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Political barriers in the ratification of international commercial law conventions
Uniform Law Review  (IF),  Pub Date : 2021-06-15, DOI: 10.1093/ulr/unab003
Johanna Hoekstra

This article analyses the ratification of international commercial law conventions. The Convention for the International Sale of Goods (CISG) is almost 40 years old. In 2012, Switzerland proposed to the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) to evaluate the CISG and assess whether there was need for a new convention. While UNCITRAL decided not to pursue this further, the questions that Switzerland raised remain pertinent. This is not just with regard to the legal and commercial need of a new convention but also regarding the political viability of such a project. This article focuses on the latter question. It analyses the main considerations that play a part in the ratification process of international commercial law conventions. It concentrates on agenda setting and the key actors and analyses the main barriers encountered during ratification. While this article is written in the context of the aforementioned proposal, the analysis has broader applicability to the ratification process of international commercial law conventions. The main conclusions highlight the importance of raising the visibility of commercial law conventions through lobbying by key stakeholders, including trade associations, formulating agencies, and businesses. The importance of this article lies in understanding the political barriers in the ratification of international commercial law conventions.