This section contains work carried out by the Permanent Bureau in the area of international commercial contracts.

The Principles on Choice of Law in International Commercial Contracts (HCCH Principles), the first “soft-law” instrument of the HCCH, are designed to promote party autonomy in international commercial contracts. By acknowledging that parties to a contract may be best positioned to determine which set of legal norms is most suitable for their transaction, party autonomy in the international commercial context enhances predictability and legal certainty – important conditions for effective cross-border trade and commerce. At the same time, the HCCH Principles also set reasonable boundaries to party autonomy and thus may provide a refinement of the concept where it is already accepted. 

This specialised section contains a range of information on the Principles, including its full text, status tables and explanatory documents.

The Legal Guide to Uniform Instruments in the Area of International Commercial Contracts, with a Focus on Sales (Legal Guide), a joint publication of the Secretariats of UNCITRAL, UNIDROIT and the HCCH, offers an overview of the principal legislative texts prepared by each organisation, such as the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, the HCCH Principles on Choice of Law in International Commercial Contracts and the UNIDROIT Principles on International Commercial Contracts. It also illustrates how these texts interact to achieve the shared goals of predictability and flexibility. The Legal Guide will be a user-friendly resource for those interested in the adoption, application, and interpretation of uniform contract law.