The International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT) is an independent intergovernmental organisation with its headquarters in Rome. UNIDROIT was established in 1926 to examine ways of harmonising and coordinating the private law of States and to prepare gradually for the adoption by the various States of uniform rules of private law. To this end it-
- Prepares drafts of laws and conventions with the object of establishing uniform internal law;
- Prepares drafts of agreements with a view to facilitating international relations in the field of private law;
- Undertakes studies in comparative private law;
- Takes an interest in projects already undertaken in any of these fields by other institutions with which it may maintain relations as necessary;
- Organises conferences and publishes works which the Institute considers worthy of wide circulation.
UNIDROIT is an international body responsible to the participating Governments. It is established on the basis of a multilateral agreement, the UNIDROIT Statute. Sixty-one Governments, including the Irish Government, participate in UNIDROIT.
The organs of UNIDROIT are:
- a General Assembly;
- a President;
- a Governing Council;
- a Permanent Committee;
- an Administrative Tribunal;
- a Secretariat.
Ireland has been an active participant in UNIDROIT since becoming a member on 16 April 1940. Mr Gerard Hogan S.C., is a member of the Governing Council. The five-year term of office of the current Governing Council expires on 31 December 2008. The main functions of the Governing Council of UNIDROIT are to draw up its work programme, to approve the annual report on its activities and to draw up a draft budget and forward it for approval to the General Assembly.
Any participating Government, as well as any international institution of an official nature, is entitled to set before the Governing Council proposals for the study of questions relating to the unification, harmonisation or coordination of private law. Also, any international institution or association, the purpose of which is the study of legal questions, may put before the Governing Council suggestions concerning studies to be undertaken. Following the completion of the study of questions in which it has engaged, the Governing Council shall, if appropriate, approve any preliminary drafts to be submitted to Governments.
The Irish Government contributes to the annual budget of UNIDROIT.
Legal Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs has been designated as the national authority in Ireland for the purposes of facilitating communication between Ireland and UNIDROIT.
Ireland is a state party to the following Convention and Protocol which were elaborated under the auspices of UNIDROIT:
- Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment (Cape Town, 2001);
- Protocol to the Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment on Matters Specific to Aircraft Equipment (Cape Town, 2001).
The purpose of the above Convention and Protocol is to provide a uniform international legal framework to facilitate asset-based financing of aircraft, aircraft engines and helicoptors. The International Interests in Mobile Equipment (Cape Town) Convention Act, 2005 (No 15 of 2005) was enacted to give effect in Ireland to the above Convention and Protocol.
To access the text of the Convention, as published in the Irish Treaty Series (no. 18/2006), click here.
To access the text of the Protocol, as published in the Irish Treaty Series (no. 12/2007), click here.
A key part of the system set up under the Cape Town Convention and Protocol is the establishment of an International Registry of Mobile Assets. Aviareto, a joint venture between SITA SC and the Irish Government, has a contract with the International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO) to establish and operate the International Registry as required by the Cape Town Convention and Protocol.
Click on this link to access the website of Aviareto