The UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules (Arbitration World Jurisdictional and Institutional Comparisons 6th Edition- Sweet & Maxwell)

Adrian Hughes QC & John Denis-Smith (Arbitration World Jurisdictional and Institutional Comparisons 6th Edition - Sweet & Maxwell).


1.1 How is the institution organised and run and what is its history? 

The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) has been the core legal body of the United Nations system in the field of international trade law for more than 40 years. Its aims are to remove or reduce legal obstacles to the flow of international trade and to progressively modernise and harmonise trade laws. It achieves these aims through UNCITRAL legislative texts, such as conventions, model laws and legislative guides. These may be adopted by states through the enactment of domestic legislation and through UNCITRAL non-legislative texts, such as the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules 1976, which can be used by parties to international trade contracts. The latter are developed by working groups comprising all the member states, following which they are submitted to UNCITRAL for finalisation and adoption.

UNCITRAL can justifiably claim to have done more than any other institution to develop and promote international commercial arbitration. The Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards 1958 (New York Convention), the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules 1976 and the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration 1985 (with amendments as adopted in 2006) (Model Law) are three of the most important legal instruments to have assisted the worldwide development of international commercial arbitration.

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