University of Pittsburgh
January 21, 2003

Authors of United Nations Digest of Trade Case Law To Present at Pitt Law School Conference Case digest is expected to revolutionize understanding and practice of international sales law

Contact:  412-624-4147

January 22, 2003

PITTSBURGH—The University of Pittsburgh School of Law's Center for International Legal Education will sponsor a one-day conference, "Beyond the UNCITRAL Digest," to address the initiative for uniform international commercial law at 8 a.m. Feb. 7 in the Teplitz Memorial Courtroom, 3900 Forbes Ave., Oakland.

In 1966, the United Nations General Assembly created the U.N. Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) in an effort to harmonize transnational commercial law. The commission developed the U.N. Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG), a multilateral commercial treaty adopted by some 60 nations, including the United States, that participate in worldwide trade.

The UNCITRAL secretariat asked five CISG experts from various regions to compile a digest of CISG case law from the more than 900 decisions from courts and arbitration panels around the world that applied the CISG. The digest describes the reasoning and results of existing CISG cases.

The Pitt conference is designed to build upon the work of the UNCITRAL CISG case digest. Digest authors will critique and analyze cases, as well as issues that have not yet arisen in the case law. After each presentation by a digest compiler, CISG scholars will provide commentary, followed by dialogue with people attending the conference.

Digest experts and conference presenters and commentators include Ronald Brand, professor of law and director of the Center for International Legal Education at Pitt; Harry Flechtner, professor of law at Pitt; Chancellor John E. Murray Jr. of Duquesne University, former dean of Pitt's law school; the United Nations' Jernej Sekolec, secretary of UNCITRAL; the U.S. Department of State's Jeffrey Kovar, assistant legal advisor; and Harold Burman, Office of the Legal Advisor. In addition, professors from institutions throughout the world will participate.

A book of conference presentations will be published as a companion to the digest.

The conference is cosponsored by the International and Comparative Law Section of the Pennsylvania Bar Association.

Participating attorneys can earn 6.5 credits toward continuing legal education, as approved by the Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education Board.

For more information, call 412-648-7023 or email