Principios UNIDROIT sobre los contratos comerciales internacionales (UNIDROIT principles of international commercial contracts)


Spanish minister for Justice, Alberto Ruiz Galalrdón, during the presentation of Principios Unidroit
Spanish minister for Justice, Alberto Ruiz Galalrdón, during the presentation of Principios Unidroit

The minister for justice, Alberto Ruiz Gallardón, presented at Cuatrecasas, Gonçalves Pereira’s headquarters on calle Almagro, in Madrid, the work PRINCIPIOS UNIDROIT SOBRE LOS CONTRATOS COMERCIALES INTERNACIONALES, which was published in Spanish thanks to the firm’s initiative in collaboration with the legal publisher LA LEY. Also attending the event were Emilio Cuatrecasas and Manuel Olivencia, chair and vice chair of Cuatrecasas, Gonçalves Pereira, respectively, and Alberto Mazzoni and José Angelo Estrella, president and secretary-general of Unidroit, respectively.



The new Commercial Code will take inspiration from the Unidroit principles


During the presentation, Alberto Ruiz Gallardón announced that “the preamble to the new Commercial Code would expressly refer to the Unidroit principles” drafted by the prestigious intergovernmental institute committed to universally harmonizing the rules governing international commercial contracts. According to Mr. Gallardón, the use of these principles is a sign of “amature society taking a step forward and, instead of calling on the public powers to act, issuing principles that can be used when there are no applicable legal rules.”


Emilio Cuatrecasas highlighted how the principles are drafted using the bottom-up approach—widely used in Britain and the US—“working from the bottom up, enabling the parties involved to propose how they want to organize themselves.” The chair of Cuatrecasas, Gonçalves Pereira also highlighted the importance of the free will of contracting parties to regulate their commercial relationships, while expressing his regret that Spanish law does not provide for this.


Manuel Olivencia, professor and the firm’s vice chair, valued the global usefulness of the Unidroit principles to regulate private commercial law, stating that “the global market is a reality, but the law does not yet reflect this. The diversity of the national legal systems seriously hinders the development of international legal relations, particularly international commercial relations.”


Unidroit’s secretary-general, Jose Angelo Estrella Faría, highlighted how “the principles are not a mere academic tool, but a neutral alternative when choosing the law applicable to contractual relationships, which tend to be governed by the contracting party with the greatest capacity to influence or carrying the greatest weight.”


This edition of the PRINCIPIOS UNIDROIT SOBRE LOS CONTRATOS COMERCIALES INTERNACIONALESis a compendium of 211 articles (26 more than in the previous version, published in 2004) resulting from the works of a group of over 40 experts in commercial law from all over the world.


The International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (Unidroit)is an independent intergovernmental organization with headquarters in Rome. Its 63 member countries are from all five continents and represent a variety of economic, legal, and political systems, as well as different cultural backgrounds.