The Fourth Meeting of the Economic Assessment of International Commercial Law Reform Project

The fourth meeting of the Economic Assessment of International Commercial Law Reform Project was held on 8-9 October 2018 at the headquarters of Unidroit in Rome, Italy.


This project is a joint undertaking between the UNIDROIT Foundation, the Commercial Law Centre of Harris Manchester College at Oxford University, and the Global Business Law Institute at the University of Washington. Its primary purpose is to develop a best-practice framework for economic assessments of international commercial law reform. Through the development of a uniform analytical framework for the undertaking of economic assessments, this project aims to improve the quality of economic assessments underpinning international commercial law reform. In turn, higher quality assessments will allow international organisations and national governments to identify and prioritise reforms that will have the most significant economic benefits.

The objective of this meeting was to broaden further the number of stakeholders involved, in order to evaluate the draft framework against existing practices. The workshop also addressed some of the broader challenges associated with the application of a uniform framework in the real world by including discussion of the operational and functional steps involved in conducting economic assessments. The meeting brought together lawyers, economists, and academics from various international organisations, as well as national banks, and notable universities from across the world.   Attendees were divided into  groups, which  analysed critically each factor of the analytic framework as developed at the end of the third workshop.

In the meeting, which was jointly chaired by Professor Ignacio Tirado, Secretary-General of Unidroit and Professor Jeffrey Wool, President of the Unidroit Foundation, and Senior Research Fellow of the Commercial Law Centre, the specific factors that need to be taken into account in  applying each variable under the framework were successfully identified. The terminology underpinning the framework was also improved to ensure that it was understandable for both lawyers and economists. Specialists actively involved in conducting economic assessments shared their experience, which resulted in the identification of  a number of additional areas which will require further research and evaluation to further improve the framework and the  best practice guide which will accompany it.

A full report for this meeting will be made available in December 2018.

The fifth workshop for this project is scheduled to take place in Rome in April 2019.