Casebook on CISG cases in Italy



Maura Alessandri just published Casebook sui contratti di vendita internazionale (in Italian) She kindly provided the following summary.

This year international trade law celebrates the 40th birthday of the “United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods”, adopted in Vienna on 11 April 1980 (hereinafter referred to as “CISG”).

Although the CISG has been in force in Italy since 1 January 1988, Italian companies are often not familiar with its rules and tend to ignore its existence or not to apply it  (even when it applies automatically). Case law on CISG is gaining an increasing importance in Italy.

With a view to making the CISG better and more readily known, this Casebook aims to provide international trade lawyers and practitioners with a guide, easy to read and quick to consult, of the most significant judgments and arbitration awards issued in Italy in application of CISG.

It includes a selection of 96 Italian judgments and 12 arbitral awards. These include some of the most significant and well-known judgments which have become an important and useful reference for Judges and lawyers since they deal with the most frequent questions in practice. The publication of most of the arbitral awards have been authorized by the National and International Chamber of Arbitration of Milan, one of the most prestigious Chambers of Arbitration which daily deals with international trade law issues.

The published materials aim to help international trade lawyers to easily track the precedents which solved specific issues regarding the CISG’s autonomous and internationally oriented application and avoid what Honnold called “homeward trend”.

The book is intended for consultation through an analytical index of selected keywords in order to lead the reader directly to the relevant judgments and arbitral awards.

The following issues come up in the decisions taken up in the Casebook:

  • some decisions quote foreign decisions to promote the CISG’s uniform interpretation and application;
  • some decisions stress that uniform substantive law (i.e. the CISG) prevails over the rules of private international law (such as the Hague Convention of 1955);
  • some show the correct steps to be followed in order to check whether the CISG applies (either directly or indirectly). The direct application of CISG represents the most frequent scenario, i.e. an Italian company selling goods to a company which has its place of business in another Contracting State;
  • some decisions deal with the relationship between the CISG and the General terms and conditions (and the so-called Battle of the forms);
  • other decisions focus on what is (under an autonomous and uniform interpretation) a reasonable time for the notice of lack of conformity of the goods or which is the place of delivery (including Incoterms) with a view to ascertaining the competent court (and thus dealing with forum shopping’s issues);
  • some decisions ascertain which is the competent court when dealing with an international sales contract, applying for example EU Regulation no. 44/2001 (precedessor of no. 1215/2012), or the Brussels Convention of 1968;
  • in the same framework, arbitration is also frequently used in international trade law; the arbitral awards are intended to provide some cases (which are usually kept strictly private and confidential and not easily known) in which arbitrators have interpreted and applied CISG’s rules.

The book contains: 1) a list of the judgments and awards cited in chronological order, 2) the text of these judgments and awards, 3) the Italian (unofficial) text of the CISG, 4) a list of the Contracting States, and 5 ) a reasoned analytical index that constitutes the true asset and  increases the usefulness of the book.

Title: Maura Alessandri, “Casebook sui contratti di vendita internazionale. Raccolta ragionata della giurisprudenza italiana (sentenze e lodi arbitrali) sulla Convenzione di Vienna del 1980 sui contratti di vendita internazionale di beni mobili (CISG)”, Bologna, Bonomo Editore, 2020, ISBN: 978-88-6972-156-4

Available at Bonomo Editore or on Amazon.