Presented by Dr Alan Davidson (UQ). 

The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) holds the reputation at the “premier” institution dealing with private international commercial law reform. Established in 1966, the aim of UNCITRAL is to assist commercial parties and governments by providing consistency and uniformity in international trade law.  This paper examines the functions of UNCITRAL, at a time when questions have been raised about the role of UN and its role in globalisation.  The unregulated nature of the internet and the inability of the law to often foresee technological change has presented unique challenges in this area of law.  The stated purpose was to enable the United Nations to play a greater role in removing legal barriers to the flow of international trade.  UNCITRAL was mandated “to further the progressive harmonisation and unification of the law of international trade”, referring to the process through which domestic laws are modified to enhance predictability in cross-border commercial transactions. 


About Futures of International Order | Seminar Series

There is a widespread fear that the modern, ‘liberal’, international order is in crisis. Faced with multiple global challenges, from climate change and economic governance to nuclear arms control and global people movements, existing institutions increasingly appear outmoded, inefficient, and at times, dysfunctional. Meanwhile, existing institutional arrangements are being challenged by a diverse array of actors, from great powers (such as Russia) and transnational insurgents to right-wing nationalists. This university-wide seminar series is designed to foster an interdisciplinary dialogue on the possible futures of the modern international order. What challenges does it face, how will it evolve in the face of such challenges, what futures are desirable if it is to meet human and planetary needs?

Scholars are wrestling with these issues in a wide range of disciplines, from climate science and economics to history, philosophy, law, and political science. We invited scholars from all fields currently working on issues relating to ‘futures of international order’ to present in this seminar series. 

This program was convened in 2019 by Associate Professor Jacinta O’Hagan, Associate Professor Sarah Percy & Professor Chris Reus-Smit.


Level 5 General Purpose North (39A) The University of Queensland St Lucia, QLD 4072