Modernization of National Commercial Laws and the Role of Legal Harmonization in International Commerce

The UNCITRAL Regional Centre for Asia and the Pacific and the Faculty of Law, University of Macau, will jointly host the UNCITRAL-UM JOINT CONFERENCE 2017 titled “ Modernization of National Commercial Laws and the Role of Legal Harmonization in International Commerce”. It will be held in Macau SAR, during 11-12 December 2017, Macau SAR, China.
The Conference invites talks by experts in the field from the UNCITRAL. The Conference also includes an academic call for papers, which is expected to draw distinguished scholars from around the world.
We take pleasure in inviting you to join the conference, which we believe is critical for the success of the conference.

Call for Papers

The call for papers is now open for the UNCITRAL-UM Joint Conference 2017 scheduled during 11-12 December 2017 in Macau SAR. This is the fourth conference resulting from the cooperation between the UNCITRAL Regional Centre for Asia and the Pacific and University of Macau following the successful organization of three high level international conferences by the two institutions since 2014. Paper proposals are invited under a broad theme of 'Modernization of National Commercial Laws and the Role of Legal Harmonization in International Commerce'.

2017 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the United Nations Commission on the International Trade (UNCITRAL), which was originally established by the UN General Assembly with an objective to reduce disparities in national and regional regulations that impact international trade. As one of the core legal institution of the United Nations, it seeks to progressively harmonize and unify national and regional laws to promote international trade. The UNCITRAL has developed a variety of instruments, including conventions, model laws, and codifications of international trade terms, legislative guides and standards. The UNCITAL Regional Centre for Asia and the Pacific was inaugurated in 2012 to promote harmonization and unification instruments of UNCITRAL in the Asia-Pacific region with the objective of diminishing legal obstacles to global commercial transactions.

University of Macau, founded in 1981, is the leading comprehensive public university in Macau. It is a young but resourceful and ambitious educational institution, with unique Sino-European heritage and global connections. In 2017, University of Macau has been ranked within the top fifty universities in Asia by the Times Higher Education Asia University Rankings 2017 and it is emerging as a leading university in many frontiers of high-level research and teaching. The Faculty of Law of University of Macau, which is responsible in organizing the conference, is the oldest law school in Macau. With its diverse and multilingual programs and teaching staff of international background, the Faculty has been playing a very important role in the promoting legal education and research in Macau and contributing to the building-up of local legal system. In addition, the Faculty of Law has also successfully held many high-level international academic conferences and meetings in a range of legal topics.

Macau Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China has established itself as a top gaming and tourism destination in Asia. It is a global city endowed with a well-developed infrastructure for trade and industry. Macau adheres to the free market economy and has in place a simple and low taxation system, autonomous customs and widespread international market network. Macau is currently advancing towards moderate economic diversification, by promoting accelerated growth of its convention and exhibition industry, cultural and creative industries, traditional Chinese medicine and trade in services. It is also striving to become a regional economic and trade services platform, with the ability to provide quality service to investors and traders from all over the world. Macau, with its unique historical and cultural background, has also been designated as a platform for promoting economic and trade exchanges between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries.

The UNCITRAL-UM Joint conference with a theme of 'Modernization of National Commercial Laws and the Role of Legal Harmonization in International Commerce' will address critical legal issues in four specific tracks focusing on contemporary international, regional and national developments in the related topics. The conference invites researchers, scholars, and practitioners to share their insightful opinions and important findings of their research related to the conference theme and tracks. Aiming to promote an international dialogue, the conference is now seeking submissions of paper proposals/abstracts to explore the following tracks:


Track 1

Settlement of commercial and investment disputes along the One Belt, One Road: the relevance of UNCITRAL standards.

Track 1a.

Harmonizing standards for paperless arbitration (from proceedings to award; the relevance of the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration (1985), with amendments as adopted in 2006, of the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules as revised in 2010 and of the United Nations Convention on the Use of Electronic Communications in International Contracts.

Track 2

Reducing legal obstacles faced by Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in operating in the legally-regulated economy, including establishment and registration, access to credit and insolvency.

Track 3

UNCITRAL texts on e-commerce and their relevance to implement FTAs and trade facilitation measures.

Track 4

Sale of goods, security interests and insolvency: the impact of legal divergence on contract management in complex cross-border supply chain management and financing.

Selection Criteria

TThe paper proposals for the conference will be selected on a competitive process and will take into consideration
(1) the quality of the proposed topic and abstract, relevance to the broad theme and to the work areas already covered by UNCITRAL;
(2) the regional diversity of presenters (including diversity of legal traditions);
(3) balance between senior and junior presenters; and
(4) gender balance.
The authors of the accepted proposals will be notified and will be invited to submit a draft presentation/paper at the conference and subsequently a full paper for publication consideration.

Important Dates

2 December 2017:

Closing date for submission of the paper abstracts via law.umuncitral@umac.mo. Authors of the accepted paper abstracts will be notified on a rolling basis after the proposals are reviewed.

4 December 2017:

Closing date for submission of the draft presentation/paper.

31 March 2018:

Closing date for submission of the full paper.


In addition to the abstract proposal (no more than 250 words), the submission must indicate
(1) the title of the paper,
(2) the proposed track and related topic,
(3) key words, identifying the theme of the proposed paper, so as to assist in the categorization process; and
(4) the speaker's bio in not more than 250 words and contact information.


After the conclusion of the conference, all the accepted authors are invited to submit the full updated paper for possible publication by the UNCITRAL Regional Centre for Asia and the Pacific, to stimulate interest, research, and study on UNCITRAL and its texts. Papers must follow the OSCOLA (Oxford University Standard for Citation of Legal Authorities) style of referencing. Papers may also be considered for possible external publication in a reviewed academic journal or an edited book.

For more information and enquiries, please visit our website:
www.umac.mo/fll/umuncitral.or contact us at law.umuncitral@umac.mo.



All presenters and attendees are required to complete the formal registration process in order to secure a place in the conference.

The registration for the conference is free of charge.

However, accepted speakers and participants in the conference are required to complete a registration form in advance and obtain confirmation in order to secure a place in the conference.

Copyright 2017, Faculty of Law