[...] as Professor Brödermann’s book amply demonstrates, today’s international practitioner or arbitrator does need to know something about the UNIDROIT Principles. Indeed, even if we make no particular effort to learn about them, such knowledge will soon enough be thrust upon us.
First enacted in 1994, the UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts (often abbreviated to “PICC”) are a project of the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT). The PICC have been through four iterations (1994, 2004, 2010 and 2016); Professor Brödermann’s commentary addresses the latest (2016) iteration, while providing a helpful comparison to see to past texts and, where appropriate, an explanation of how certain Articles have evolved. In keeping with UNIDROIT’s founding statute and tradition, the PICC, and accompanying commentary, was drafted by a multinational Working Group of judges, scholars and practitioners from a variety of national legal systems, and thus represents an attempted synthesis for “balancing” (one of Brödermann’s favored terms) of disparate legal traditions. In some respects, the PICC can be seen as a “restatement” of international contract law; inevitably, however, the synthesizing/balancing process produces aspects that are novel—and, in the view of some practitioners—unusual or contentious.