Document Type


Publication Date



After twenty years of existence, it becomes apparent that the role actually played by the UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts (PICC) is quite different from the one originally intended. This article first presents nine surprising findings concerning the actual use of the PICC, as it can be assessed on the basis of published opinions, legislation, and scholarship. It then uses these findings to suggest that the PICC should not be viewed as a code or even a non-state law. Instead, their nature is that of a Restatement of global general contract law, and their function is that of a global background law. The article finally discusses implications of these findings for concrete questions: their use in private international law, their use to interpret the CISG, their relationship with other non-State codifications, and their relationship with a possible global commercial code.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Commercial policy, Contracts (International law)