On 9 February 2023, Queen Mary University of London and the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT) signed a Concordat Renewal Agreement to re-launch the Queen Mary-UNIDROIT Institute for Transnational Commercial Law (Queen Mary-UNIDROIT ITCL).
The ceremony took place at Queen Mary’s Centre for Commercial Law Studies (CCLS) in London. The Queen Mary-UNIDROIT ITCL is a joint venture between CCLS and UNIDROIT, the intergovernmental organisation for the unification and harmonisation of private and commercial law in a global perspective headquartered in Rome. The objectives of the Queen Mary-UNIDROIT ITCL centre around the promotion of teaching, research and scholarship in the field of transnational commercial law.
The Ceremony was attended by renowned guests from Academia and Legal Practice and representatives from UNIDROIT and Queen Mary University of London.
Professor Ioannis Kokkoris, the Director of CCLS, delivered the welcome speech, referring to CCLS’s teaching and research track record in the area of transnational commercial law and noting the complimentary role of the Queen Mary-UNIDROIT ITCL. He gave thanks to all attendees for coming and to everyone who had contributed to the Queen Mary-UNIDROIT ITCL in the past and in relation to the event.
Professor Sir Roy Goode, Founder of CCLS and Co-Founder of Queen Mary-UNIDROIT ITCL, addressed the participants by highlighting the long-standing support QMUL had shown to CCLS, as well as remembering the history of the Queen Mary-UNIDROIT ITCL (co-founded by him in 2016 with the late Professor Alberto Mazzoni, who was the President of UNIDROIT at the time). Sir Roy underlined the benefits and sense of community that arise from partnerships between like-minded organisations. He thanked the current and former Heads of CCLS and the new Directors for their enthusiasm, and concluded with hopes and best wishes for the ‘tremendous’ project and the exciting years ahead.
Professor Ignacio Tirado, Secretary-General of UNIDROIT, began his speech by outlining that his support for the Queen Mary-UNIDROIT ITCL was grounded in the project being his heritage from Professor Alberto Mazzoni, who had supported the creation of the Transnational Institute with great enthusiasm and foresight.. Professor Tirado emphasized the nurturing of an ‘academic soul’ between UNIDROIT and CCLS through the Queen Mary-UNIDROIT ITCL . Professor Tirado also pointed out the importance of London as the location for the Queen Mary-UNIDROIT ITCL, given its key role in the commercial law arena, where research ideas and project outcomes could be tested. He expressed his appreciation for the enthusiasm of the CCLS leadership in reviving this endeavour.
Professor Anna Veneziano, Deputy Secretary-General of UNIDROIT and Co-Director of the Queen Mary – UNIDROIT ITCL, after thanking the organisers and all participants, including the members of the Advisory Board who had confirmed their interest in supporting the Institute, underlined the importance of the Queen Mary-UNIDROIT ITCL to UNIDROIT to maximise the benefits of UNIDROIT’s cross-border reach and contributions to harmonising international commercial law. She also stressed the role of initiatives directed to students in the endeavour to develop instruments of transnational law for new generations. She finally expressed her delight in the cooperation with the new leadership of the Transnational Institute on CCLS’ side and looked forward to a rich agenda of common initiatives.
Professor Rosa Lastra, Sir John Lubbock Chair in Banking Law at CCLS and Co-Director of the Queen Mary – UNIDROIT ITCL, thanked the participants, organisers and members of the International Advisory Board. She described Sir Roy as an individual ahead of his time in his vision for creating the CCLS as a meeting point for academics and commercial law practitioners to exchange ideas. Professor Lastra highlighted the Queen Mary-UNIDROIT ITCL’s primary aim to provide postgraduate teaching in the field of transnational commercial law and to conduct legal research, including international, comparative and interdisciplinary work, especially on UNIDROIT’s projects and instruments (e.g., Working Group on Bank Insolvency of which she is part). Professor Lastra commented on the synergies between CCLS and UNDROIT that would be reflected in the work of the Queen Mary-UNIDROIT ITCL, as well as the interaction between regulatory and private law.
Dr Franziska Arnold-Dwyer, Deputy Director of the Queen Mary – UNIDROIT ITCL, described the signing of the Concordat Renewal Agreement as a reaffirmation of the collaboration and partnership between CCLS and UNIDROIT. She commented that its success would be underpinned by committed people, impactful projects and the continuing support of Queen Mary University, CCSL and UNIDROIT. She talked about her work on a UNIDROIT project – the Principles of Reinsurance Contract Law (PRICL) – as an example of an endeavour by a committed and enthusiastic team of people with the potential to transform reinsurance contracts.
Professor Colin Grant, Vice-Principal (International) at Queen Mary University of London, concluded by welcoming the re-launch of the Queen Mary-UNIDROIT ITCL within the University as a ‘thrilling development’. He hailed the role of transnational commercial law as facilitating peaceful trade, promoting transparency and security, countering disinformation and supporting sustainable development in the developing world.
Professor Tirado, on behalf of UNIDROIT, and Professor Grant on behalf of Queen Mary University of London, then proceeded to sign the Concordat Renewal Agreement, with UNIDROIT. The ceremony concluded with afternoon tea and a toast to the Queen Mary-UNIDROIT ITCL.
Find out more about the Queen Mary – UNIDROIT Institute for Transnational Commercial Law.