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Comparative Interpretation Standards in Uniform International Law

Comparative Sciences: Interdisciplinary Approaches

ISBN: 978-1-78350-455-8, eISBN: 978-1-78350-456-5

ISSN: 1479-3679

Publication date: 7 May 2015


In this chapter, the author offers a horizontal comparison of interpretation standards contained in international legal instruments of different origin. These legal instruments range from international treaties to model laws. They also originate from different law makers such as the United Nations or individual states as well as trade or academic organisations, mainly regulating civil and commercial matters. The author argues that this comparison can provide the basis for the development of a uniform standard in the application of such law, which is often referred to as uniform law because it provides a single source of law to regulate a multitude of situations spanning across national boundaries. The main point of reference is the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, also known as the VCLT. This UN treaty specifically provides a general interpretation standard. From there newer standards occurring in subsequent uniform laws can be integrated using the lex specialis doctrine. This, in turn, provides opportunities for comprehensive usable methods to be developed for uniform law both in a public and private law settings. These then facilitate transparency, fairness and reasonableness. The correct identification of object and purposes of any given instrument is crucial for the successful interpretation of its content. It is this point that needs further research, and this chapter offers a starting point by providing some detailed examples from a range of uniform laws of varying nature including international sales laws, arbitration laws and Double Taxation Conventions.



Heidemann, M. (2015), "Comparative Interpretation Standards in Uniform International Law", Comparative Sciences: Interdisciplinary Approaches (International Perspectives on Education and Society, Vol. 26), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 95-122.



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