University of Nottingham Commercial Law Centre

Commercial Law Centre and UNIDROIT

On 17 December 2019, UNIDROIT entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Commercial Law Centre of the University of Nottingham School of Law to further research and work in areas of commercial law reform and development.

The International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT) is an independent intergovernmental Organisation with its seat in the Villa Aldobrandini in Rome. Its purpose is to develop methods for modernising, harmonising and co-ordinating international private and commercial law and to formulate uniform law instruments, principles and rules. Its work facilitates trade, contributes to international sustainable development, promotes education, advances international cooperation and exchange, and closes cultural gaps.

As part of this MoU, both parties will seek to make efforts to further work in areas of common interest, by means of, but not limited to, promotion of UNIDROIT instruments at the Commercial Law Centre, participation of students from the University of Nottingham in the UNIDROIT Research and Internship Programme, and through general knowledge sharing, exchange of information, and documents.

Members of the Commercial Law Centre actively research on different instruments produced by UNIDROIT.

On 11 November 2020, Senior Legal Officer Carlo Di Nicola delivered a presentation via webinar to the LLM students at the Commercial Law Centre University of Nottingham School of Law. 

The presentation provided an overview of the Institute’s history, its membership, and its working methods, as well as a number of its instruments in the realm of international commercial law, including the UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts (UPICC). The webinar was part of an ongoing collaboration between UNIDROIT and the Commercial Law Centre of the University of Nottingham School of Law under the framework of a recently signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to further research and work in areas of commercial law reform and development.

UNCLC_Unidroit1  UNCLC_Unidroit2


Dr Orsolya Toth

Dr Orsolya Toth has conducted research on a number of aspects of the UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts. She has written on the status of the Principles as the law governing the contract and their status as terms incorporated into the parties' contract by reference. She has written on the nature of 'mandatory rules' in the Principles and on how to reconcile the existence of 'mandatory rules' in a non-binding 'soft law' harmonisation measure. She has also considered the relationship between the mandatory rules of the Principles and the mandatory rules of domestic laws and rules of public policy.

Dr Toth has also researched the relationship between the Principles and the 'new' lex mercatoria or law merchant. She has argued in her monograph (The Lex Mercatoria in Theory and Practice, OUP) that certain provisions of the Principles can be a reflection of the unwritten, conduct-based lex mercatoria and can be one of the most powerful tools of evidencing the content of the lex mercatoria. The Principles, therefore, in addition to being a legal harmonisation measure based on comparative law, also play a key role in establishing the existing commercial practices adopted by members of a business community.

Dr Toth's future research plans continue to focus on the Principles, especially on the ways in which the instrument may be applied by arbitrators as an evidentiary tool when the lex mercatoria applies to the parties' dispute.

Related publications

  • ORSOLYA TOTH, 2017. The Lex Mercatoria in Theory and Practice Oxford University Press
  • ORSOLYA TOTH, 2006. The UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts as the Governing Law - Reflections in Light of the Reform of the Rome Convention (1980). In: E CASHIN RITAINE and E LEIN, eds., The UNIDROIT Principles 2004 - Their Impact on Contractual Practice, Jurisprudence and Codification Swiss Institute of International and Comparative Law (ISDC)

Dr Sanam Saidova

Dr Sanam Saidova has recently published a book concerning Security Interests under the Cape Town Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment, as a prominent UNIDROIT instrument.

This book provides an extensive analytical examination of the Cape Town Convention and its Protocols. The Convention aims to facilitate asset-based financing and leasing of aircraft, railway and space objects by establishing a uniform legal regime for the creation and protection of security and related interests in these types of equipment.

The book provides a detailed treatment of issues arising from the creation of security and other international interests under the Convention, from the need to ensure their priority among competing interests to the enforcement of remedies in the case of the debtor's default or insolvency. Security interests in aircraft, railway and space objects are among the most frequently invoked mechanisms used to ensure repayment of the debt. It is their significance, effectiveness and frequency of use that explains this work' focus and scope.

Dr Reza Beheshti

Dr Reza Beheshti’s research concerns the appropriateness of substantive international commercial law rules for out-of-court settlement. He has written a number of articles about the extent to which the remedial principles of UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts and the UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods can satisfy particular interest of international commercial buyers. In this regard, he developed a framework that can help arbitrators and mediators in determining the most suitable principles when faced by challenging questions of choosing appropriate remedies.

Reza is working toward finalising a monograph, which will comprehensively and deeply analyse remedial principles under four prominent legal regimes relating to the international sale of goods.

Recent publications

University of Nottingham Commercial Law Centre

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