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The seat of UNIDROIT is in Rome.

UNIDROIT (formally, the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law; French: Institut international pour l'unification du droit privé) is an intergovernmental organization whose objective is to harmonize international private law across countries through uniform rules, international conventions, and the production of model laws, sets of principles, guides and guidelines. Established in 1926 as part of the League of Nations, it was reestablished in 1940 following the League's dissolution through a multilateral agreement, the UNIDROIT Statute. As of 2019 UNIDROIT has 63 member states.

UNIDROIT has prepared multiple conventions (treaties), but has also developed soft law instruments. An example are the UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts. Distinctly different from the Convention on the International Sale of Goods (CISG) adopted by UNCITRAL, the UNIDROIT Principles do not apply as a matter of law, but only when chosen by the parties as their contractual regime.


The seat of UNIDROIT is in Rome, Italy, between via Nazionale and via Panisperna, occupying the Villa Aldobrandini, a 17th-century princely villa that borders the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Angelicum, to the south.


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States become members through acceding to its statute. The 63 members are:

Member country Year of joining
 Argentina 1972
 Australia 1973
 Austria 1948
 Belgium 1940
 Bolivia 1940
 Brazil 1940
 Bulgaria 1940
 Canada 1968
 Chile 1951
 China 1986
 Colombia 1940
 Croatia 1996
 Cuba 1940
 Cyprus 1999
 Czech Republic 1993
 Denmark 1940
 Egypt 1951
 Estonia 2001
 Finland 1940
 France 1948
 Germany 1940
 Greece 1940
  Holy See 1945
 Hungary 1940
 India 1950
 Indonesia 2009
 Iran 1951
 Iraq 1973
 Ireland 1940
 Israel 1954
 Italy 1940
 Japan 1954
 Latvia 2006
 Lithuania 2007
 Luxembourg 1951
 Malta 1970
 Mexico 1940
 Netherlands 1940
 Nicaragua 1940
 Nigeria 1964
 Norway 1951
 Pakistan 1964
 Paraguay 1940
 Poland 1979
 Portugal 1949
 South Korea 1981
 Serbia (joined as  Federal Republic of Yugoslavia) 2001
 Romania 1940
 Russia (joined as  Soviet Union) 1990
 San Marino 1945
 Saudi Arabia 2009
 Slovakia 1993
 Slovenia 1995
 South Africa 1971
 Spain 1940
 Sweden 1940
 Switzerland 1940
 Tunisia 1980
 Turkey 1950
 United Kingdom 1948
 United States 1964
 Uruguay 1940
 Venezuela 1940

Ecuador was a member State of UNIDROIT from 1940 to 1964; Lebanon was a member State of UNIDROIT from 1958 to 1964 and Senegal was a member State from 1991 to 1997. Countries which have ceased to exist are former member states: Czechoslovakia, East Germany, United Arab Republic, and Yugoslavia.


Unidroit has over the years prepared the following international Conventions, drawn up by Unidroit and adopted by diplomatic Conferences convened by member States of Unidroit:[1]

UNIDROIT is depositary of two of its conventions: the Cape Town Convention (including its three protocols) as well as the Geneva Securities Convention.

For many years UNIDROIT prepared the background studies for international conventions that were subsequently finalized by other international organisations. To be noted among these, are the Convention on the Contract for the International Carriage of Goods by Road (CMR), finalized by the UN Economic Commission for Europe in 1956, and the United Nations Convention on the Liability of Operators of Transport Terminals in International Trade finalized by UNCITRAL in 1991.

In addition, UNIDROIT has adopted the 2002 Model Franchise Disclosure Law; the 2008 Model Law on Leasing; and the 2011 Model Provisions on State Ownership of Undiscovered Cultural Objects (in co-operation with UNESCO); and published the UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts (1994, 2004, 2010 and 2016); the Model Clauses for Use by Parties of the UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts (2013); the ALI / UNIDROIT Principles of Transnational Civil Procedure (in co-operation with the American Law Institute) (2004); the Principles on the Operation of Close-Out Netting Provisions (2013); the Guide to International Master Franchise Arrangements (1998, second edition 2007), and the UNIDROIT/FAO/IFAD Legal Guide on Contract Farming (2015).


  1. ^ "UNIDROIT Conventions". UNIDROIT. Archived from the original on 16 April 2013. Retrieved 26 February 2012.

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