Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law

First Page



There is little doubt that third-millennium international arbitrators will face the flowering of a transnational rule such as the UNIDROIT Principles for international commercial contracts. They will be used to solve problems of characterization, preliminary questions, and choice of law to the merits of the dispute. In this sense, it appears clearly that these rules are to be construed under a triangular scheme. Thus, lex mercatoria and transnational rules like the UNIDROIT Principles will intervene more and more in the arbitral choice-of-law process in three competing contexts: (1) as a lex contractus; (2) as a means to interpret, supplement, or adapt national law; and (3) as a means to resolve matters of interpretation or gap-filling in international conventions. Criticism by conservative private international law scholars towards the choice of lex mercatoria and transnational rules seems therefore to have been overcome by arbitral practice.