Call for Papers: UNCITRAL Emergence Conference, Macau, 13-14 December 2016

From the Regional Centre:

The UNCITRAL Emergence Conference 2016 will be held on 13-14 December 2016 in Macau, China. We are now inviting paper proposals/abstracts for review.

Following the two successful conferences held jointly by the secretariat of UNCITRAL, through the Regional Centre for Asia and the Pacific (RCAP), and the University of Macau in 2014 and 2015, this year’s Conference will take stock of emerging regional developments relating to the harmonization and unification of international trade and commercial law, and also consider various areas of potential interest for UNCITRAL from a regional perspective.

We invite researchers, scholars and practitioners to share their insight opinions and research, and to engage in an international dialogue on these topics at the Conference. Paper proposals are invited on all emerging legal issues on cross-border business-to-business transactions, including but NOT LIMITED TO the following tracks and topics:

Track 1- Development of the digital economy: new ways of doing business domestically and cross-border.

(v.g. Cloud Computing (With A Focus On Small- And Medium-Sized Enterprises), Internet Of Things, Contracts For Data Transfer/Licensing; Electronic Signatures And Identity Management; Electronic Payments, Including By The Use Of Third-Party Platforms; Distributed Ledger Technologies; World E-Trade Platform (e-WTP) Proposition)

Track 2- Enhancing global supply chains by reducing legal obstacles

(v.g. Harmonized Law Of International Sale Of Goods, Including Limitation Of Actions, And Market Efficiency; Legal Barriers In MSMEs’ Access To Global Supply Chains; Enhancement Of E-Supply Chains Through UNCITRAL Texts On E-Commerce; Regional Legal Barriers Facing Supply Chains In Asia-Pacific; Business Laws Divergence As A Non-Tariff Barrier)

Track 3- Contemporary and emerging issues related to finance and investment

(v.g. Financial Inclusion Through Increased Access Credit And Combating Poverty, Including SME Finance; Convergence of Crowdsourcing Legal Frameworks; Strengthening Cross Border Recognition Of Security Rights And Coordination Among Security Registries; Islamic Finance; Harmonization of Investment Law)

Track 4- Emerging legal issues in the commercial exploitation of Deep Seabed, Space and Artificial Intelligence

(v.g. Commercial Exploitation Of Global Public Goods And Other Resources, And Potential Legal Challenges; Relevance Of UNCITRAL Texts On International Commercial Dispute Resolution In The Context Of Deep Seabed Mining And Space Exploration And Exploitation; Harmonization Of Legal Frameworks Governing Commercial Activities In Outer Space; The Impact Of Artificial Intelligence (AI) Based Systems And Other Computational Systems In Commercial Law (Smart Contracts, ODR))

Track 5- Rule of law and access to justice in the context of Climate Change, Finance and Investment

(v.g. The Relevance Of The UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules For Climate/Environmental Dispute Resolution; The Possible Implications Of The UNCITRAL Transparency Standards On Treaty-Based Investor-State Arbitration (Rules, Convention And Registry) On Climate/Environmental Disputes And Policy Making; Arbitration In Private Climate Finance; The New York Convention And Enforcement Of Climate Change-Related Arbitral Awards; BITs And FTAs: The Current ISDS Framework In Light Of The Paris Agreement; Cleantech: The Importance Of Climate Change-Related ISDS To Portfolio Strategy; Reducing Risks In Privately Financed Climate Investments: UNCITRAL Model Law On Public Procurement)

Details of the Conference and the Call for Papers may be found in the attached flyer [see hyperlink below]. We very much look forward to your paper proposals/abstracts on the above topics, or on any other legal topics on cross-border business-to-business transactions, by 30 September 2016. For submission of paper proposals/abstracts or for enquiries, please kindly contact us at:


Save the Date: 4th International Arbitration Conference – 22 November 2016

The 4th International Arbitration Conference, exploring New Horizons in International Arbitration, co-hosted by ACICA, the Business Law Section of the Law Council of Australia and Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (Australia) will be held on 22 November 2016 during Sydney Arbitration Week (21 – 25 November 2016).

The conference will be followed by the CIArb Annual Gala Dinner at Sydney Towers.

Please see the following flyer for more information: Save the Date Int Arbitration Conf 2016.

UNCITRAL Viet Nam Workshop: 24 November 2016

The 2016 UNCITRAL Viet Nam Workshop will be held on 24 November 2016 in Ha Noi, Viet Nam.

Organized jointly with the Foreign Trade University, Viet Nam, with the support of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Workshop will feature the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods 1980 (CISG), which will enter into force for Viet Nam on 1 January 2017, thereby raising the awareness of the CISG and providing capacity support for the legal community. The Workshop will also feature UNCITRAL’s work on the related field of electronic commerce and a joint proposal of UNCITRAL, the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH) and UNIDROIT on international commercial contract law.

Please kindly find enclosed a programme of the Workshop. Legal professionals, businesses, government officials and judges, from Viet Nam and around the region, are welcomed to attend. For enquiries and registration, please contact


UNCITRAL Commission Meeting – New York, July 2016

By Dr Dalma Demeter, UNCCA Fellow, Assistant Professor of Law, University of Canberra


Commission deliberations on future work in dispute resolution for Working Group II and related Rule of Law Panel discussions in relation to dispute resolution.


In July 2016, I  attended some of the meetings of the UNCITRAL Commission’s 49th Session meeting in New York, as part of my visiting researcher status at UNCITRAL.

The most notable discussions observed concerned the UNCITRAL Secretariat’s possible future works in dispute resolution, including a proposal made by the Swiss Arbitration Association on a project developing an online “Arbitration Toolbox” (full proposal is available in the Secretariat’s Note A/CN.9/893). The Commission has also heard proposals on future work on concurrent proceedings in international arbitration (A/CN.9/881), on ethics in international arbitration (A/CN.9/880), and on possible reforms in investor-state arbitration (A/CN.9/890, and a CIDS research paper, all available among the documents of the 49th session.

Unofficial remarks at these meetings were made by some delegates that – not unlike many other countries – Australia is not frequently enough represented at the Commission meetings. Low participation is, apparently, a common issue, likely caused by financial restrains combined with the procedural inefficiency of the Commission’s work. The latter was raised as a self-standing issue in this session, with concrete recommendations for improvement made by the Swiss delegate.

On July 13, I also participated in the Rule of Law panel discussions regarding practical measures to facilitate access to justice in the commercial law context, in particular by micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). I presented an initiative on improving access to justice through supporting personalized dispute resolution mechanisms, enabled by early dispute profiling. The presentation was focusing on how the differences in background and environment in which MSMEs operate, and accordingly the differences in the disputes they face, pose a challenge to finding a uniform solution, and the particular reasons why none of the existing dispute resolution avenues can function as a one-size-fits-all solution.

In my paper, I recommended an alternative solution incorporating, rather than disregarding differences, through developing a complex dispute profiling tool to assess each unique combination of characteristics, perceptions and expectations, and match them against available and accessible dispute resolution mechanisms in an individualized recommendation. Early case assessment is used in some disputes, but commonly limited to legal and commercial risk analysis; the new initiative having the novelty of expanding early assessment to include socio-cultural and, if relevant, even religious characteristics, that have significant impact on procedural efficiency in cross-cultural disputes.

The benefits of such complex dispute profiling tool would consist in reducing procedural and enforcement disputes, while promoting the benefit of choice and procedural flexibility, and reduce the tendency to overregulate ADR methods for the sake of security and predictability. For MSMEs in particular, the tool would be of assistance whenever there is an imbalance of power, or legal or cultural differences between the parties involved, enabling MSMEs to make an educated choice for a dispute resolution process that suits their situation better.

The proposal calling for collaboration in order to develop the tool through a multi-disciplinary large-scale project has been invited to be presented at the upcoming 2017 UNCITRAL Congress. In the interim, a short project proposal can be downloaded here. Any individual researcher, research or funding organization, or dispute resolution stakeholder entity interested in the project is welcome to contact me for more information at