Go to Database Directory || Go to Autonomous Network homepage
Charter of the Autonomous Network of CISG Websites
Section 1: Introduction to the Autonomous Network and the CISG
The Autonomous Network of CISG Websites (the "Autonomous Network") is a
consortium of national and regional comprehensive databases of information on the United
Nation Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods ("CISG") set in place
to serve national and regional markets and the world trade community.
- The participants in the network are educational institutions and law firms,
- Joined together to serve trade in their own markets and in all markets by free and
readily accessible publication on the Internet of materials on the CISG and related
The CISG is one of the most successful international instruments which provide
uniform substantive rules for international trade. The majority of the international commercial
sales community, acting through the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law
(UNCITRAL), drafted the CISG to facilitate international trade on the basis of equality and
mutual benefit. The CISG smoothes relations between and among countries with different,
economic, legal and social systems by providing uniform rules and practical procedures for
international sale of goods.
- Worldwide, two-thirds of international commercial transactions are conducted
between parties based in CISG countries. More than 1,600 judicial and arbitral
decisions and over 7,000 scholarly writings on the subject have been identified.
In this sense, the CISG is a successful and mature text of protean nature, which
has been supported and enhanced by legal practice over the last 15 years. Other
measures of success are the extent to which provisions of the CISG have been
emulated in national sales laws - this has been extensive - and in international
"Restatements": the UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Law and
the Principles of European Contract Law, which have led to further attention to
- Uniform accessibility of the CISG, including legal interpretations of the law in the
texts of the written decisions of disputes is needed to build security for growing
international markets. The Autonomous Network is a uniform law network. The world's uniform international
sales law belongs to each country and to all countries. To help one another, the
members of the Autonomous Network share experience and lessons learned. Each
national or regional website is designed to best serve traders and counsel of its
home market; together we serve the world market. The network is synergetic --
the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Section 2: Objectives of the Autonomous Network
The objectives of the Autonomous Network of CISG Websites are:
- To provide a global jurisconsultorium on uniform law for jurists and arbitrators
of all jurisdictions, counsel who plead before them, law students, and scholars
who comment - to enable them to have an improved opportunity to consider
doctrine and jurisprudence on uniform law from all jurisdictions, including
jurisdictions other than their own.
- To facilitate and encourage individuals, Institutes and Universities to design
national or regional websites dedicated to disseminating information on the CISG
and related subjects in accordance with the spirit of this Charter.
- To guide current Autonomous Network Partners in the continued development
and maintenance of their Databases.
- To facilitate and encourage the partnership and cooperation between Autonomous
Network Partners and host Universities to foster environments that permits the
continued dissemination of information related to uniform international
Section 3: Principles of the Charter
The Principles of the Charter are:
- Principle 1: Fostering the success of international business transactions by
sharing knowledge of international commercial law and practices through an
- Principle 2: Autonomous Network Partners should manage their websites in an
effort to provide comprehensive country-specific information on the CISG.
- Principle 3: Recognizing the increasing application of the CISG in international
disputes, as well as the growing number of scholarly materials on the subject,
Autonomous Network Partners should establish and maintain Databases in
cooperative University or similar institutional environments intending to support
the continued development and update of the Database.
- Principle 4: Recognizing the CISG is not the only legal instrument to address
issues specific to international sales law, Autonomous Network Partners should
strive to include related materials; in particular, full texts of the UNIDROIT
Principles of International Commercial Contracts and Principles of European
- Principle 5: Autonomous Network Partners are encouraged to share information
within the Network about the CISG and related subject matter.
- Principle 6: Autonomous Network Partners support the efforts and work of the
CISG Advisory Council that is aimed at promoting the uniform interpretation of
- Principle 7: Autonomous Network Partners support the Willem C. Vis
International Arbitration Moot as an educational tool to teach and enhance the
international legal communities' understanding of the CISG.
- Principle 8: Autonomous Network Partners support the continuing efforts of
sister organizations disseminating information related to the CISG, including
UNICITRAL and UNIDROIT.
- Principle 9: The Autonomous Network Partners recognize the significant pro
bono work which contributes to the thoroughness of the Databases.
- Principle 10: Hosting Universities and institutions should support the significant
contribution made by the creation and maintenance of the Database, as well as the
participation in the Autonomous Network.
Section 4: Presentation, Information and Methods
The consortium of CISG websites began with Faculties of Law of the United States,
Germany and France. The consortium has expanded to include Web sites in Australia,
Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Israel, Japan,
Mexico, Netherlands, Spain and Latin America, Switzerland and Thailand with regional sites for Africa
and the Arab States of the Middle East. Go to <http://cisgw3.law.pace.edu/network.html> to access these sites.
- Collaborators in the Autonomous Network are practitioners whose cases are
being reported; trade law experts whose commentaries accompany the cases; law
leaders of tomorrow; and law professors tracking the development of national
trade law based on the CISG.
- The decisions involving the CISG are not equally accessible in all countries. The
Autonomous Network with feeless public access strives to overcome this
deficiency. The Autonomous Network is set in place to help provide the most
current, comprehensive library of reference material on the CISG. The
Autonomous Network includes decisions in eleven languages in the trading world.
- The databases that comprise the Autonomous Network make the CISG and
information on it accessible and understandable. These Databases ease the
CISG's interpretation in practice. In addition, they allow the user to apply the
CISG to the facts of an issue using legislative history, case law rulings and
scholarly writings explaining and interpreting the Convention.
Section Five: Guidelines
Guidelines for the scope of information to be provided by an Autonomous
Network Database (either provided directly or via link to sister Database):
- The text of the CISG in official languages and links to translations in unofficial
- Table of States that have adopted the CISG (Contracting States);
- Judicial and arbitral case presentations construing the CISG from courts and
- Introductory and practical secondary materials explaining the CISG or exploring
the construction and interpretation of the CISG;
- Links to the UNIDROIT Principles of International Contracts and Principles of
European Contract Law; and
- A bibliography of scholarly writings on the subject.
Section 6: International Cooperation
The Autonomous Network is not limited to the current members. It is open
to persons or institutions that seek to create a Database on the CISG within the
spirit of this Charter.
Pace Law School
Institute of International Commercial Law - Last updated July 20, 2005
Go to Database Directory || Go to Autonomous Network homepage