Volume 3 | Issue 3 Article 5
UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Conciliation: From a Topic of Possible Discussion to Approval by the General Assembly Robert N. Dobbins
Follow this and additional works at: http://digitalcommons.pepperdine.edu/drlj Part of the Commercial Law Commons, Dispute Resolution and Arbitration Commons, International Law Commons, International Trade Commons, Legislation Commons, Other Law Commons, and the Remedies Commons Recommended Citation Dobbins, Robert N. (2003) "UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Conciliation: From a Topic of Possible Discussion to Approval by the General Assembly ," Pepperdine Dispute Resolution Law Journal: Vol. 3: Iss. 3, Article 5. Available at: http://digitalcommons.pepperdine.edu/drlj/vol3/iss3/5
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Dobbins: UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Conciliation: From
UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Conciliation: From a Topic of Possible Discussion to Approval by the General Assembly Robert N. Dobbins As has often been the case for this virtually unsung Commission of the United Nations, with little fanfare outside the United Nations earlier this year the General Assembly formally adopted the Model Law on International Commercial Conciliation (the "Model Law") created by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law ("UNCITRAL"; also the "Commission"). Readers should not misconstrue the quietude as something indicative of insignificance. The Model Law is landmark legislation in this age of globalization, providing a solid foundation on which UN Member States and businesses can build international commercial relationships with the comfort of knowing that they can control the outcome of the inevitable future disputes. By no means a Pulitzer Prize winner, for those interested enough to inquire, the story of the creation of the Model Law is remarkable. The purpose of this Note is to give a snapshot of how, what began in the shadow of Arbitration as a "possible work topic considered by the Commission . . . Conciliation,"' in the space of two and one-half years be-
came the Model Law. As a secondary and intentional focus of this note, this author (conceding his own bias) hopes to allow the Secretariat of UNCITRAL to enjoy its well-deserved moment in the spotlight for its monumental efforts in the creation of the Model Law. In the first section of this Note, we will review the structure of the Secretariat - the working arm of the Commission. Here we will also examine the Working Group - the representatives of Member States and Non-Government Organizations ("NGOs") who helped to craft the wording and the spirit of the Model Law. The second section will discuss some of the background to the actual process by which the Model Law went from the Commission's suggested 1. "Report of the Working Group on Arbitration on the Work of Its Thirty-Second Session (Vienna, 20-31 March 2000)", United Nations Commission on International Trade Law "A/cn.9/ 468" (10 April 2000) ["Working Group Report 468"J.
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Pepperdine Dispute Resolution Law Journal, Vol. 3 , Iss. 3, Art. 5
work topic to approval by the General Assembly. In this section we will begin with a short introduction to the concept of a "model law" - a uniform legislative text intended as a tool for stabilization in its assigned subject. We will also consider the "shadow of arbitration" from which the Model Law emerged and can be recognized as covering a subject conciliation - wholly distinguishable from arbitration. In the third section,...