Call for Papers: Modernizing International Trade Law to Support Innovation and Sustainable Development



Event Date: 

07/4/17 to 07/6/17

Location name: 

Vienna International Centre, Vienna, Austria


United Nations Commission on International Trade Law

MODERNIZING INTERNATIONAL TRADE LAW TO SUPPORT INNOVATION AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT 4-6 July 2017 Vienna International Centre, Vienna A three day Congress hosted by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law CALL FOR PAPERS For further information, see

In July 2017, UNCITRAL will host a three day Congress to celebrate UNCITRAL’s 50th anniversary and explore new directions in cross-border commerce. Leaders in the field of international trade law, including practitioners, judges, academics, international officials and other experts will consider ways in which UNCITRAL’s texts on international trade law can contribute to innovation and sustainable development in the coming years.

Background - UNCITRAL and international trade law UNCITRAL issues harmonized, modern, fair legal texts that provide rules for commercial transactions. Its objective is to remove obstacles to international business arising from differing rules and from outof-date and/or unpredictable laws unsuited to modern commercial practice.

UNCITRAL identifies the obstacles and creates solutions though its • Conventions, model laws and rules • Legal and legislative guides and recommendations • Published information on UNCITRAL texts, case law and enactments • Coordination and cooperation with other bodies working in this field UNCITRAL’s work is based on the contribution of practical experience and policy solutions from all countries, at all stages of development, so that its texts are acceptable worldwide.

Legal texts, to date, have covered the following areas: • International Commercial Arbitration and Conciliation • Online Dispute Resolution • International Sale of Goods • Security Interests • Insolvency • International Payments • International Transport of Goods • Electronic Commerce • Procurement and Infrastructure Development • MSMEs (text under development) More information is available at Topics for abstracts and papers Abstracts and paper proposals are invited from researchers, scholars and practitioners on any aspect of the substantive rules governing international commercial transactions, including but not limited to the following areas: • The development of the cross-border digital economy, smart and digital contracting • Trade in services and disruptive technologies • Finance in international trade, international capital flows and payments • Exploitation of global public goods, natural & emerging resources – artificial intelligence to deep seabed mining • Inclusive competitiveness and ensuring universal access to global supply chains and inputs (credit, transport, infrastructure) • Dispute resolution in sectors of the market such as climate disputes, resource disputes, PPPs • National and regional activities of organization(s) and countries in commercial legal reform to support innovation and sustainable development through trade.

Papers may cover either or both : (1) Obstacles to international trade, and how new substantive legal rules might address them (2) Ongoing work in modernizing commercial legal systems and international trade rules. Papers can take one of two forms: (1) A 600-900 word article, highlighting areas for research and/or about activity in a particular topic (2) A research paper of maximum 6,000 words, exploring proposals for new substantive legal rules or new areas of research.

Submissions from interested authors in developing countries are particularly welcome. Papers submitted will contribute to the body of knowledge on the law of international trade, and further the work of UNCITRAL to support innovation and sustainable development through international trade law reform. Presentation and publication of papers Authors of accepted papers may be invited to present their work at the Congress, and UNCITRAL will fund the travel and accommodation expenses of the authors of the best papers at the Congress (one author per paper).

A selection of accepted papers will be published by UNCITRAL in a special volume entitled “Modernizing International Trade Law to Support Innovation and Sustainable Development”. In addition, accepted papers may be published in electronic format for participants at the Congress and made available on the UNCITRAL website after to the Congress. Submission and acceptance timetable:

Abstract deadline: September 9 2016 Interested authors are invited to submit an abstract of 100-200 words, including the proposed title of the paper, and a short description of the topic to be addressed.

Abstracts, along with authors’ contact information and affiliation, should be submitted by email to, with "UNCITRAL Congress Abstract submission" in the subject line. Acceptance of abstracts: October 3 2016 By October 3 2016, the UNCITRAL Secretariat will contact authors whose abstracts are accepted.

Full paper deadline: December 12 2016 Accepted authors should submit an edited final draft paper to UNCITRAL. The papers, along with authors’ contact information, should be submitted by email to, with "UNCITRAL Congress Full Paper submission" in the subject line.

Completion deadline: 10 February 2017 By 10 February 2017, accepted authors should submit the completed paper, with a 200-word abstract for research papers. Completed papers, along with authors’ contact information, should be submitted by email to, with "UNCITRAL Congress Completed paper submission" in the subject line.

Authors should note that submitting their abstracts and papers constitutes permission to UNCITRAL to publish them. Languages of submission Abstracts may be submitted in either English or French (the working languages of the United Nations) and papers may be submitted in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian or Spanish (the official languages of the United Nations). The UNCITRAL Secretariat looks forward to receiving proposals in response to the call, and is happy to respond to inquiries from interested parties.

Questions may be addressed to the UNCITRAL Secretariat via e-mail at

Contact email: