General Provisions (Articles 7-13) - Chapter 2 - Practitioner's Guide to the CISG - Second Edition
Originally from: The Practitioner’s Guide to the CISG - Second Edition
§ 2.1 Overview
§ 2.1.1 Interpretation of the CISG
(a) Article 7(1)
Courts and lawyers should be prepared to spend considerable more time and resources in trying a CISG case. Why? Because the CISG is understood to require, inter alia, an interpreter to consider not only domestic case law applying the CISG and domestic commentaries on the CISG but also foreign decisions and writings from foreign authors. Foreign decisions, although not widely available, can be accessed through several electronic sources, most of which are free. For example, case abstracts in English are available at the UNCITRAL data base; UNILEX, in addition to abstracts, also provides hundreds of cases in their original language. The Pace Law School CISG data base is certainly the most comprehensive: case law in their original languages, hundreds of cases translated into English, and about 1,200 scholarly writings (the vast majority of them in English), and all of them easily accessible. Scholarly writings published in American law reviews may be available in both print and electronic forms through Lexis Nexis and Westlaw.
Research related to a CISG case is aimed at fulfilling two main goals behind the Convention: (i) Autonomy: The Convention is an autonomous text (it should not be construed through the interpreter’s own domestic legal background) and (ii) Uniformity of application (it should be applied in a uniform manner throughout the Contracting States). Both are ambitious goals. So far, it is safe to say that courts do not intentionally mean to disrupt the uniform application of the CISG so much as courts have had difficulty in determining the kind of uniform approach necessary to properly decide a CISG dispute. Deciding or trying a CISG dispute requires that both attorneys and judges deemphasize their domestic-law backgrounds and emphasize the international character of the Convention.