- Civil Chamber of the Venezuelan Supreme Court
- BANQUE ARTESIA NEDERLAND, N.V., v. CORP BANCA, BANCO UNIVERSAL C.A v.
CONTRACT BETWEEN A VENEZUELAN COMPANY AND A DUTCH COMPANY - SILENT AS TO APPLICABLE LAW - CONTRACT GOVERNED BY THE LAW WITH WHICH IT IS MOST DIRECTLY CONNECTED - TO BE DETERMINED ON THE BASIS, AMONG OTHERS, OF GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF INTERNATIONAL COMMERCIAL LAW RECOGNIZED BY INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS (ART. 30 VENEZUELAN ACT ON PRIVATE INTERNATIONAL LAW) - UNIDROIT PRINCIPLES EXPRESSLY REFERRED TO AS AN EXAMPLE OF SUCH GENERAL PRINCIPLES
In deciding a dispute between a Venezuelan company and a Dutch company, the Venezuelan Supreme Court, after defining the lex mercatoria as a set of private laws, compiled by international organizations performing commercial activities, not enforceable, but voluntarily accepted and obeyed by those participating in international trade, acknowledged its value to regulate international contracts, under Articles 29, 30 and 31 of the Venezuelan Statute of Private International Law, and ordered the application of the Uniform Customs and Practices for Documentary Credits.
In this context the Court stated more in general that in absence of the choice of the law governing the contract by the parties (art.29) the international contracts are governed by the law with which they are most directly connected(art. 30). In determining this law the account has to be taken not only of all objective and subjective elements of the contract (place of performance, nationality, domicile, etc.(art. 30), but also "the general principles of international commercial law recognized by international organizations"[...], and in this respect the Court expressly mentioned the UNIDROIT Principles of International Contracts.