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Expansion of Applicable Sphere: A way to Unif

时间:2006-11-24栏目:国际经济法论文

Expansion of Applicable Sphere: A way to Uniformity
——Compare and Contrast between UNIDROIT and UNCITRAL Conventions
By Dongsheng Lu, Chen Yan

I. Introduction

Financing is paramount for the promotion of commerce. It has been noted that “in developed countries the bulk of corporate wealth is locked up in receivables”. As the economy develops, this wealth increasing is “unlocked by transferring receivables across national borders”. With the prompt and great increases in international trade, receivables financing now plays a more and more important role. Yet under the law of many countries, certain forms of receivables financing are still not recognized. Even transactions are involved in countries where the form of receivables financing is permitted, determining which law governs will be difficult. The disparity among laws of different jurisdiction increases uncertainty in transactions, thus constitutes obstacles to the development of assignments of receivables. To remove such obstacles arising from the uncertainty existing in various legal systems and promote the development of receivables financing cross-boarder, a set of uniform rules in this field is required. The international community has made great efforts in adopting uniform laws. Among those efforts, the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) drafted, on 12 December, 2001, “United Nations Convention on the Assignment of Receivables in International Trade” (hereinafter referred to as the “UNCITRAL Convention”), with its aim to “establish principles and to adopt rules relating to the assignment of receivables that would create certainty and transparency and promote the modernization of the law relating to assignments of receivables”. UNCITRAL is not the first international organization attempting to resolve the problems associated with receivables. As early as in May 1988, the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT) has already adopted a convention known as the “UNIDROIT Convention on International Factoring” (hereinafter referred to as the “UNIDROIT Convention”).

When compare and contrast between the UNIDROIT Convention and the UNCITRAL Convention, one might see a lot of inconsistency in detailed regulations, e.g. sphere of application, relations between parties, priorities, and choice of law, etc. Given the limited space available in this article, the author may only focus on the difference in “sphere of application” of these two conventions, as sphere of application is perhaps the most fundamental issue of a convention.

The purpose of an international convention is to create uniformity in its covered matter, thus the broader a convention’s sphere of application is, the higher could uniformity reach. This article will try to make compare and contrast the sphere of application between the UNIDROIT Convention and the UNCITRAL Convention, illustrate the differences exist b

etween these two conventions, and demonstrate the expansion of sphere of application in the UNCITRAL Convention and its progress on the way to uniformity.

II. Sphere of Application: Subject Matter

As its title indicates, the subject matter of the UNIDROIT Convention is of course international factoring. Article 1(1) says, “this Convention governs factoring contracts and assignments of receivables as described in this Chapter.”

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