2 Elon L. Rev. 1 (2011)

handle is hein.journals/elonlr2 and id is 1 raw text is: ARTICLES
UNIFORM LAW AND FUNCTIONAL EQUIVALENCE:
DIVERTING PATHS OR STOPS ALONG THE SAME ROAD?
THOUGHTS ON A NEW INTERNATIONAL REGIME FOR
TRANSPORT DOCUMENTS
JOSE ANGELO ESTRELLA FARIA*
INTRODucTION
International efforts to unify and harmonise private law date back
to the 19th century.' Despite the inherent difficulty and delay of the
process, for a very long time there seemed to be broad support for the
idea of legal unification. A century ago, few would have disagreed in
substance with Lord Justice Kennedy's enthusiastic statement at the
1909 Annual Meeting of the Liverpool Board of Legal Studies that
[t]he certainty of enormous gain to civilised mankind from the unifi-
cation of law needs no exposition.'
* Secretary-General, International Institute for the Unification of Private Law
(UNIDROIT) - the author assumed this post on October 1, 2008. UNIDROIT, AN-
NUAL REPORT - 2008, 5 (2009), available at http://www.unidroit.org/english/docu-
ments/2009/cd88-02-e.pdf.
I The Hague Conference on Private International Law first convened in 1893. See
Peter H. Pfund & George Taft, Congress'Role in the International Unification ofPrivate Law,
16 GA. J. INT'L & COMP. L. 671, 675 (1986); Marc Ancel, From the Unification ofLaw to its
Harmonization, 51 TUL. L. REv. 108, 108-09 (1976). For general information on the
Hague Conference, see its website at http://www.hcch.net.
2 Conceive the security and the peace of mind of the shipowner, the banker, or the
merchant' continued His Lordship, 'who knows that in regard to his transactions in a
foreign country the law of contract, of movable property, and of civil wrongs is practi-
cally identical with that of his own country. Lord Justice Kennedy, The Unification of
Law, 10 J. Soc'Y COMP. LEGIs. 212, 214 (1909).

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