Cross-citations in CISG case law
This section presents information about the extent to which CISG decisions refer to other CISG decisions (cross-citations).
I. Cross-citations as indication of a CISG decision's impact or connectedness
The mere overall number of cross-citations alone can arguably be seen as a rough indicator – but not more – of two characteristics:
1. Most frequently cited CISG decisions (all citations)
The overall number of times a particular CISG decision has been cited in other CISG decisions from the same jurisdiction (domestic citations) and from other jurisdictions (international citations) indicates the impact the cited CISG decision has had on the interpretation of the Sales Convention throughout the world.
2. CISG decisions making most cross-citations to other CISG decisions (all citations)
The overall number of other CISG decisions from the same jurisdiction (domestic citations) and from other jurisdictions (international citations) that a particular CISG decision is citing indicates the degree to which the interpretation of the Sales Convention made in that decision has been informed by interpretative approaches taken by others (connectedness).
II. International cross-citations: Having regard to foreign CISG case law (Art. 7(1) CISG)
International cross-citations in CISG case law are particularly relevant in light of Art. 7(1) CISG, a provision that urges courts interpreting the 1980 Sales Convention to have regard to "its international character and to the need to promote uniformity in its application".
1. Most frequently cited CISG decisions (international citations only)
In this context, the number of times a particular CISG decision has been cited in CISG decisions from other jurisdictions (international citations) indicates the impact the cited CISG decision has had on the interpretation of the Sales Convention in foreign CISG case law.
2. CISG decisions making most cross-citations to other CISG decisions (international citations only)
The number of CISG decisions from other jurisdictions that a particular CISG decision is citing (international citations) indicates the degree to which the interpretation of the Sales Convention made in that decision has been informed by interpretative approaches taken in foreign CISG case law (cross-border connectedness).
3. Case law on courts' duty to "have regard" to foreign CISG decisions (Art. 7(1) CISG)
Courts from various countries have stressed the importance of having regard to CISG case law from other jurisdictions:
- When interpreting the CISG in Usinor Industeel v. Leeco Steel Products, Inc. (28 March 2002 – 02 C 0540, CISG-online 696), the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois referred to a CISG decision by an Australian court and explained: "While this case is far in distance from the present jurisdiction, commentators on the CISG have noted that courts should consider the decisions issued by foreign courts on the CISG."
- In SO.M.AGRI s.a.s. v. Erzeugerorganisation Marchfeldgemüse GmbH & Co. KG (25 February 2004 – 40552, CISG-online 819), the Tribunale di Padova (Italy) held that despite not being binding, as a minority view in scholarly writing under the CISG has suggested, jurisprudence on the Sales Convention must be very carefully considered by courts in order to assure uniformity in the CISG's application, as required by its Art. 7(1). In fact, the mere autonomous interpretation of the CISG – understood as an interpretation that does not refer to the meaning attributed to specific expressions by a particular national law – is by itself inadequate to assure the uniformity at which the CISG aims in order to promote the development of international trade.
- In the Medicaments case, the Foreign Trade Court of Arbitration of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia (28 January 2009 – T-8/08, CISG-online 1856) pointed out that its findings were "in accordance with the foreign judicial and arbitral practice, which should be taken into consideration for the purpose of achieving uniform application of the CISG, pursuant to Article 7(1) of the CISG".
- According to the Austrian Supreme Court in the Italian knitwear case (29 June 2017 – 8 Ob 104/16a, CISG-online 2845), Art. 7(1) CISG requests national interpreters interpreting the CISG to be aware of the international character of its provisions and therefore to take into account CISG case law from other States.
- In Genfoot Inc. v. SCHENKERocean Ltd. (06 February 2019 – HR-2019-231-A, CISG-online 4318), the Norwegian Supreme Court similarly pointed out that "CISG Article 7(1) establishes that the Convention should be interpreted with regard to uniformity. International case law thus becomes particularly relevant in the interpretation."
- The Swiss Federal Supreme Court held in the Electronic electricity meters case (28 May 2019 – 4A_543/2018, CISG-online 4463) that Art. 7(1) CISG requires courts to have regard to CISG case law from other States, as well as to foreign scholarly publications on the CISG.