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Reproduced with permission from Revue de droit uniforme/Uniform Law Review (1997) 385-395

excerpt from

The U.N. Convention on the International Sale of Goods: A Critical Analysis of Current International Case Law - 1997 (Part 1)

Michael Joachim Bonell [*] and Fabio Liguori [**]

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The Vienna Sales Convention and the 1980 Rome Convention

Yet the second of the two Belgian decisions mentioned above also addressed another interesting question, namely the relationship between CISG and the 1980 Rome Convention on the Law Applicable to Contractual Obligations.

One of the parties, arguing that there was an antinomy between Article 21 CISG on late acceptance and Article 9 of the Rome Convention concerning the formal requirements of the contract, requested that the matter be submitted to the European Court of Justice. The Tribunal de Commerce of Brussels was quite correct in simply stating that Article 21 of the Rome Convention safeguards the application of international conventions to which one Contracting State is, or is about to be, party, and that CISG likewise, as laid down in Article 90, "[. . .] does not prevail over any international agreement which [. . .] contains provisions concerning the matters governed by [it], provided that the parties have their places of business in States parties to such agreement."

The question of whether "any international agreement" is intended to refer also to private international law conventions is discussed in legal writings.[46] The Tribunal de Commerce of Brussels took the negative view, stating that no conflict was possible between CISG and the Rome Convention as the former contains uniform substantive rules, while the latter contains uniform conflict of laws rules.[47] This solution would appear to be correct, also in view of the fact that, in the words of Article 90 CISG, conflict of laws is not a matter governed by that Convention.

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Go to entire text of Bonell/Liguori commentary


* Professor, Law Faculty, University of Rome 1 "La Sapienza"; Legal Consultant, Unidroit.

** Attorney in Rome; Research fellow, University of Rome 1 "La Sapienza".

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46. For a negative solution see S. Carbone, in C.M. Bianca (ed), Convenzione di Vienna sui contratti di vendita internazionale di beni mobili (Padova, 1992) 343. A broad approach is taken instead by K.H. Neumayer- C. Ming, Convention de Vienne de vente internationale de marchandises. Commentaire (Lausanne, 1993) 576.

47. Cf. Tribunal de Commerce de Bruxelles, 7ème ch., 5 October 1994, cit.

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Pace Law School Institute of International Commercial Law - Last updated August 16, 1999

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