CLOUT Network (contributors to the CLOUT System)
The CLOUT system relies on the CLOUT Network, an international network of contributors who are experts in one or more UNCITRAL subject-areas. Contributors research national case law, collect court decisions and arbitral awards that are relevant to UNCITRAL and prepare case abstracts for publication in the CLOUT system. These contributions support the uniform interpretation and application of UNCITRAL instruments and expand the collection of case law on UNCITRAL texts.
The CLOUT Network receives support and guidance from the UNCITRAL Secretariat and from a CLOUT Steering Committee, as explained below.
The CLOUT Network is composed of
National Correspondents are legal experts and regular contributors to the CLOUT system, designated by States that are parties to UNCITRAL conventions or have enacted legislation based on UNCITRAL model laws. There is no limit to the number of National Correspondents that a State can appoint. The current term for National Correspondents started in June 2022 and will end in June 2027.
National Correspondents are appointed, or their designation is reconfirmed every five years, in order to enable those correspondents that wish to remain actively involved to continue their work and to provide new correspondents with an opportunity to join the network.
Member States are requested before the start of every new term, to nominate at least one National Correspondent for the next 5-year term however, any nomination made at a later stage will be recorded for the remaining time of the term.
Contributions to CLOUT can also be made through partnerships between the UNCITRAL secretariat and universities and research institutes, judicial training institutes and other organizations with a special interest in one or more areas of the work of UNCITRAL. To date, the UNCITRAL secretariat has established a partnership with the CISG Online Database at the University Basel and the newyorkconvention1958.org database.
Any institution with an interest in contributing to CLOUT through established partnership is invited to contact the UNCITRAL secretariat at email@example.com under the subject line “CLOUT partner”.
Any individual (student, law professor and/or practitioner) or institution with an expertise in one or more UNCITRAL subject-areas is welcomed as a “Voluntary contributor” and to become part of the CLOUT Network, and as such can provide contributions to CLOUT.
The Steering Committee provides support and encouragement to the CLOUT Network through such activities as :
- reporting on case law databases and sources of information relevant to CLOUT,
- raising awareness of CLOUT in all regions,
- monitoring the pattern of CLOUT contributions,
- making recommendations towards ensuring that CLOUT cases reflect the adoption and use of UNCITRAL texts in different legal systems and across all regions, and
- encouraging an expanded scope of UNCITRAL texts covered.
The Steering Committee is composed of National Correspondents (a maximum of one representative per State), the current Chairperson of UNCITRAL and the most recent Chairpersons of UNCITRAL Working Groups. Members of the Steering Committee appointed by States serve for 5 years, while chairs are ex-officio members.
The Steering Committee meets annually, to consider progress in the CLOUT system and activities over the preceding year.
How to contribute to CLOUT
The UNCITRAL secretariat welcomes contributions on case law relevant to UNCITRAL, whether from National Correspondents, Voluntary contributors or Institutional partners.
Contributions should include either basic information about a potential CLOUT case or a draft abstract of the case concerned and, where available, the copy of the decision in its original language.
Basic information about a potential CLOUT case includes the court or tribunal name, the decision date, the UNCITRAL text concerned and, where available, a copy of the decision.
When considering a potential CLOUT case for submission to the UNCITRAL Secretariat, contributors are encouraged to consult the CLOUT database to check that it is not already reported.
CLOUT abstracts are short, standardised case summaries that enable readers to rapidly identify the specific legal points in a given UNCITRAL text that are explained and/or interpreted in the court decision or award concerned. The abstracts are included in periodic official publications of the United Nations, called “CLOUT issues”, and are published in the six official United Nations languages. Draft abstracts must therefore meet United Nations style, format and terminology in order to be considered for publication in the CLOUT system, and must be written in one of the official United Nations languages. The UNCITRAL secretariat will review, edit and index draft abstracts prior to publication.
Before preparing an abstract, contributors are invited to review the guidelines for CLOUT contributors to ensure that draft abstracts meet the above requirements and to encourage consistency in content. Guidelines and reference materials to assist contributors are available in the 6 UN languages - see “Useful resources” below.
The contributors of published abstracts are acknowledged in the abstract and in social media.
Contributions can be sent directly to the UNCITRAL secretariat by email to firstname.lastname@example.org under the subject line “Contribution to CLOUT”.