The ICLRC took part in the 55th session of UNCITRAL

On June 27 July 15, 2022, the ICLRC participated as an observer in the 55th session of UNCITRAL, where the Commission summed up the results of its work over the past year. The ICLRC’s comments on the working papers were sent to UNCITRAL, included in compilations of comments and presented by the ICLRC’s experts during the session. The ICLRC also actively provided expert support to the delegation of the Russian Federation on certain issues of the work of UNCITRAL, considered at its 55th session.

In the first days, a summary review of the draft Convention on the international effects of judicial sales of ships prepared by Working Group VI was conducted. The text was approved by the Commission and submitted to the UN General Assembly for subsequent adoption and holding a signing ceremony in Beijing in 2023. UNCITRAL Working Group VI will further develop a new international instrument on negotiable multimodal transport documents.

The Digital Week (July 5-7) resulted with the adoption by the Commission of the UNCITRAL Model Law on the Use and Cross-border Recognition of Identity Management and Trust Services developed by Working Group IV. The document is assumed to become a guideline for the development of internal legal regulation by States that will seek to determine in advance which identification methods and methods of providing trust services will be considered reliable, taking into account international standards. The next session of Working Group IV will be devoted to the discussion of the Explanatory Note to the Model Law, as well as to continue work on the topics of the use of automated contracting and data transactions.

On July 7, a side event “UNCITRAL and the Law of Digital Trade” was also held, co-organised by UNCITRAL, the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Korea, the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations, and supported by the Regional Center for Asia and the Pacific. Within the framework of this event, issues of regulation of e-commerce at the international level, including the WTO, by regional trade or special agreements were discussed. Special attention was paid to the Digital Economy Partnership Agreements of Singapore, Chile and New Zealand (DEPA, see the Center's study on DEPA). Representatives of delegations and experts shared their views on how the UNCITRAL texts provide the legal infrastructure for implementing of digital trade agreements.

During the last days of the session, the Commission heard Working Groups’ reports, including Reports from Working Group V on insolvency law and Working Group III on progress in reforming the investor-State dispute settlement system. As for the latter, one of the main issues of the meeting was the development of a Code of Conduct for Arbitrators, which was originally planned to be adopted at this session. Great hopes were expressed for the speedy completion of the work and adoption of the Code at the next 56th session of the Commission, so that the approaches developed by UNCITRAL would be taken into account sooner when considering disputes between investors and States.

In conclusion, the Commission requested the Secretariat to continue its exploratory work on eliminating gaps or obstacles in the system of international commercial law that had been identified during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as to pay attention to the development of UNCITRAL documents and holding events dedicated to climate change mitigation, adaptation and resilience.