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Uniform Law for International Sales under the 1980 United Nations Convention

3rd edition (1999)

John O. Honnold

Case-Law: Bibliography

A.  Case-law: Discovery Tools

The preface to this edition referred to the large and rapidly-growing body of decisions interpreting the Convention, and their importance in preparing contracts, settling disputes and promoting international uniformity. A large number of these decisions are summarized in connection with the discussion of provisions of the Convention. One hopes that this current body of decisions will be helpful. However the flow of decisions will continue; we must look to the future. The following section offers alternative ways to find additional decisions.

1. Finding Needed Decisions, Past and Future

(a) Case Law on UNCITRAL Texts: (CLOUT). States that have implemented UNCITRAL uniform laws—the Sales Convention (CISG) and other Conventions and Model Laws—have been requested to appoint National Correspondents (NCs). The NCs are requested to send to the UNCITRAL Secretariat the full texts of decisions applying the uniform law.

Since many decisions are too long for multi-lingual translation, the NCs are also requested to prepare, for each decision, a half-page abstract in one of the UN’s official languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, or Spanish. The Secretariat translates these abstracts into the other languages.

Periodically, sets of these abstracts are published under the following symbol: A/CN.9/SER.C/ABSTRACTS/1...(and later publications numbered /2, /3.../16). More detailed information is available in the User Guide: A/CN.9/SER.C/GUIDE/1. Photocopies of the full texts of decisions, in the original language, can be obtained from the Secretariat, against a fee covering the cost of photocopying and mailing. Requests for material can be addressed to: UNCITRAL Secretariat, Vienna International Centre, P.O. Box 500, A-1400, Vienna, Austria. Fax: (43 1) 327 485; Phone: 21131-4061. For Internet access, see infra at (c) Internet.

National Correspondents (NCs) by now have been appointed by most CISG States; the breadth of coverage is rapidly increasing but, as yet, the completeness of coverage is unclear. As of writing, 16 CLOUT publications have been issued, with a total of over 100 CISG abstracts. The special values of the CISG abstracts are: (1) careful choice of decisions; (2) availability of concise statements of CISG decisions to all who are familiar with any of the six UN languages; (3) availability of full texts in the original language.

(b) UNILEX: International Case Law and Bibliography on CISG. This writer wishes to express his admiration and gratitude for the material developed by Prof. Michael J. Bonell, University of Rome 1,"La Sapienza" , and his highly proficient staff. Two large, expandable volumes pro vide remarkably complete lists of CISG decisions, listed by (1) Date, (2) Country and (3) Issue. Most important are the clearly-written abstracts of decisions, translated, when necessary, into English. Volume 2 gives the full texts of decisions in their original languages. The above material is also available on disk. Address: Transnational Publishers, Inc., 410 Saw Mill River Road, Ardsley, N.Y., 10502; Tel: 914/693-5100; Fax 914/693-4430 .

(c) Internet and the "World Wide Web".

(i) UNCITRAL and CLOUT (above, at 2(a)): The web-site address: http:/www.un.or.at/uncitral then access "Case Law on UNCITRAL Texts (CLOUT)". Information on availability in languages other than English may be obtained from the UNCITRAL Secretariat. For address and phone number, see 1(a) above.

TREATY SECTION (for new adherences to CISG): http:/www. UN. ORG/Depts/Treaty

(ii) PACE University Law School: A. Kritzer, Esq. and Prof. N. Triffin, editors: http://www.cisg.law.pace.edu

(iii) GERMANY, Freiburg i. Br., Prof. Peter Schlechtriem, Director: http://www.jura.uni-freiburg.de/iprl/cisg

(iv) FRANCE, Prof. Claude Witz, Univ. de la Sarre (Sarrebruck): http://www.jura.uni-ab.de/FB/LS/Witz/cisg.htm

(v) ITALY, Prof. M. J. Bonell, Centre for Comp. & For. L. Studies, Rome: http://soi.cnr.it/crocs/crocs/case-law.htm

(vi) FINLAND, Prof. T. Ämmälä, TurkuU.: http://www.utu.fi/oik/ tdk/cisg/cisg/htm

(vii) SPAIN, Directors, R.I. Ortiz, P. Perales Viscasillas, Univ. Carlos III: http://www.uc3m.es/cisg

(d) Analyses of CISG Case-law.  For references (duplicating some items listed, infra, in B. Books and Reports) see:

Bonell M.J. & Ligouri F., Critical Analysis of [CISG] Case-law. UNIDROIT, Uniform Law Review (ULR), NS-Vol.I (1996–1) 147–163, (1996–2) 359–375; Vol.II (1997–2) 385–395, (1997–3) 583–597, often cited as Bonell/Ligouri, ULR, plus year and page.

J. Law & Comm. (U.Pitt.), 12:235–282 (1993), 14: 153–234 (1995), 15:1–200 (1995), 16:215, 257–367 (1997), often cited as JLC.

Review, CISG, Cornell Int. L. J. (1995) 3–116.

(2)  Abbreviation of Cited Decisions

To avoid overwhelming this book (and readers), citations of decisions must be sharply abbreviated. Citations follow this order: (A) The country where the case was decided: e.g., FR. for France, GER. for Germany, etc.; (B) The tribunal: e.g., (for France) C. de Cass. (Cour de Cassation, France’s "Supreme Court" ("S.Ct."); (for Germany) OLG for Oberlandesgericht (provincial court of appeal); (C) An identifying number: e.g., for Germany, 2 U 1230/91 (D) The date of decision: e.g., 17-09-1993. A typical citation: GER. OLG Koblenz, 2 U 1230/91, 17-09-1993.

The above examples reflect the pattern, in many jurisdictions and nearly all arbitrations, not to give the names of the parties. In jurisdictions (e.g. France, USA) where the parties are identified, a sharply abbreviated reference must suffice. (In some cases the names of parties run on, and on...)

Readers may not be familiar with some of the abbreviations and names used in case-citations. English equivalents for many of these are given in Appendix C, at the end of this book, preceding the Index. As a modest introduction and time-saver, some of the frequently used but difficult abbreviations include: [Germany:] BGH—Bundesgerichtshof (the Federal Supreme Court); OLG—Oberlandesgericht (the appellate court of a province). [Netherlands] HR—Hoge Raad (the Supreme Court). [Switzerland: "CH"] ZG—Zivilgericht (Cantonal civil court).

A short cut through unfamiliar territory: Discussion of a decision ends with a reference to the source where the decision was found, e.g. UNILEX; CLOUT (See 2(a), (b) and (c), above). These sources, and material cited in books and articles ("Bibliographic Resources", infra) usually provide fuller references.

B.  Bibliographic Resources; Books and Reports

(1)  Bibliographic Resources

The Preface to this edition referred to the astonishing volume of writings inspired by this Convention. Professor Witz has listed, from many lands and languages, 221 pages of references, averaging 8 to 10 items per page—a staggering total of two thousand "or so" writings. The present book, with its added burden of CISG decisions, is forced to be highly selective in referring to this mass of literature. Those who do not find adequate support in "B. Bibliographic Resources; Books and Reports" and periodicals cited in the text, can find rich resources in the following:

Bonell, M.J. (and associates), UNILEX (mentioned above): Transnational Publishers, 410 Saw Mill River Rd., Ardsley, N.Y., 10502, Tel. 914/693-5100. (Also available on disk.)

Will, M.R., International Bibliography, 1980–1995 (exhaustive lists from many lands and languages), Faculty of Law, University of Geneva, 102 Carl-Vogt, CH-1211, Genève 4, Switzerland.

Winship, P., 24 Int. Lawyer 307 (1990), 28 id. 401 (1994).

Additional references may be found, supra, at: A(1)(c). Internet and the "World Wide Web".

(2)  Books and Reports

(a) Treatises—English. (For other languages, see (a)(i), infra.)

Schlechtriem, P., Ed., Commentary on the UN Convention on the International Sale of Goods (CISG), Oxford (1998), 803 pp. (This magistral work, prepared by ten scholars including Professor Schlechtriem, is based on a translation of the authors’ "Kommentar zum Einheitlichen UN-Kaufrecht —CISG, 2d ed. 1995.) The publication of the 1998 English version, shortly before the present work went to press, has made it impossible to bring most of the new book’s material to bear, but it has been possible to note many references to corresponding material. References are cited: Schlechtriem, Com. (1998), followed by page numbers .

Bianca, C. & Bonell, M.J. (16 collaborators), Commentary on the International Sales Law (CISG). Milan: Giuffré, 1987 (cited as B-B Comm.)

Bronstein H. & Lookofsky, J. M., Understanding CISG in Europe (Kuwer, 1997).

Schlechtriem, P., Uniform Sales Law (translated from Ger.: Einliches UN Kaufrecht) 120 p. (Manzsche,Vienna, 1986) (also many articles).

Enderlein F. & Maskow D., International Sales Law (N.Y. Oceana, 1992) 480 pp. (also examines Limitation Convention) (other articles infra).

(i)  Non-English: Treatises and Studies.

Audit, B., La Vente Internationale, (LGDJ, Paris, 1990) 224p.

Bianca, C.M. (ed., many authors) Convenzione di Vienna (CISG), Padova (Cedam) 366 p.

Caemmerer von, E. & Schlechtriem, P. Kommentar (CISG) (eds.) München, C.H. Beck (2d ed. 1995) 924 pp.

Magnus U. & Honsell H. (eds.) Wiener UN-Kaufrecht (CISG) (many authors) 715 pp. (Sellier de Gruyter, Berlin, in BGB series) (Oxford, 1994)

Thieffry, J. & Granier, C.,Vente Internationale (Paris, Cfce, 1992)

(ii)  Related Topics

Bonell, M. J., An International Restatement of Contract Law (2d ed. 1997) 266p. (UNIDROIT Principles)

(b) Other General Articles and Reports. (Writing on issues relating to a specific topic will be noted throughout this book in connection with the topic in question. As the above heading indicates, the articles below deal with more general issues.)

Bonell, M.J. & Ligouri, P., Critical Analysis of (CISG) Current Internat. Case L., UNIDROIT, ULR (1996–1,2; 1997–2,3), op.cit. supra (1)(b). (Often cited as: Bonell/Ligouri, ULR (1996-1,2; 1997-2,3)

Cornell Int. L. J., Review of CISG (many authors) (Boston, Kluwer 1995)

Date-Bah, S.K., Developing Countries’ Perspectives (CISG), Penna, ed., Current Developments (6th Singapore Conf., Sept. 1992; 87–102 (1994). See also, 11 Rev. Ghanian L. 50–67 (1979).

Del Duca, L.F. & Del Duca, P., Practice under CISG, UCCLJ, I. 27:331; II 29:99–169(1996)

Donner, L.A., Impact of CISG on Canada, 6 Emery Int. L.R.743–51(1992)

Dubé, G. Civil Code of Québec & CISG; Canadian Inst. (1992) 205–222

Dubrovnik Lect.(CISG), Sarcevic & Volken eds. (N.Y. Oceana, 1986)

Feltham J., CISG, (1981) J. Bus. L. 346.

Ferrari, F., CISG: Sphere of Application (Boston, Kluwer, 1995)

Flechtner, H., Recent Developments: CISG, 14 JLC 153–176 (1995)

Freiburg Colloq., Schlechtriem, P., ed., Ein.K.&N.O. (Baden, Nomos 1987)

Honnold, J., Gen. Rep., 1985 Comp.L.Cong., in Freiburg Colloq. 115–147

Hague-Zagreb Essays, Voskuil & Wade, eds. (Hague; Nijhoff, (1983),

Judicial Interpretation in Germany, (1995) 51–94

Kritzer, A.H., Guide to Practical App’s (Kluwer 1994– , loose-leaf)

Lausanne Colloq. CISG, Nov. 1984, (Zurich: Schultless, 1995)

Leete, B.A., Teaching CISG, 12 J. Leg. St. Ed’n, 19–42 (1994)

Ndulo: UK: Explanatory Doc’n (C(SG) for Commonwealth Juris. (1991)

Nicholas, B., The Vienna Convention, 105 L.Q.Rev. 201–243 (1989)

Nicholas, B., The U.K. and CISG: Splendid Isolation? (Sagi, n.9, 1993)

Parker Colloq., Galston & Smit, eds. (N.Y. Matthew Bender 1984)

Pittsburgh Symposia: U.Pitt. Sch. of Law, 8 JLC 1-243 (1988), 17 JLC 181–380 (1998) (eleven articles)

Potsdam Colloq. (I.A.L.S.) 1980

Reiley, E/FU, Chinese Law & CISG after Tianamen Square, 24 US For. L.Rev. 24–94 (1989)

Schlechtriem, Uniform Sales Law in Germany, J. Tidskrift, Stockholm U. 1991–1992, 1–28 (1988)

Van Alstine, M.P., Dynamic Treaty Interpretation, 146 U. Pa. L. Rev. 687 (1998).

Winship P., Changing Contract Practices: A Guide for Practitioners, 29 Int. L. 525–554 (1995)

Winship P., Private International Law, 21 Cornell L.J. 487 (1988)

C.  Conventions; Statutes

Hague 1986 PIL Convention —Convention on the Law Applicable to Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, Hague Conference on Private International Law, The Hague. A Conference held at the Hague in October 1985 prepared a "Draft Convention". On December 22, 1986, the Draft Convention received its first signature (Czechoslovakia) and thereupon was termed the " 1986 Hague Convention on the Law Applicable to Contracts for the International Sale of Goods". Reproduced in Hague Conference on P.I.L, Receuil (Collection of Conventions) (1951–1988) 326, 15 Int. Leg. Mat. 1575.

Int. Leg. Mat. —International Legal Materials (Washington, D.C.: American Society of International Law: Bimonthly).

(U.S.A.) UCC —Uniform Commercial Code, prepared by the American Law Institute and the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws. The UCC has been adopted (subject to local variations) by 49 of the 50 States and in part by Louisiana. The UCC has been enacted by the United States Congress for the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands. (A revision of Article 2 on sales is nearing completion.)

Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (1969) —U.N. Doc. A/CONF.39/27, reprinted in 8 Int. Legal Mat. 679 (1969) and 63 Am. J. Int. L. 875 (1969)

D. Periodicals: Abbreviations

Am. J. Comp. L. American Journal of Comparative Law
Ark. L. Rev. Arkansas Law Review
Austral. Bus. L. Rev. Australian Business Law Review
Bus. Lawyer Business Lawyer
Camb. L. J. Cambridge Law Journal
Can. Bus. L. J. Canadian Business Law Journal
Can. Bar. Rev. Canadian Bar Review
Colum. J. Transn. L. Columbia Journal of Transnational Law
Colum. L. Rev. Columbia Law Review
Cornell L. Rev.

Cornell Law Review
Dr. et Pr. Comm. Int. Droit et Pratique du Commerce International
Duke Bar Assn. J. Duke Bar Association Journal
Duke L. J. Duke Law Journal
Ga. J. Int. & Comp. L. Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law
Harv. L. Rev. Harvard Law Review
Int. Bus. L. J. International Business Law Journal
Int. Contract L. & F. Rev. International Contract Law and Finance Review
Int. & Comp. L. Q. International and Comparative Law Quarterly
Int. Law. International Lawyer
Int. Rev. L. & Ec. International Review of Law and Economics
Int. Tr. L. J.

International Trade Law Journal
J. Bus. L. Journal of Business Law
JLC Journal of Law and Commerce (U. Pitt. School of Law)
J. Comp. Legis Journal of Comparative Legislation
J. D. I. Journal du Droit International
J. Int. L. and Policy Journal of International Law and Policy

Law & Cont. Pr. Q.

Law and Contemporary Problems Quarterly
Lloyd’s Mar. & Comp. L. Q. Lloyd’s Maritime and Comparative Law Quarterly
L. Q. Rev. Law Quarterly Review
La. L. Rev. Louisiana Law Review
McGill L. J. McGill Law Journal
Mich. L. Rev. Michigan Law Review
Minn. L. Rev. Minnesota Law Review
Mod. L. Rev. Modern Law Review
N. Car. L. Rev. North Carolina Law Review
Neth. Int. L. Rev. Netherlands International Law Review
N.W. J. L. & Bus. Northwestern Journal of Law and Business
Rabels Z. Rabels Zeitschrift für ausländisches und internationales Privatrecht
Rev. Int. Dr. Comp. Revue Internationale du Droit Comparé
Riv. Dir. Int. Pr. & Proc.

Rivista del Diritto Internazionale Privato e Processuale
Stanford J. Int. L. Stanford Journal of International Law
S. Ca. L. Rev. Southern California Law Review
Stanf. L. Rev. Stanford Law Review
Tul. L. Rev. Tulane Law Review
U.C.L.A. Rev. University of California, Los Angeles, Law Review
U. Chi. L. Rev. University of Chicago Law Review

U. Cin. L. R.

University of Cincinnati Law Review
U. Pa. L. Rev. University of Pennsylvania Law Review
U. Pitt. L. Rev. University of Pittsburgh Law Review
U. Queensland L. J. University of Queensland Law Journal
U. W. Ont. L. Rev. University of Western Ontario Law Review
UNIDROIT Unif. L. Cas. International Institute for the Unification of Private Law, Uniform Law Cases (Rome: UNIDROIT).
UNIDROIT Unif. L. Rev.

UNIDROIT Uniform Law Review, International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (Rome: UNIDROIT) NS 1996. . .
Vanderbilt J. Tr. L. Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law
Vand. L. Rev. Vanderbilt Law Review
Wash. L. Rev. Washington Law Review
Yale L. J. Yale Law Journal

E.  Legislative History of the Convention

(1)  Problems of Access

The Convention’s legislative history is important and voluminous. Documents showing the Convention’s development appear in the eleven volumes of the UNCITRAL Yearbooks (1968–1978) and in the Official Records of the 1980 Conference—a total of over 3,000 pages. Even with these volumes at hand it is difficult to find the material that bears on specific provisions; for example, the article-numbers of drafts kept changing during the decade of the Convention’s development. (This development is described in Chapter 1 at §§5–10, infra. )

(2)  Avenues for Access

This book provides avenues for access to these materials. When articles of the Convention are first quoted, footnotes provide a reference to the applicable provision of the 1964 Hague Conventions (ULF and ULIS)—the starting-point for the Commission’s work. See §9, infra. These footnotes also cite the applicable provision of the 1978 UNCITRAL Draft—the basis for discussion at the 1980 Conference. When questions of interpretation arise, this revised edition gives detailed references to relevant discussion in the UNCITRAL Yearbooks ("YB") and in the Official Records ("O.R.") of the 1980 Conference. These references are coupled with parallel citations to the same material reproduced in the writer’s Documentary History of the Convention.


Pace Law School Institute of International Commercial Law - Last updated August 20, 1999

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