What Are Effective Case Law Citations in Essay Writing?

In view of the problems that many students all too often experience in this area, in this brief article I look to now take you through the intricacies of referencing case law in all subjects with a legal element to their study in the UK in particular. Therefore, this will prove especially useful for those studying English law or any subject areas with an English law element when writing your work.

With this in mind, when looking to cite case law in your work it is necessary to consider the traditional form of referencing case law for essay writing in legal subjects that looks to provide –

(a) Name of Case

This should be printed in italics or underlined (do not highlight or use different coloured ink)

(b) Year

This should be in square brackets [1992] or round brackets (1957). The majority of modem law reports use square brackets indicating the year is an integral part of the reference, but some series also adopt a system of volume numbering that runs consecutively through the series in which case the year is in round brackets and simply indicates the date the judgement was given.

(c) Volume Number

Many reports have several volumes each year numerically. As a result, the year will be in [square brackets] and will be an integral part of the reference, whilst those case law series that are numbered consecutively from the beginning will have the year in (round brackets).

(d) Abbreviation for the Series

This indicates the series in which the law report is published – the All England Reports (All ER) is very popular. For your further information a full list of abbreviations can be found in Raistrick. D. S (2007) ‘Index to Legal Citations and Abbreviations’ 2nd Edition, London, Bowker-Saur or in the monthly parts and yearbook of ‘Current Law’.

(e) Page Number or Case Number

The page number is the number within the volume of the report where you will find the case.

Since 2001 some series have started using unique numbers of each case within each year. Therefore, for example, ‘[2005] 2 Cr. App. R. 4’ refers to the fourth case of volume 2 of Criminal Appeal Reports 2005.

At the same time, however, recent reports also number each paragraph, so that the precise point in the case may be cited. As a result, this is especially useful if you are quoting directly from a particular judgement. At the same time, however, it is to be appreciated that, in the past, particular passages could be identified by reference to the letter to be found in the margin.

(f) [Optional] Court

On this basis, it is always important to know which court made the decision and it is good practice to develop the habit of including an indication of the court at the end of the reference – for example, House of Lords (HL) and Court of Appeal (CA).

Examples – There are generally too forms of case law decisions to be cited –

(i) For civil case law decisions in a case like ‘Johnson v Phillips [1975] 3 All ER 682’, by way of illustration, it is usually the claimant (plaintiff) v defendant. As a result, the ‘v’ stands for ‘versus’ or ‘against’, whilst the case is normally referred to in direct speech in a court scenario, for example, as ‘Johnson & Phillips’.

(ii) For criminal case law decisions in a case like ‘R v Lynch (1966) 50 Cr. App. R. 59’, by way of illustration, it is usually the Crown v the defendant. Moreover, as well as the ‘v’ standing for ‘versus’ or ‘against’, ‘R’ stands for ‘Rex’ (‘the King’) or ‘Regina’ (‘the Queen’). This case would then usually be referred to in direct speech in a court scenario, for example, as the ‘Crown against Lynch’ or just ‘Lynch’.

Neutral Citations

Moreover, it is also to be appreciated that, from January 2001, there has been an alternative method available for effectively referencing cases that was introduced to cope with the growth in the number of online reports that also proves very useful for the essay writing process. As a result, all of the case law decisions from the High Court and Court of Appeal have been assigned unique numbers so as to then be able to more easily identify the case since this new method of case citation for academic work also uses paragraph numbers within the case citation itself as part of the essay writing process in this area.

Example:

Grobbelaar v. News Group Newspapers Ltd [2001] EWCA Civ 1213.

Therefore, all case law is to be cited by the name(s) of the parties followed by the medium neutral citation in the essay writing process. Moreover, as well as the year when the case was cited, the reference in essay writing not only shows the legal jurisdiction, but also the court, the division of that court, the reference number assigned to the case by the official court shorthand writers, and (also often) a paragraph reference.

Hawaii Law Briefing – Hawaii Security Breach Law and Identity Theft Notification

Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes committed throughout the United States. Criminals who steal personal information use the information to open credit card accounts, write bad checks, buy cars, and commit other financial crimes with other people’s identities.

Hawaii has the sixth worst record of identity theft in the nation, according to a 2007 report.

I. Hawaii’s Security Breach Law

Identity theft in Hawaii has resulted in significant losses to both businesses and consumers. This epidemic motivated the Hawaii legislature in 2006 to pass several bills whose purpose is to provide increased protection to Hawaii residents from identity theft:

Act 135: Requires businesses and government agencies that keep confidential information about consumers to notify those consumers if that information has been compromised by an unauthorized disclosure;

Act 136: Requires reasonable measures to protect against unauthorized access to personal information to be taken when disposing of records;

Act 137: Restricts businesses and government agencies from disclosing/requiring social security numbers to/from the public;

Act 138: Permits consumer who has been the victim of identity theft to place a security freeze on their credit report;

Act 139: Intentional or knowing possession without authorization of confidential personal information is a class C felony.

Together, the bills signed into law by Governor Linda Lingle as HRS Chapter 487R impose obligations on businesses in Hawaii to notify residents whenever their personal information maintained by the business has been compromised by unauthorized disclosure.

HRS Chapter 487R does not cover financial institutions subject to the Federal Interagency Guidance on Response Programs for Unauthorized Access to Consumer Information and Customer Notice, or Health plans and providers subject to HIPAA.

The underlying policy behind HRS Chapter 487R is that prompt notification will help potential victims to act against identity theft by initiating steps to monitor their credit reputation. Thus, it is critical that any business subject to HRS Chapter 487R audit the manner in which confidential personal information is maintained and have a security breach team prepared to comply with the notice obligations and effectively deal with any breach of personal information.

II. Security Breach

HRS 487R imposes obligations on the part of Hawaii businesses to notify an individual whenever the individual’s personal information that is maintained by the business has been compromised by unauthorized disclosure and to do so in a timely manner.

Under the statute, “Personal Information” consists of an individual’s first name or first initial AND last name in combination with any one or more of the following data elements, when either the name OR the data elements are not encrypted: Social Security Number, driver’s license or Hawaii Identification Number; or an account number, credit or debit card number, or password that would permit access to an individual’s financial account.

The personal information is protected if on a “record.” A “record” is any material on which written, drawn, spoken, visual, or electromagnetic information is recorded or preserved, regardless of physical form or characteristics. Thus, a “record” can be in digital form or on a paper document, which differs significantly from other states that might cover only digital information.

The notice obligations are triggered when a “security breach” occurs. A “security breach” is defined as an incident of unauthorized access to AND acquisition of unencrypted or unredacted records of data containing personal information, where illegal use of the personal information has occurred, OR is reasonably likely to occur; AND that creates a risk of harm to a person. As the definition indicates many times it is difficult to determine whether information has been “acquired” or to the extent that a “risk of harm” exists.

Several states, including Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, and Florida have devised a risk of harm exception. Such exception generally relieves the business from the notice obligation requirement after consultation with law enforcement. Since Hawaii law has no such exception most incidents of unencrypted/unredacted theft or loss of records containing personal information should carry the presumption that illegal use is likely to occur and a risk of harm. In addition, even if a statutory obligation does not arise other legal obligations may exist with respect to the theft or loss.

III. Notification Obligations

To the extent a security breach has occurred, and personal information has been compromised, the business must satisfy the notification obligations imposed by HRS Chapter 487R. Form notices are made part of this article for educational purposes only. The notice obligations must be satisfied without “unreasonable delay.” The only exception would be if a law enforcement agency informs the business in writing that notification may impede a criminal investigation or jeopardize national security. Once it has been determined that the notice will no longer impede the investigation, the notice must be promptly provided.

Under HRS Chapter 487R, the business must notify the resident (and the Office of Consumer Protection/credit reporting agencies where notice has been provided to 1,000 persons).
The notice must be given to the last available address. The notice may be sent to the resident’s email address only if the person has “opted in” to receive notices in that manner. Direct telephonic notice may be given under the statute, but generally is not the recommended way to notify the resident given the potential legal risk with such form of communication.

Under the statute, “substitute notice” may be provided where the costs to provide if the business can demonstrate that the cost of providing notice would exceed $100,000 or that the affected class of subject persons to be notified exceeds two hundred thousand, or if the business does not have sufficient contact information or is unable to identify particular affected persons.

Substitute notice shall consist of emailing the person when the email address is known, the conspicuous posting of a notice on the website maintained by the business, and notification of the security breach to major statewide media.

IV. Penalties

Statutory penalties can be significant. However, government agencies are exempt from statutory penalties under HRS ยง 487R-3. Under the law, businesses can be fined not more than $2,500 for each violation. Such penalty can add up quickly where hundreds or even thousands of Hawaii residents are not informed that their personal information has been compromised.

In addition, a court may impose an injunction on the business and the business may be liable for actual damages and attorneys’ fees.

V. Final Word

Hawaii and other states have taken significant steps to combat the growing epidemic of identity theft. It is important that both Hawaii businesses and employers, and consumers take reasonable steps to protect their interests and reputations.

For Hawaii employers and businesses:

o Enter into agreements imposing obligations on third-party companies to handle sensitive and personal information of your employees and customers in a reasonable manner and to report security breaches immediately;

o Ensure reasonable administrative, physical, and technical safeguards are placed over the personal information handled both the third-party company and internally;

o Periodically have the IT department conduct a risk analysis over electronically-stored information and computer network systems of the company;

o Have IT draft and periodically review comprehensive security procedures to limit vulnerability of the company’s systems and a plan of action;

o Train and retrain employees on privacy policies;

o Ensure company employees collect only the minimum amount of information necessary to accomplish the business purpose.

For consumers:

o Ask your employer, doctor, bank, etc., what steps are taken to protect against misappropriation of private information;

o Treat your mail and trash carefully; use cross cut shredders;

o Use locked mailboxes;

o Keep private information kept in your home hidden and secure;

o Don’t give out private information over the phone;

o Use care when using your computer; create strong passwords;

o Use common sense and stay alert (for example, write to your creditor as soon as you believe you have not timely received a billing statement);

o File a police report and obtain the police report number when you learn that your personal information has been compromised and close accounts, e.g., credit card, bank accounts, etc.;

o Follow up with law enforcement in writing and maintain a file; dispute bad checks written directly with merchants;

o Place a fraud alert/freeze on your credit files (Equifax, Experian or Transunion);

o Periodically obtain your credit report and look it over carefully; note inquiries from companies you did not contact, accounts you did not open, debts you cannot explain and report such information immediately to law enforcement.

SAMPLE LETTER 1

Data Acquired: Account Number, Credit Card or Debit Number, Access Code or Password that would permit access to Individual’s Financial Account

Dear

We are writing to you because of a recent security incident at [name of organization].
[Describe what happened in general terms, what type of personal information was involved, and what you are doing in response, including acts to protect further unauthorized access.]

To protect yourself from the possibility of identity theft, we recommend that you immediately contact [credit card or financial account issuer] at [phone number] and tell them that your account may have been compromised. Continue to monitor your account statements.

If you want to open a new account, ask [name of account insurer] to give you a PIN or password. This will help control access to the account.

To further protect yourself, we recommend that you review your credit reports at least every three months for at least the next year. Just call any one of the three credit reporting agencies at a number below. Ask for instructions on how to get a free copy of your credit report from each.

Experian Equifax TransUnion
888-397-3742 888-766-0008 800-680-7289

For more information on identity theft, we suggest that you visit the Web site of the Hawai’i Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs at ______________ [or the Federal Trade Commission at ___________________]. If there is anything [name of your organization] can do to assist you, please call [toll-free (if phone number].

[Closing]

SAMPLE LETTER 2

Data Acquired: Driver’s License or Hawai’i Identification Card Number

Dear

We are writing to you because of a recent security incident at [name qt. organization].
[Describe what happened in general terms, what kind of personal information was involved, and what you are doing in response, including acts to protect further unauthorized access.]

Since your Driver’s License [or Hawai’i Identification Card] number was involved, we recommend that you immediately contact your local DMV office to report the theft. Ask them to put a fraud alert on your license.

To further protect yourself, we recommend that you place a fraud alert on your credit files. A fraud alert lets creditors know to contact you before opening new accounts. Just call any one of the three credit reporting agencies at a number below. This will let you automatically place fraud alerts with all of the agencies. You will then receive letters from ail of them, with instructions on how to get a free copy of your credit report from each.

Experian Equifax Trans-Union
888-397-3742 888-766-0008 800-680-7289

When you receive your credit reports, look them over carefully. Look for accounts you did not open. Look for inquiries from creditors that you did not initiate and look for personal information, such as home address and Social Security number, that is not accurate. If you see anything you do not understand, call the credit reporting agency at the telephone number on the report.

If you do find suspicious activity on your credit reports, call local law enforcement and file a report of identity theft. [Or, if appropriate, give contact number for law enforcement agency investigating the incident for you.] Get a copy of the police report. You may need to give copies to creditors to clear up your records.

Even if you do not find any signs of fraud on your reports, we recommend that you check your credit reports at least every three months for at least the next year. Just call one of the numbers above to order your reports and keep the fraud alert in place.

For more information on identity theft, we suggest that you visit the Web site of the Hawai’i Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs at _________________ [or the Federal Trade Commission at __________________]. If there is anything [name of your organization] can do to assist you, please call [toll free (if possible) phone number].

[Closing]

SAMPLE LETTER 3

Data Acquired: Social Security Number

Dear

We are writing to you because of a recent security incident at [name of organization]. [Describe what happened in general terms, what kind of personal information was involved, and what you are doing in response, including acts to protect further unauthorized access.]

To protect yourself from the possibility of identity theft, we recommend that you place a fraud alert on your credit files. A fraud alert lets creditors know to contact you before opening new accounts. Just call any one of the three credit reporting agencies at a number below. This will let you automatically place fraud alerts with all of the agencies. You will then receive letters from all of them, with instructions on how to get a free copy of your credit report from each.

Experian Equifax TransUnion
888-397-3742 888-766-0008 800-680-7289

When you receive your credit reports, look them over carefully. Look for accounts you did not open. Look for inquiries from creditors that you did not initiate and look for personal information, such as home address and Social Security number, that is not accurate. If you see anything you do not understand, call the credit reporting agency at the telephone number on the report.

If you do find suspicious activity on your credit reports, call local law enforcement and file a police report of identity theft. [Or, if appropriate, give contact number fur law enforcement agency investigating the incident, for you.] Get a copy of the police report. You may need to give copies of the police report to creditors to clear up your records.

Even if you do not find any signs of fraud on your reports, we recommend that you check your credit reports at least every three months for at least the next year. Just call one of the numbers above to order your reports and keep the fraud alert in place.

For more information on identity theft, we suggest that you visit the Web site of the Hawai’i Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs at ____________ [or the Federal Trade Commission at ______________]. If there is anything [name of your organization] can do to assist you, please call [toll-free (if possible) phone number].

[Closing]

International Institute for the Unification of Private Law

I. Brief Introduction of UNIDROIT

The international Institute for the Unification of Private Law, also known as UNIDROIT, set up in 1926 as an auxiliary organ of the League of Nations; the Institute was, following the demise of the League, re-established in 1940 on the basis of a multilateral agreement, the UNIDROIT Statute. Its seat is in Rome, Italy.

UNIDROIT is an independent intergovernmental organization. Its purpose is to study needs and methods for modernizing, harmonizing, and coordinating private international law and in particular commercial law between states, and to draft international Conventions to address the needs. Moreover, UNIDROIT has to prepare gradually for the adoption by the various states of Uniform rules of private law such as preparing draft of law and conventions with the object of establishing uniform internal law, preparing draft of agreement with a view of facilitating international relations in the field of private law, undertaking studies in comparative private law, taking an interest in project already undertaken in any of these fields by other institution with which it may maintain relations as necessary, organizing conferences and publishing works which the institute considers worthy of wide circulation.

What is the organizational structure of Unidroit like? What is the legislative policy of Unidroit? What are the achievements of Unidroit? Does Unidroit play important role in International law?

II. Membership of UNIDROIT

Unidroit member States are drawn from the five continents and represent a variety of different legal, economic and political systems as well as different cultural backgrounds. In order to be a Unidroit member, states have to accede to the Unidroit Statute.

Moreover, the obligation of member states is to pay the premise to support the yearly expenditure relating to the operation and maintenance of the Institute. In particular, the ordinary basic contribution of the Italian Government, the promoter of the Institute, as approved by the Italian Parliament, which that Government declares to be set, as from 1985, at 300 million Italian lire per annum, a figure which may be revised at the end of each period of three years by the law approving the budget of the Italian State, as well as the ordinary annual contributions of the other participating Governments.

Nowadays, there are 61 member states such as Argentina, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Columbia, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holy See, Hungary, India, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, The Netherlands, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Serbia, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, Turkey, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, The United States of America, Uruguay and Venezuela.

III. Organizational Structure of UNIDROIT

Unidroit structured is categorized into six organs, a General Assembly, A president, a Governing Council, a Permanent Committee, an Administrative Tribunal, and a Secretariat. However, the main three-tier organs that play mighty crucial role in UNIDROIT operation are a Secretariat, a Governing Council and a General Assembly.

1. General Assembly

The General Assembly is the ultimate decision making organ of Unidroit. The General Assembly consists of one representative from each of the participating government. The diplomatic representative or persons deputed by the participating member shall accredit to the Italian Government.

The Assembly should be convened in Rome by the president at least once a year to approve the annual accounts of income and expenditure and the budget in ordinary session. The general Assembly has to approve the work program of the Institute on the basis of a proposal by the Governing Council and, in appropriate cases pursuant to paragraph 4 of Article 16, revise by a majority of two thirds of the Members present and voting the resolutions adopted in accordance with paragraph 3 of the said Article 16.

The member of Unidroit is classified into different categories base on the yearly contribution of each country. The classification will be determined by a resolution through 2/3 vote of General Assembly. Also, the classification is concerning with the national income of the country.

Nonetheless, the classification of the member will be revised every 3 years by further resolution. The resolution of the General Assembly adopted in accordance with the classification shall be notified to each participating government by the Italian government.

During a period of one year following the notification, each participating Government may put forward objections against resolutions concerning its classification for consideration at the next session of the General Assembly. The Assembly shall give its decision by means of a resolution, adopted by a majority of two thirds of the Members present and voting, which shall be notified by the Italian Government to the participating Government concerned. The Latter Government shall, however, have the option of withdrawing from membership of the Institute.

The participating government that is arrear in payment the premise more than 2 years, will lose the right to vote in the General Assembly owing to the premise is very important financial support and necessary to operate the work within the organization.

Institute establish a Working Capital Fund in purpose of which is to meet current expenditure, pending the receipt of the contribution payable by the participating government, and to meet unforeseen expenditure. Furthermore, it must deem with Unidroit regulation, and adopted by 2/3 majority vote by the general assembly.

2. Governing Council

The Governing Council supervises all policy aspects of the means by which the Institute’s statutory objectives are to be attained and in particular the Secretariat’s carrying out of the Work Program, the drawing up of which is its responsibility. It is made up of one ex officio member, the President of the Institute, and 25 elected members, typically eminent judges, practitioners, academics and civil servants.

The 25 members are elected, and some may be appointed by the General Assembly, and one other member is chosen from among the judges in office of the International Court of Justice. The president and members of the Governing Council shall hold office for a term of five years which shall be renewable. The president of Governing Council is appointed by the Italian Government In case there is a replacement of membership, a member of Governing Council shall hold office for the remainder of the term of his or her predecessor. The Governing Council shall be convened by the President whenever he or she considers it expedient and in any case at least once a year.
The Governing Council may invite representatives of international institutions or organizations to take part in its meetings, in a consultative capacity, whenever the work of the institute deals with subjects which are the concern of those institutions or organizations.

Any participating Government, as well as any international institutions of an official nature, is entitled to set before the Governing Council proposals for the study of questions relating to the unification, harmonization or coordination of private law. Therefore the Governing Council shall decide any action to be taken on proposals and suggestions made in this way. The Governing Council may refer the study of particular questions to commissions of jurists who have specialized knowledge of those questions. The commissions shall, as far as possible, be presided over by members of the Governing Council. Following the completion of the study of questions in which it has engaged, the Governing Council has to approve any preliminary drafts to be submitted to Governments if appropriate. It shall communicate such drafts to the participating Governments or the institutions or associations which have made proposals or suggestions to it, asking them for their opinion on the expediency and the substance of the provisions. In the light of the answers received, the Governing Council, if appropriate, approves final drafts. It communicates these to the Governments and to the institutions or associations which have made proposals or suggestions to it. The Governing Council shall then consider the steps to be taken to convene a diplomatic Conference to examine the drafts.

3. The Secretariat

The Secretariat is the executive organ of UNIDROIT responsible for the day-to-day carrying out of its Work Program. It is run by a Secretary-General, who is appointed by the Governing Council on the nomination of the President of the Institute. The Secretary-General is assisted by a staff of international civil servants and various ancillary staff.

The Secretariat consists of a Secretary-General appointed by the Governing Council on the nomination of the President, two Deputy Secretaries-General of different nationalities also appointed by the Governing Council, and the officers and employees provided for in the rules governing the administration of the Institute and its internal operations. The Secretary-General and the Deputy Secretaries-General are appointed for a period which shall not exceed five years. They shall be eligible for reappointment. The Secretary-General of the Institute shall be ex officio Secretary of the General Assembly.

The Secretariat welcomes qualified staff from Member States to work or intern who are either required to carry out an internship with an international organization or as part of their university studies or wish to acquire experience within an organization such as UNIDROIT
The official languages are Italian, English, French, German and Spanish.

4. The President

The President is a representative of the institution. Usually, the president is elected by the General Assembly in other international organization, and also the president of Unidroit. The president has no executive power, but the Governing Council. The president has 5 years term.

5. A Permanent Committee

The Permanent Committee shall consist of the President and five members appointed by the Governing Council from among its own members. Members of the Permanent Committee shall hold office for five years and shall be eligible for re-election. The Permanent Committee shall be convened by the President whenever he or she considers it expedient and in any case at least once a year.

6. An Administrative Tribunal

The Administrative Tribunal has jurisdiction to deal with any dispute between the Institute and its officers or employees, or those entitled to claim through them, with particular regard to the interpretation or application of the Staff Regulations. Any dispute arising from contractual relations between the Institute and third parties shall be submitted to the Tribunal, provided that its jurisdiction is expressly recognized by the parties in the contract giving rise to the dispute.
The Tribunal consists of three full members and one substitute, chosen from outside the Institute and preferably of different nationalities. They shall be elected for five years by the General Assembly. Any vacancy on the Tribunal is filled by cooption.

The Tribunal arrives at its decisions, which shall be without appeal, by applying the provisions of the Statute and of the Regulations as well as the general principles of law. It may also decide ex aequo et bono when such power has been given to it by an agreement between the parties. The President of the Tribunal considers that a dispute between the Institute and one of its officers or employees is of very limited importance, he or she may decide it or may entrust the decision to a single judge of the Tribunal by adopting its own rules of procedure.

IV. Legislative Policies

1. Nature of instruments drawn up by UNIDROIT

Unidroit’s basic statutory objective is to prepare modern and where appropriate harmonized uniform rules of private law understood in a broad sense. However, experience has demonstrated the necessity of permitting occasional incursions into public law, especially in areas of law where hard and fast lines of demarcation are difficult to draw or where transactional law and regulatory law are intertwined. Uniform rules prepared by UNIDROIT are concerned with substantive law rules; they will only include uniform conflict of law rules incidentally.

2. Technical approach to harmonization or unification favored by UNIDROIT

Unidroit’s independent status amongst intergovernmental Organizations has enabled it to pursue working methods which have made it a particularly suitable forum for tackling more technical and correspondingly less political issues.

3. Factors determining eligibility of subjects for treatment

New technologies, commercial practices etc. call for new solutions and, where transactions tend to be transnational by their very nature, these should be harmonized, widely acceptable solutions. Generally speaking, the eligibility of a subject for harmonization or even unification will to a large extent be conditional on the perception of States being willing to accept change to their municipal law rules in favor of a new international solution on that subject. Legal and other arguments in favor of harmonization on a subject have accordingly to be weighed carefully against these considerations. Similar considerations will also determine the most appropriate sphere of application to be given to such rules that are whether they should be restricted to truly cross-border situations or relations or extended to cover also purely internal situations or relations.

4. Factors determining choice of instrument to be prepared

The uniform rules drawn up by UNIDROIT have, in keeping with its intergovernmental structure, traditionally tended to take the form of international Conventions, designed to apply automatically in preference to a State’s municipal law upon completion of all the formal requirements of that State’s domestic law for their entry into force. However, the low priority which tends to be accorded by Governments to the implementation of such Conventions and the time it therefore tends to take for them to enter into force have led to the increasing popularity of alternative forms of unification in areas where a binding instrument is not felt to be essential. Such alternatives include model laws which States may take into consideration when drafting domestic legislation on the subject covered or general principles addressed directly to judges, arbitrators and contracting parties who are however left free to decide whether to use them or not. Where the subject is not judged ripe for the drawing up of uniform rules, another alternative consists in the preparation of legal guides, typically on new business techniques, types of transaction or on the framework for the organization of markets both at the domestic and the international level. Generally speaking “hard law” solutions (i.e. Conventions) are needed where rules’ scope transcends the bi-polar relationship underlying ordinary contract law and where third parties’ or public interests are at stake as is the case in the law of property.

V. Working Method

1. Preliminary stage: use of study groups

Once a subject has been entered on Unidroit’s Work Program, the Secretariat, where necessary assisted by experts in the field, will draw up a feasibility study and/or a preliminary comparative law report designed to ascertain the desirability and feasibility of law reform. Where necessary and provided funding is available, an economic impact assessment study is carried out. The report, sometimes including a first rough draft of principles or such uniform rules, will then be laid before the Governing Council which, if satisfied that a case has been made out for taking action, will typically ask the Secretariat to convene a study group, traditionally chaired by a member of the Council, for the preparation of a preliminary draft Convention or one of the alternatives mentioned above. The membership of such study groups, made up of experts sitting in their personal capacity, is a matter for the Secretariat, which seeks to ensure as balanced a representation as possible of the world’s different legal and economic systems and geographic regions.

2. Intergovernmental negotiation stage

A preliminary draft instrument established by a study group will be laid before the Governing Council for approval, and advice as to the most appropriate further steps to be taken. Typically, in the case of a preliminary draft Convention, these will consist in its asking the Secretariat to convene a committee of governmental experts for the finalization of a draft Convention capable of submission for adoption to a diplomatic Conference. In the case of one of the alternatives to a preliminary draft Convention not suitable by virtue of its nature for transmission to a committee of governmental experts, the Council will be called upon to authorize its publication and dissemination by UNIDROIT in the circles for which it has been prepared.

Full participation in UNIDROIT committees of governmental experts is open to representatives of all UNIDROIT member States. The Secretariat may in addition invite such other States as it deems appropriate, notably in view of the subject-matter concerned, and the relevant international Organizations and professional associations to participate as observers. A draft Convention finalized by a committee of governmental experts will then be laid before the Governing Council for approval and advice as to the most appropriate further steps to be taken. Typically, where it judges that the draft Convention reflects a consensus as between the States which have participated in the committee of governmental experts and that it accordingly stands a good chance of adoption at a diplomatic Conference, these steps will consist in its authorization of the draft Convention’s transmission to a diplomatic Conference for adoption as an international Convention. Such a Conference will be convened by one of Unidroit’s member States.

3. Co-operation with other international Organizations

UNIDROIT maintains close ties of co-operation with its sister international Organizations, both intergovernmental and non-governmental, which in many cases take the form of co-operation agreements concluded at inter-Secretariat level.

By reason of its expertise in the international unification of law, UNIDROIT is moreover at times commissioned by such other Organizations to prepare comparative law studies and/or draft Conventions designed to serve as the basis for the preparation and/or finalization of international instruments in those Organizations.

4. Network of correspondents

Unidroit’s ability to obtain up-to-date information on the state of the law in all the various countries is essential to the pursuit of its statutory objectives. This information is sometimes difficult to obtain and UNIDROIT therefore maintains a network of correspondents in both member and non-member States, who are appointed by the Governing Council amongst academic and practicing lawyers.

VI. UNIDROIT Achievements

UNIDROIT has over the years prepared over seventy studies and drafts. Many of these have resulted in international instruments, including the following international Conventions and Model Laws, drawn up by Unidroit and – in the case of Conventions – adopted by a diplomatic Conferences convened by member States of UNIDROIT:

1. 1964 Convention relating to a Uniform Law on the Formation of Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (The Hague);

2. 1964 Convention relating to a Uniform Law on the International Sale of Goods (The Hague);

3. 1970 International Convention on the Travel Contract (Brussels);

4. 1973 Convention providing a Uniform Law on the Form of an International Will (Washington);

5. 1983 Convention on Agency in the International Sale of Goods (Geneva);

6. 1988 UNIDROIT Convention on International Financial Leasing (Ottawa);

7. 1988 UNIDROIT Convention on International Factoring (Ottawa);

8. 1995 UNIDROIT Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects (Rome);

9. 2001 Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment (Cape Town);

10. 2001 Protocol to the Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment on Matters specific to Aircraft Equipment (Cape Town);

11. 2007 Luxembourg Protocol to the Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment on Matters specific to Railway Rolling Stock (Luxembourg).

UNIDROIT has prepared:

1. Model Franchise Disclosure Law (2002);

2. Principles of International Commercial Contracts (1994; enlarged edition 2004);

3. Principles of Transnational Civil Procedure (in co-operation with ALI) (2004)
Moreover, UNIDROIT has published:

1. Guide to International Master Franchise Arrangements (1998).

Unidroit’s work has also served as the basis for a number of international instruments adopted under the auspices of other international organizations which are already in force. These include:

1. 1954 Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in Case of War (adopted under the auspices of UNESCO);

2. 1955 European Convention on Establishment (Council of Europe);

3. 1955 Benelux Treaty on Compulsory Insurance against Civil Liability in respect of Motor Vehicles (Council of Europe);

4. 1956 Convention on the Contract for the International Carriage of Goods by Road (CMR) (UN/ECE);

5. 1958 Convention concerning the recognition and enforcement of decisions relating to maintenance obligations towards children (Hague Conference on Private International Law);

6. 1959 European Convention on Compulsory Insurance against Civil Liability in respect of Motor Vehicles (Council of Europe);

7. 1962 European Convention on the Liability of Hotel-keepers concerning the Property of their Guests (Council of Europe);

8. Protocol No. 1 concerning rights in rem in Inland Navigation Vessels and Protocol No. 2 on Attachment and Forced Sale of Inland Navigation Vessels annexed to the 1965 Convention on the Registration of Inland Navigation Vessels (UN/ECE);

9. 1980 United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (UNCITRAL);
VII. Conclusion Remark

In conclusion, Unidroit is a unique intergovernmental organization that responsible to prepare draft of law or international convention. Therefore it plays very important role in private international law because it studies the needs and methods to modernize and harmonize the international private sectors, especially international trade. The conventions, protocols and guides serve as a crucial instrument in legal practice. More importantly, the achievements of Unidroit are the wonderful contribution that this organization involves in helping private persons, private companies to settle their disputes. Also, it is a mechanism to boost the progress and development of international trade and commerce prosperously and peacefully. However, Unidroit can only prepare the draft of law or convention, but it has no execution power to enact the law on their own.