Volume 29 (2018) / Issue 6
Lorenza Mola, Cristina Poncibò, 'The Autonomous Interpretation Standard of International Uniform Private Law: A Dialogue on Methods of Interpretation from the Perspectives of Comparative Private Law and International Public Law' (2018) 29 European Business Law Review, Issue 6, pp. 851–883
Our article is based on a fresh dialogue between two colleagues of public international law and comparative private law. We question whether the standard of interpretation of uniform private conventions is, or should be, identified and shaped under the two scholarships. In particular, we aim to answer three main research questions. The first question is whether the interpretation of uniform private law conventions is governed by the principles of public international law on the interpretation of treaties (as expressed by Articles 31-33 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (VCLT)). In case of an affirmative answer, the second question follows by discussing whether the application of the rules at Articles 31-33 of the VCLT may be beneficial for the interpretation of the conventions of uniform private law. We argue that these articles may finally offer a ‘common interpretative framework’ to domestic courts. Third, the article questions whether, in applying uniform private law conventions, domestic courts are under a duty to apply the VCLT interpretative methods and consider foreign case law. Here our point is that such a duty exists, although domestic courts ‘tend to ignore it’ in adjudicating cases. We will address these questions through dialogue, where we both describe the state of the art in our respective scholarships and try to come to a reciprocal, and if possible even common, understanding on each issue. ‘It would be deplorable if the nations should, after protracted negotiations, reach agreement … and that their several courts should then disagree as to the meaning of what they appeared to agree upon'
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