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Latest Advances in Private International Law
in the Americas
In a year where any good news is welcome,
certain advances in private international law
are definitely noteworthy.
Among these would be Uruguay’s recent approval
on November 17, 2020 of its new legislation Ley
General de Derecho Internacional Privado [Law on
Private International Law.
An initiative that dates back to 1994, perhaps
the most significant achievement is adherence to
the internationally accepted principle of party
autonomy in international contracts (Article
45). The final version of the law as approved by
the Senate is consistent with the Guide
on the Law Applicable to International
Commercial Contracts in the Americas.
This Guide continues to gain recognition and is
being increasingly referenced in international
instruments. For example, in its resolution
on COVID-19 and frustration of international
the Hispanic/American Institute for
International Law (IHLADI) advised that the
Guide and its 18 recommendations be taken into
consideration “with the objective to strengthen
progressive harmonization on the law of
international contracts.” The Guide is also
being relied upon by other states engaging upon
reform initiatives of domestic legislation in
this area; for example, Guatemala is taking
steps to ensure its draft legislation on
applicable law is consistent with the Guide and
has sought comment from the Department in that
Another achievement, after several years under
development, is publication of the Ley Modelo
Interamericana sobre Garantías Mobiliarias: Su
Implementación [Model Inter-American Law on
Secured Transactions: Its Implementation].
Comprising over 400 pages, Parts I and II are a
series of technical articles by various experts
that explain several aspects of the Model Law
and accompanying Regulations; Part III is a
collection of country reports on the status of
reforms across the region (Colombia, Costa Rica,
El Salvador, Guatemala, Jamaica, Honduras,
Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, and the Dominican
Republic). This work has been undertaken in
furtherance of the mandate “to continue
promoting the Model Law on Secured Transactions
among member states” (AG/RES. 2909, 2017).
Because the pandemic prevented distribution of
hard copies, publisher Marcial Pons has provided
an electronic version, which will be posted to
the Department’s website by mid-January.
In November, Panama became the most recent OAS
Member State to appoint a Focal Point for the Model
Law on the Simplified Corporation.
This will help to expand the regional network of
experts and assist the Department of
International Law with the mandate from the OAS
General Assembly to disseminate the Model Law
“as widely as possible” (AG/RES.2906, 2017).
The Department continues to support the work of
Juridical Committee on
a number of different topics in private
international law, including recognition and
enforcement of judgments and warehouse receipts.
In addition to a number of webinars that were
delivered during the pandemic, plans are
underway for several more in the coming year on
various topics in private international law –
stay tuned! .
For further information on this matter, please contact the Department of International Law of the Secretariat for Legal Affairs of the OAS + 1 202 370 0743.
For additional information about the Department of International Law (DIL), please visit
DIL Site |
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American States (OAS), or its Member States.
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American States. All rights reserved.
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