Private International Law is the legal framework composed of conventions, protocols, model laws, legal guides, uniform documents, case law, practice and custom, as well as other documents and instruments, which regulate relationships between individuals in an international context. The OAS through the Secretariat for Legal Affairs (SLA), plays a central role in the harmonization, codification and development of Private International Law in the Western Hemisphere.

One of the principal components of this work in the Inter-American context, are the Specialized Conferences on Private International Law. Known for its acronym in Spanish as CIDIP, these Conferences have produced 26 international instruments (including 20 Conventions, 3 Protocols, 1 Model Law and 2 Uniform Documents). These instruments cover various topics and are designed to create an effective legal framework for judicial cooperation between Inter-American states and to add legal certainty to cross border transactions in civil, family, commercial and procedural dealings of individuals in the Inter-American context.

In recent years, SLA has undertaken projects on specific topics in the field of Private International Law, including Secured Transactions and Arbitration. This work is in furtherance of the mandate given by the OAS General Assembly as follows: “International Law” (AG/RES. 2886 (XLVI-O/16):

• To instruct the Department of International Law, as part of the activities envisaged in the Inter-American Program,… to continue its training of judges and other officials in effective application of international treaties on enforcing arbitral decisions and awards, with strict respect for due process and the sovereignty of each state and in compliance with international law; to continue promoting the Model Law on Secured Transactions among member states; and to raise awareness of the work of the Inter-American Juridical Committee, including on principles on privacy and personal data protection and on the Model Law on Simplified Joint Stock Companies (Section i., para.2);

• To instruct the Department of International Law to promote among member states further development of private international law, in collaboration with organizations and associations engaged in this area, including the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law, the Hague Conference on Private International Law, and the American Association of Private International Law (Section i., para. 3).

Contact Us

Departament of international law
Secretariat for Legal Affairs (SLA)
Organization of American States
19th Street & Constitution Ave., N.W.
Washington, D.C., 20006
Tel. + 1 202-370-0664
Fax + 1 202.458.3293