On February 21, 2018, at the invitation of the George Washington University Law School, the OAS Department of International Law (Secretariat for Legal Affairs) gave a
presentation to the student body about Recent Developments in Inter-American Private International Law. The discussion began with a primer on the OAS and an overview of the codification process, which had started with the early conferences that had produced the Montevideo Treaties and Bustamante Code, was followed by the Inter-American Specialized Conferences on Private International Law (known by the Spanish acronym “CIDIP”) and now includes initiatives introduced by the Inter-American Juridical Committee. One of the objectives behind these efforts of OAS Member States to harmonize and codify their domestic laws that govern the relationships between natural and legal persons in different states, it was explained, is to facilitate these relationships so as to improve conditions for Inter-American trade and commerce and thereby encourage economic growth and development.
The presentation then focused on two instruments, the Model Inter-American Law on Secured Transactions, which had been approved by the CIDIP-VI in 2002 and the Model Law on the Simplified Corporation, which had been approved by the CJI in 2012 and noted by Member States at the recent General Assembly in 2017. These two instruments can serve to improve business conditions, especially for MSMEs, and thereby work towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular SDG #8 - to promote sustainable economic growth. It was illustrated how these two instruments function within the framework of SDG Target #8.3, as development-oriented policies that support entrepreneurship, encourage formalization and growth of MSMEs. This included a description of the OAS Secured Transactions Project (2012-2015) and the successes that had been achieved under the auspices of that project - together with the challenges - in advancing domestic implementation of international model legislation. The presentation concluded with a
video based on the project outcomes in El Salvador and that explains the connections between secured transactions reform and improved access to credit.
The Department of International Law had been invited to make a similar presentation at a conference on “Gender Equality, Inclusive Governance and the Law”, co-sponsored by the Canadian Association of International Development Professionals (CAIDP) and the Canadian Council of International Law (CCIL) held January 22-23, 2018 in Ottawa, Canada. In that presentation, the focus was particularly on the relevance of the aforementioned two Model Laws to the economic empowerment of women.
Presentations such as these are made periodically by the Department of International Law on request and fall within the specific mandates “to disseminate the Model Law on the Simplified Corporation” (AG/RES. 2906) and “to continue promoting the Model Law on Secured Transactions” and the more generic mandate “to promote a greater spread of private international law…” (AG/Res. 2909). The Department of International Law is pleased to respond to such requests, as time and resources permit.
» For the text of the Model Law on Secured Transactions,