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Describe about positive aspects of the convention and controversial provisions of the convention.




The United Nation’s Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Good i.e. CISG is also known as the Vienna Convention. The CISG was brought into effect by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law i.e. the UNCITRAL. This Convention has been signed in Vienna. The Convention is applicable to those contacts concerning sale of products where the parties to the contact are residents of different States. The main aim of the Convention is to do away with the barriers existing in international trade and to encourage the usage of trade at international level. United Kingdom is not a signatory to the Convention.

Positive Aspects of the Convention

One of the main strengths of the Convention is that it lays down a set of impartial rules to govern international contracts relating to sale of goods. Another strength being that the provisions of the Convention present a co operation between the principles governing Civil Law as well as Common Law.[1]

Controversial Provisions of the Convention

One of the issues concerning the Convention is that it came into force eight years after it was adopted in 1980. It is said that the Convention is Europe centered and it failed to consider the troubles which it will come across when it will attempt to bring diverse legal systems under one platform.[2]

Article 6 of the Convention gives liberty to parties to not abide by its rules even if the parties are a signatory to it which means that even though two contracting countries have ratified the Convention they are at liberty to not abide by its rules.  So the scope of the Convention appears to be questionable.[3]

Article 7 of the Convention provides that its provisions must be applied with good faith but there appears to be no proper definition and measure of good faith. The most important criticism surrounding Article 7 is that it permits one to use domestic law in case of lack of a proper solution pertaining to an issue but the CISG discards one from applying domestic law.[4]


It would be beneficial for United Kingdom to ratify the CISG. The reason being that a synchronized law would infact be a lot more advantageous and resourceful for the business concerns in the United Kingdom than having the option to choose a legal provision in a contract of international concern sale of products. This ratification will encourage the internationalization of small and medium sized enterprises which in turn will have a positive impact on the economic development of United Kingdom. This Convention will enable United Kingdom’s economy to grow at a high rate. It is often opined that if the convention is not ratified the business organizations of United Kingdom would be placed in a disadvantageous situation as far as international trade is concerned. It has been opined by Sir Roy Goode that many provisions of the Convention are better suited to international Trade than the U K Sale of Goods Act, 1893. This ratification would bring about uniformity in international law of trade, unification of laws will lessen the time intensive and expensive litigations.



'United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods' [2010] United Nations Commission On International Trade Law.

Dematteo, Larry A., International Sales Law- A  Global Challenge, 2014.

Nikolova, Silvia E., 'UK’s Ratification of the CISG – An Old Debate or a New Hope for the Economy of the UK on Its Way Out of the Recession: The Potential Impact of the CISG on the UK’s SME' (2015) 3 Pace International Law Review Online Companion.

The Student Lawyer, 'The UK and The CISG - The Student Lawyer', 2014.

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