About Juris International

(Produced with the support of the "Fonds Francophone des Inforoutes")

I - What is Juris International ?

A database on international trade law aimed at lawyers and legal counsel in developing and transition economies

Juris International is a multilingual collection (English, Spanish, and French) of legal information on international trade. Juris International aims to facilitate and reduce the work involved in research for business lawyers, advisers and in-house counsel, and state organizations in developing and transition economies, by providing access to texts which have often been difficult to obtain. Its objective is to gather a large quantity of basic information at one site (favoring complete legal texts), without the need to send for the information, and consequently without excessive communication costs for users who do not benefit from an efficient and cheap telecommunications network.

A Partnership

Juris International is the result of a partnership between the International Trade Centre UNCTAD/WTO -" ITC " ( project leader : Jean-François Bourque, Senior Adviser) , LexUM of the Center for Research in Public Law at the University of Montreal, Canada (project leader: Professor Daniel Poulin) and Juripole from the University of Nancy, France (project leader : Professor François Jacquot)The partnership became official in November 1998 during the international conference " Partners for development " held in Lyon under the auspices of the United Nations. The arrangement of a partnership between international organizations and institutions from civil society seemed a pratical and viable means to attain the objectives of Juris International.

In order for the shared work to be effective, the partners developed an internal tool for the management of information from a distance, thus permitting each partner to work simultaneously at enriching the collection and to receive the contributions of multiple collaborators.

The partnership is open to other members.

II - Content of Juris International

Juris International has a general collection and a specialized collection.

General Collection

International Legal Instruments

These are international conventions and codified rules and common usages of international commerce. Instruments maintaining an international scope are given priority. With a few exceptions, regional instruments have not been taken into account. (however, see below : special collections)

The complete text of legal instruments in Juris International is provided in three languages when official versions are available or when a translation is given by a government or a state body. In order to give a general view of each instrument and to emphasize its importance to international trade, the text of the instrument is preceded by an introduction or summary by Juris International. None of these introductions are official, unless otherwise stated. Some texts do not yet have an introduction : this work is ongoing with the objective of covering all the international legal instruments.

The legal instruments have been registered in the form of databases, which enables the analysis of the global legal situation of a country with regard to these instruments, or to identify instruments ratified by two countries, in the framework of bilateral commercial negotiations. Reservations formulated by states with regard to certain provisions of the international instruments are either indicated or briefly analyzed.

It is necessary to alert readers to the possibility of errors or omissions, due to the complexity of the analysis of ratifications and reservations, in spite of all due care being exercised. This is why it is strongly recommended to readers to contact directly the depositories of each instrument in order to obtain complete official information. The depository's name is always given after the title of each instrument.

Contracts: Model Clauses and Drafting Guides

This section provides examples of model clauses and drafting guides from public and private organizations, as well as examples of contractual clauses from various sources, in order to help drafters of international contracts. The choices shown do not imply any specific recommendation : they are in response to an identified strong demand for information (survey carried out with export associations of 131 developing and transition countries by the ITC in 1998 and 1999). This section needs constant additions. Those institutions and competent persons wishing to contribute to the identification and selection of the most pertinent clauses are invited to contact us.

Dispute Resolution Centers

Institutions which offer arbitration, conciliation, mediation, or expert services come under this section. Besides a presentation of the functions and services offered by each institution, model clauses as well as regulations are given. As Juris International is not in the position to translate model clauses or rules, only those translations provided by the institutions are presented. Institutions which do not appear on Juris International and wishing to do so are invited to contact us with the necessary information.

Business Lawyer Associations

This section provides the identification and addresses, sometimes accompanied by a brief presentation, of associations of in-house or commercial lawyers, and business lawyers.

Special Collections

WTO Agreements

This collection gives readers access, by way of a simplified index, to key provisions of the WTO Agreements and to explanatory texts especially intended for the business community. The Collection is published thanks to the World Tr@de Net programme.

An International Trade Centre UNCTAD/WTO (ITC) initiative, the World Tr@de Net responds to the need for practical advice and training, of members of the business community, on WTO issues that are directly relevant to their business operations.

Taking on the role of catalyst, ITC helps to develop and strengthen interaction between "key players" for business support at the national level. The resulting working and communication links among representatives of the public and private sectors constitute efficient loosely structured national networks.

Together with its networking activities, World Tr@de Net: supports local initiatives seeking to provide advisory and training services on WTO-related issues to the business sector; channels, through network members, information on the rapidly evolving and constantly changing trading system to the business community; and reinforces the private and public-sector interface on the business implications of the world trading system.

For more information:
World Tr@de Net: http://www.intracen.org/worldtradenet/welcome.htm

Mr. Peter Naray
Senior Adviser on the Multilateral Trading system
International Trade Centre UNCTAD/WTO (ITC),, Palais des Nations CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Fax (+41 22) 733 44 39
E-mail : naray@intracen.org.


The OHADA collection was realized in collaboration with the Organization for the harmonization in Africa of Business Law (OHADA). It contains complete texts, regulations, and forms of OHADA in all available languages.

III - Choice of Languages

Juris International is a multilingual collection reflecting the needs of international and intra-regional commerce and the diversity of legal cultures. For practical, technical, and financial reasons, only three languages were orignally chosen : English, Spanish, and French. The dissemination of the information in Juris International is envisaged in other languages. This will be done in due course depending on demand and finances.

IV - Preparation of the Collections and Technical Choices

The texts assembled for Juris International were obtained either from official printed sources or electronically. They have been carefully reread in order to eliminate the inevitable errors inherent in these methods.

The texts were encoded in HTML during the course of the project. This format was obtained through the use of computer programs which alter the appearance of documents. The HTML files were also revised. Several contract forms are in PDF format.

Finally, information regarding the texts and all the annotations are managed on a database which is also carefully checked.

In spite of the care brought to the preparation of Juris International's site, it is possible that some errors may subsist. We invite our readers to bring to our attention any error or omission.

V - Warning and User License

Juris International is a working tool. Although great care has been taken in the collection of information, Juris International's collection should not be taken in any circumstance as an official version of the texts, information, reservations, ratifications, or other information given. The reader is invited to check with the depository or other relevant organizations the exactness of the information given as these may contain errors or omissions.

Public domain document. The texts disseminated by Juris International which form part of the public domain or which are free from the application of particular laws, may be reproduced without any authorization from the partners. For example, this will generally apply to the text of international conventions and arbitration rules. However, use of these documents may be subject to special conditions of the organizations which produced them or which are their depositories.

Juris International's own resources. Other rules apply to the editing work carried out by the Juris International team (e.g. the many index pages, the research mechanisms, the HTML, or any other editorial addition) on the totality of the documents, which are the result of the work of the partners, and thus belong to them.

Users of Juris International websites are subject to the following conditions of use:

The databases created by Juris International belong to it and may not be redistributed or redisseminated without permission. Thus, the resources which form part of the collections of international legal instruments, contracts, model clauses, drafting guides, dispute resolution centres, associations of business lawyers in Juris International's collection belong to the partners of Juris International and may not be redistributed or redisseminated without permission

In disseminating legal information, the partners of Juris International have as their ultimate goal to make international commercial law known and accessible. With this goal in mind, any action which contributes to make known the resources disseminated by Juris International is welcomed and permitted subject to the reservations mentioned above. In case of doubt on the envisaged use of Juris International's material, please write to us for clarification.

VI - How to contact us

For all comments and suggestions or to indicate errors which have escaped us (many thanks in advance) please contact us at the following address: jurisint@intracen.org.

To contact any of the partners, please write to :

To obtain a copy of Juris International on CD-Rom (only for professionals in transition and developing economies) please send your request on letterhead to the International Trade Centre at the above address.


Project direction and management

Jean-Francois BOURQUE (CCI)
Daniel POULIN (LexUM)
Francois JACQUOT (Juripole)
Éric LABBÉ (LexUM, 1998-2001)
Jean-Sébastien ROURE (CCI, 2000-2003)
Massimo Vittori (CCI, 2004- ...)

Collections Edition and preparation

Jean-Sébastien ROURE, with the collaboration of Sayed ZAKHIA DOUAIHY and Juan David CASTRO
At LexUM
Éric LABBÉ, with the collaboration of Ivan MOKANOV, Frédéric PELLETIER and Marie-Claire LASSONDE
At Juripole de Lorraine
Barbara ZIANVENI, Agnès LOUIN, Véronique DRIQUERT and Violaine LAGARRIGUE

Indexation of WTO documents
Me Cherise M. VALLES, Genève

Technical achievement (LexUM)

Daniel Poulin
Programming and website, 1st edition (1998-2000)
Karl CHARBONNEAU with the collaboration of Emmanuel RODRIGUEZ
Programming and website, 2nd edition (2001-2002)
François VIENS with the collaboration of Ernst PERPIGNAND and François HARVEY
Programming and website, 3rd edition (2005)
François VIENS, Jean-Philippe RICARD and Hugues TREMBLAY-BEAUMONT

All rights reserved. Copyright © Juris International 1998/2005