The United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG) is a multilateral treaty that provides substantive contract law on international contracts for the sale of goods.
The following books provide good introductions for those working with the CISG for the first time:
Many researchers and organizations have created valuable tools for researching the CISG. However, there are three organizations that pop up repeatedly and are particularly important to know:
Almost every website and book about the CISG provides generally reliable and accurate text of the CISG. However, the official depository for the CISG is the United Nations. As the depository, the UN is responsible for publishing the official text of the CISG in its United Nations Treaty Series (U.N.T.S.).
Under Bluebook rule 21.4.5, the CISG is cited to both U.NT.S. and a U.S. treaty source in the format United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, Apr. 11, 1980, S. Treaty Doc. No. 98-9, 1489 U.N.T.S. 3. (1983)
Outside of U.S. publications and law reviews, the best citation is to U.N.T.S.
The following sources provide the most authoritative text of the treaty:
As the CISG's depository, the United Nations is also responsible for officially tracking the status of the treaty, including which countries have signed the treaty, consented to be bound by the treaty, and made any reservations or declarations limiting their compliance with the treaty.
The United Nations provides two interfaces for accessing status information:
Pace Law School's CISG Database includes an annotated version of the CISG, in which each CISG section is followed by links and citations to relevant decisions, travaux préparatoires, and secondary sources discussing how the section is interpreted and applied in practice.
The annotated text is an excellent starting point for researching any CISG section:
UNCITRAL provides a free and detailed commentary on the CISG:
Similar commentaries are provided by the preeminent treatises on the CISG, Schletriem & Schwenzer and Honnold:
In addition to the two preeminent treatises, the library owns other treatises on the CISG:
For a full list of books on the CISG available from the UCLA library system, check the library catalog for books listed under the subject of United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (1980 April 11):
Pace Law School's CISG Database provides two tools for locating secondary sources on the CISG:
UNIDROIT's UNILEX database also includes a bibliography of sources on the CISG:
To locate additional law review articles, try the following sources:
Several reputable free websites provide online searching of arbitral and court decisions interpreting the CISG.
When searching these databases, keep in mind the following:
Try the following databases for decisions on the CISG:
Travaux préparatoires (preparatory works) are the "legislative history" for a treaty and, like legislative history, may be used to interpret the text of the treaty.
The UNCITRAL website posts various travaux:
Pace Law School also posts travaux for the CISG:
Travaux are also available in print:
The CISG does not cover every possibility and it is common for researchers to turn to non-binding but more detailed texts to serve as gap fillers, when the CISG is silent. The most popular gap filler is the UNIDROIT Principles of Commercial Contracts, available from UNIDROIT's website:
UNIDROIT's UNILEX database includes tools for locating sources on not only the CISG but also UNIDROIT's own principles:
The library also owns print commentaries on the UNIDROIT principles, similar to the print commentaries on the CISG:
To supplement the CISG and UNIDROIT Principles, some researchers also turn to lex mercatoria- general principles of commercial law that have not been formally codified in a treaty, model law, or officially endorsed set of principles. A team of researchers at the University of Cologne has sought to write down these unwritten rules in their TransLex database:
When reviewing Pace Law School's Annotated Text of the CISG, you may also see references to:
The CISG Advisory Council posts its opinions on its website: