The Organisation for the Harmonisation of Business Law in Africa (OHADA) has selected a team to prepare a draft Uniform Act of Private International Law. After a 10 month selection process, it has chosen a team led by the Paris office of Shearman & Sterling (see the announcement of the firm here).
The mandate consists of drafting a Uniform Act on conflict of laws, conflicts of jurisdictions and the circulation of judicial and extrajudicial documents. The Act should contain an exhaustive set of PIL rules, which will be directly applicable in the 17 OHADA States and replace any local PIL rules currently applicable in those States. This would be the tenth Uniform Act adopted by OHADA.
OHADA was established in 1993 with the goal of harmonizing the business laws of its member States in order to foster economic development in the region. It comprises States mostly from francophone Central and Western Africa.
The team is composed of attorneys from the Paris office of the firm, but also several academics and practitioners from France and OHADA states (Cameroon and Ivory Coast, in particular).
One is hopeful that the team will want to identify the best solutions for Africa not only by considering the recent codifications of PIL drafted in French (Belgium Code of PIL, Swiss PIL Act, Quebec legislations, in particular), but also the PIL of other legal traditions, including those of neighbouring states such as Nigeria and Ghana.