A glimpse through the kaleidoscope: choices of law and the CISG (Kaleidoscope part I)

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What are the reasons behind choices of law for international sales contracts? This article explores the rationale for choices of law made by lawyers. The author draws together empirical and anecdotal evidence on the issue from various jurisdictions and identifies four fundamental reasons behind the conscious decisions of lawyers to opt in or opt out of the CISG: unfamiliarity, learning costs, bargaining strength and substantive concerns. The article then explains how each reason might affect choices of law in various jurisdictions including the USA, China and European jurisdictions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-156
Number of pages22
JournalVindobona Journal of International Commercial Law and Arbitration
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • CISG
  • choice of law
  • behavioural economics
  • Vienna Sales Convention
  • Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods
  • legal education
  • information assymetry
  • soft law
  • international commercial law
  • opt out
  • opt-out
  • opt outs
  • exclusion


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  • Thinking, small and large: can the CISG help SMEs and if so, how?

    Spagnolo, L., 2023, The Elgar companion to UNCITRAL. Gulati, R., John, T. & Köhler, B. (eds.). Cheltenham, UK ; Northampton, USA: Edward Elgar Publishing, p. 356-375 20 p. (Elgar Companions to International Organizations).

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