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*International Arbitration

Published on August 28th, 2017 | by Olga Papadopoulou

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Long-Term Contracts: New Regulation for International Commercial Arbitrations

Kluwer Arbitration Blog

Long-Term Contracts: New Regulation for International Commercial Arbitrations

María Pilar Perales Viscasillas (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)/July 26, 2017/ ITA

The last 40 years or so has experienced increased growth in the number of transactions concluded internationally, departing from classical one-shot contracts such as the simple sale of goods contract. These complex contracts involve in many instances a mix of private and public issues as is seen in regulatory sectors (telecommunications, oil and gas). The rise of complex international contracts gave birth in some cases to a new approach to their design.

Nowadays, international arbitral tribunals generally deal with disputes related to long-term contracts. Although these contracts often are heavily negotiated and carefully drafted, it has been difficult for arbitrators to assess the agreement of the parties against a national law due to the fact that long-term contracts are largely unregulated under domestic legal systems. Needless to say, no matter how well a contract is drafted, certain issues that were not previously contemplated will arise during its performance.

With a view to addressing the special needs of long-term contracts, UNIDROIT set up a working group aimed at drafting amendments and additions to the black-letter rules and comments of the UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts 2010, successfully approving a new 2016 edition that was recently published in spring 2017.1) To clarify, the 2010 UNIDROIT Principles also covered long-term contracts, but a number of issues were not taken into account; this was the work that was developed in the 2016 edition.

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