All Databases > International/Worldwide Materials > Multi-National Materials > “Rules and Regulations” (includes arbitral rules). </li></ul><ul><li>All Databases > International/Worldwide Materials > Multi-National Materials > “Cases” (includes commercial arbitral cases – “ICA-CASES”). </li></ul><ul><li>Treatise = “International Commercial Arbitration - Commentary”; Also, International Commercial Arbitration Treaties: “ICA-TREATIES”. </li></ul>
    23. 23. Lexis Databases: <ul><li> . </li></ul><ul><li>ADR Tab > “Legal News” > “International Arbitration: Mealey’s Litigation Report” (1993-present). </li></ul><ul><li>ADR Tab > “Model ADR Practices and Procedures” > “CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution” > “Int’l ADR”. </li></ul><ul><li>ADR Tab > “Law Reviews & Journals” – includes some int’l coverage (e.g. Central and Eastern Europe). </li></ul><ul><li>Under “Legal/Excluding U.S.”, you can find “Int’l Arbitration: Mealey’s Litigation Report” under specific country’s materials (e.g. UK). </li></ul>
    24. 24. ASIL Publications/Membership: <ul><li> htm . A Guide to Int’l Electronic Resources. </li></ul><ul><li> htm . Student Membership = $30. </li></ul><ul><li> . 98 th Annual Meeting – March 31 st -April 3 rd . </li></ul>