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Conflict of Laws

A guide to researching Conflict of Laws


The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) has drafted a number of significant instruments that advance the unification of PIL:

The Hague Conference on Private International Law

The Hague Conference was formed in 1893 with the goal of promoting unification of private international principles. It has created and assisted with the implementation of a number of multilateral treaties, in diverse subject areas under these broad categories:

  • Protection of children, family and property - including the topics of adoption, child abduction, enforcement of child support obligations, marriage, divorce, and trusts and estates.
  • International Legal Cooperation and Litigation - civil procedure, choice of court agreements, enforcement of judgments.
  • International Commercial and Finance Law - agency, securities, sales, product liability.

There are 74 members of the Hague Conference on PIL, including the United States, Brazil, Russia, India, China and all member states of the European Union and the European Union itself. The status chart shows a list of the 39 treaties that have been developed, along with the status of ratification by various members.


The International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT), was founded in 1926 under the auspices of the League of Nations, and continues today as an intergovermental organization with heaquarters in Rome. It counts 63 nation-states in its membership, with a mission of facilitating the coordination of private law, particularly commercial law, between the member states. UNIDROIT has drafted a number of conventions and model laws, including the following: