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About us

We aim to promote the research and scholarship, and instruments in the field of transnational commercial law.

The Queen Mary-UNIDROIT Institute of Transnational Commercial Law (Queen Mary-UNIDROIT ITCL) is a joint venture between the Centre for Commercial Law Studies (CCLS), Queen Mary University of London and the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT), which is the intergovernmental organisation for the harmonisation of private international law, headquartered in Rome.

Transnational Commercial Law refers to principles and rules of commercial law which have force or influence transnationally, whether because they are common to a number of legal systems or because they are observed as a matter of course by commercial communities or networks which transcend national boundaries. It also refers to methods, instruments and institutions whose activities contribute to the unification of laws and regulations governing commerce or address related issues of comparative law and conflict of laws. Transnational commercial law norms and principles are particularly relevant to international arbitration but have also been widely relied upon by several national courts in many jurisdictions.

Our aims and activities

The Queen Mary-UNIDROIT ITCL has been established for the purpose of collaborating in and promoting:

  1. through the CCLS, advanced research and scholarship into principles and rules of law of commercial law common to a number of legal systems, the methods, instruments and institutions involved in the harmonisation process, and related issues of comparative law and the conflict of laws;
  2. through UNIDROIT, the design, preparation and promotion of instruments for the international harmonisation of commercial law, whether in the form of conventions, model laws, principles, guides or otherwise.

The activities of the Institute include:

  • the provision of postgraduate teaching at the CCLS and the supervision and examination of candidates for research degrees of the Queen Mary in the field of transnational commercial law and related fields
  • the conduct of legal research, including international, comparative and interdisciplinary work, by staff of the Institute, whether commissioned or on its own initiative
  • the publication of such research and other dissemination of knowledge in the field of transnational commercial law through conferences, seminars and short courses pertaining to transnational commercial law and its social and economic implications
  • collaboration in the presentation and promotion of UNIDROIT instruments in the field of transnational commercial law.
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