For information only - not an official document

27 February 2015

UNCITRAL launches upgraded version of its case law database

VIENNA, 27 February (UN Information Service) - The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) has launched an upgraded version of the CLOUT (Case Law on UNCITRAL Texts) legal database which provides information of worldwide court decisions and arbitral awards on UNCITRAL texts. 

Users will have faster and easier access to the 1,400 abstracts highlighting key issues in the application of the texts.

The updated database offers a new user-friendly interface, which can be accessed free of charge and is available in the six United Nations official languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.

The CLOUT system was designed in 1988 by UNCITRAL to facilitate uniform interpretation and application of UNCITRAL texts by collecting information on relevant court decisions and arbitral awards in countries applying those texts. Aiming to enhance the widespread distribution of such information, CLOUT enables and encourages users to take into account the decisions of judges and arbitrators in countries other than their own, thus promoting international awareness of the texts.

The information collected through CLOUT is also instrumental in the preparation of Digests, which provide compilations of case law from different jurisdictions analyzing trends in the interpretation of a given legal text. The Digests reflect the evolution of the case law on that text, thus enhancing its thorough understanding.

An international network of experts designated by States that have adopted UNCITRAL texts research national case law and prepare the abstracts to be published on CLOUT. But everybody can contribute on a more occasional basis and the UNCITRAL Secretariat wishes to encourage academic institutions, universities, law professors, and practitioners to assist in this effort.

For more information relating to CLOUT and for voluntary contributions of abstracts, please contact us at: and visit


The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) is the core legal body of the United Nations system in the field of international trade law. Its mandate is to remove legal obstacles to international trade by progressively modernizing and harmonizing trade law. It prepares legal texts in a number of key areas such as international commercial dispute settlement, electronic commerce, insolvency, international payments, sale of goods, transport law, procurement and infrastructure development. UNCITRAL also provides technical assistance to law reform activities, including assisting Member States to review and assess their law reform needs and to draft the legislation required to implement UNCITRAL texts. The UNCITRAL Secretariat is located in Vienna, Austria.

* *** *

For information contact:

Timothy Lemay
Principal Legal Officer
UNCITRAL Secretariat
Email: timothy.lemay[at]