Prof. Dr. Gilles Cuniberti

Gilles Cuniberti

Full professor

Fachgebiet(e) Economic & commercial law / European & international law / Judicial law / Metalaw, Roman law, history of law & comparative law / Multidisciplinary, general & others
Forschungsthemen Conflict of Laws, International Commercial Law, International Arbitration, Civil Procedure, Comparative Law
Fakultät oder Zentrum Fakultät für Recht, Wirtschaftswissenschaften und Finanzwirtschaft
Department Fachbereich Rechtswissenschaft
Postadresse Weicker Building, Université du Luxembourg
4, rue Alphonse Weicker
L-2721 Luxembourg
Büroadresse C108
Telefon (+352) 46 66 44 6441
Gesprochene Sprachen English, French

Gilles Cuniberti is Professor of Comparative Law and Private International Law at the University of Luxembourg. Previously, he taught in France and practiced on a part-time basis in the Paris office of a leading English firm. He was also a visiting faculty at various universities in the United States and Asia, including Columbia Law School and National University of Singapore.

Since 2019, he has been the president of the European Association of Private International Law and a regular contributor to its blog.

His primary teaching and research interests are international commercial law, international litigation and arbitration, comparative law and the conflict of laws. He is the author of ten books and numerous articles published primarily in French and English. His first book on extra-territorial freezing orders received the First Prize of the French Centre for Comparative Law.

He holds a Doctorate in Law from Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne University and an LL.M. degree from Yale Law School. He was also a Paris-Oxford Doctoral Program Scholar for a year at Trinity College, Oxford.

Curriculum Vitae

Last updated on: Dienstag, den 10. November 2020

Selected books


Le fondement de l'effet des jugements étrangers, Collected Courses of the Hague Academy of International Law, vol. 394, 2019.

The European Account Preservation Order Regulation: a Commentary, Cambridge, 2018 (with S. Migliorini)

Rethinking International Commercial Arbitration - Towards Default ArbitrationEdward Elgar, 2017.

Conflict of Laws: A Comparative Approach. Text and CasesEdward Elgar, 2017.

Droit européen de l'insolvabilité, LGDJ, 2017 (with P. Nabet and M. Raimon)

Grands systèmes de droit contemporains - Introduction au droit comparé, LGDJ, 1st ed. 2007, 2nd ed 2011, 3rd ed 2015, 4th ed 2019.

Selected chapters in books

Articles 46 to 51, BRUSSELS Ibis REGULATION (U. Magnus & P. Mankowski eds., 2021)

Cape Town Convention, in COMMERCIAL LAW (P. Mankowski ed., 2019)

Arbitration (UNCITRAL Model Law), France, in EUROPEAN ENCYCLOPEDIA OF PRIVATE INTERNATIONAL LAW (J. Basedow, F. Ferrari, P. de Miguel Asensio & G. Rühl eds., 2017)

Articles 1.4, 1.5, 3.3.1 and 3.3.2, in COMMENTARY ON THE UNIDROIT PRINCIPLES OF INTERNATIONAL COMMERCIAL CONTRACTS (S. Vogenauer ed., 2nd ed. 2015)

Selected articles

Signalling the Enforceability of the Forum's Judgments Abroad, RIVISTA DIR INT PRIV e PROC 33 (2020).

La Lex Mercatoria au XXIe siècle. Une étude empirique et économique, CLUNET 765 (2016)

The Laws of Asian International Business Transactions, 25 WASHINGTON INT’l L.J. 35 (2016)

L'expertise judiciaire en droit judiciaire européen, REVUE CRITIQUE DROIT INTERNATIONAL PRIVE 519 (2015)

The International Market for Contracts – The Most Attractive Contract Laws, 34 NORTHWESTERN J. INT.’L & BUSINESS 455 (2014).

Three Theories of Lex Mercatoria, 52 COLUMBIA J. TRANSN'L L. 369 (2014)

Enhancing Judicial Reputation through Legal Transplants - Estoppel Travels to France, 60 AMERICAN J. COMP L. 383 (2012)

Abolition of Exequatur: Addressing the Commission's Concerns, RABELSZEITSCHRIFT 286 (2011) (with I. Rueda)

Debarment from Defending, Default Judgments and Public policy, IPRax 148 (2010)

The Law Governing the Modality of Arbitral Awards, 25 ARBITRAL INT’L 347 (2009)

The Recognition of Judgments Lacking Reasons in Europe, INT’L & COMPARATIVE L. Q. 25 (2008).

 A full list of my publications is available here. Some of my papers may be downloaded from my SSRN page.

Last updated on: 10 Nov 2020

Grands systèmes de droit contemporains


Private international law

Transnational commercial law

Internet litigation

Comparative law

Last updated on: 31 Jan 2019

European Commission

Member, Expert Group on the Modernization of Judicial Cooperation in Civil and Commercial Matters (2018)

Member, Expert Group on Conflict of Laws regarding Securities and Claims (2017)

Member, Consortium of Experts led by the Max Planck Institute Luxembourg, Evaluation study of the impact of national procedural laws and practices on the free circulation of judgments and on the equivalence and effectiveness of the procedural protection of consumers under EU law (2016).

Member, Expert Group on the Freezing of Bank Accounts  (2011).


European Parliament

The Hague Conference on Private International Law "Judgments Convention", Report for the Legal Committee of the European Parliament (2018), with P. de Miguel Asensio, P. Franzina, C. Heinze, M. Requejo

Civil Judicial Experts in the EU: Analysis of EU Legislation and Recommendations, Report for the Legal Committee of the European Parliament (2015)



ELI-UNIDROIT Joint Project on Civil Procedure, co-reporter on provisional and protective measures (2014-2016)


International Law Association

Member, Study Group on UN Sanctions and International Law



Member of the Drafting Committee of the avant projet de loi portant réforme de l'arbitrage

Projet de loi relative à la conversion de i'ordonnance européenne de saisie conservatoire des comptes bancaires (Règiement (UE) No 655/2014) en mesure nationaie d'exécution et portant modification du Nouveau Code de procédure civile

Last updated on: 16 Sep 2020



Droit international privé luxembourgeois, vol. 1 : Conflits de lois - Théorie générale, Obligations, Biens, Sociétés, Legitech, 2020. 

Code de droit international privé luxembourgeois, Larcier, 2018.

Participation à des ouvrages collectifs

National Report on Luxembourg, in B. Hess and P. Ortolani (dir.), The Impact of National Procedural Laws and Practices on Mutual Trust and the Free Circulation of Judgments, Beck Hart Nomos, 2019.

National Report on Luxembourg, in C. Gerner-Beuerle et alii (dir.), The Private International Law of Companies in Europe, Beck Hart Nomos, 2019 (avec P.H. Conac).

La clause attributive de juridiction, in Le banquier luxembourgeois et le droit international privé, Anthemis, 2017. 

National Reports on France and Luxembourg, in B. Hess, P. Oberhammer and T. Pfeiffer (dir.), European Insolvency Law, Beck Hart Nomos, 2014.

Luxembourg, in J.L. Iglesias, C. Esplugues and G. Palao (dir.), Application of Foreign Law by Judicial and non-Judicial Authorities in Europe , Sellier, 2011, p. 255 (avec I. Rueda)


"Le contrôle des sentences arbitrales au regard de l'ordre public: le point de vue luxembourgeois", J. Trib. Lux. 2016, p. 79.

"L’appréciation de la compétence du juge étranger en droit commun de l’effet des jugements étrangers luxembourgeois", Pasicrisie 36, p. 719.

"La pratique de l’exequatur dans la Grande Région- Une étude empirique", Clunet 2013, p. 83 (avec Maryse Muller).

"Les mesures provisoires dans le contentieux commercial international en droit luxembourgeois", J. Trib. Lux. février 2011, p. 2.

"L’interdiction de se contredire en procédure civile luxembourgeoise", Pasicrisie 2010, p. 383.

Notes de jurisprudence

Cour d'appel de Luxembourg, 5 juin 2014, Pasicrisie 2016.538 (avec R. Tafotie) (Recours contre une ordonnance d'exequatur d'une injonction anglaise par un tiers avocat)

Cour d’appel de Luxembourg, 15 juillet 2015, J. Trib. Lux. 2015.179 (compétence internationale en matière de saisie-arrêt)

Cour d’appel de Luxembourg, 25 juin 2015, Pasicrisie 37, 387 (exécution au Luxembourg d’une sentence arbitrale soumise à un recours en annulation au pays du siège)

Cass. Fra. Civ. 1ère 26 septembre 2012, J. Trib. Lux. 2013, p. 7 (avec P. Ancel) (validité d’une clause attributive de juridiction complexe)

Cass. Lux., 19 juin 2008, J. Trib. Lux. 2009, p. 55 ; Clunet 2009, p. 629 (connexité européenne)



Membre du Comité de rédaction de l'avant projet de loi portant réforme de l'arbitrage

Projet de loi relative à la conversion de i'ordonnance européenne de saisie conservatoire des comptes bancaires (Règiement (UE) No 655/2014) en mesure nationaie d'exécution et portant modification du Nouveau Code de procédure civile

Last updated on: 16 Sep 2020

Conflict of Laws – A Comparative Approach - Text and Cases, Edward Elgar, 2017

The Conflict of Laws, also known as private international law, is a field of the greatest importance in an increasingly globalized world. The analysis of any legal issue, in a case involving more than one country, must start with an assessment of which court could potentially hear the case and which law it would apply.

Contrary to other manuals or casebooks, which focus on the law of one jurisdiction, this innovative casebook offers a comparative treatment of the field. On each issue, materials from several jurisdictions are discussed and compared. The approach centers on comprehending the common principles of the field, but also highlights the fundamental differences. The goal is to train lawyers who not only will know the law of their own jurisdiction, but also will have an understanding of the key differences existing between the main models, and will thus be able to interact usefully with clients from other jurisdictions.

This casebook systematically presents and compares the laws of four jurisdictions: the United States, the European Union, France and England (where left untouched by EU harmonization). It offers additional insight into rules applicable in China and Japan and also discusses remarkable solutions adopted in a wide range of jurisdictions such as Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Canada and Tunisia. All materials from non-English speaking jurisdictions have been translated into English.


While comparison has always been important in the conflict of laws, it is crucial today, in a context of accelerated exchange and diversified societies. But the materials have become, correlatively, so abundant that teaching a satisfactory class in this field is now a considerable challenge. Cuniberti has selected and assembled the most significant sources from various legal traditions, and guides the student through each carefully constructed chapter by a series of questions, US case book style. An excellent pedagogical tool!

Horatia Muir Watt, Sciences Po Law School, France

Als Fazit ist festzuhalten, dass Cuniberti kenntnisreich eine beachtliche Menge an Material zu Kernproblemen des Internationalen Privat- und Zivil-verfahrensrechts zusammenträgt. Das auf bereitete Fallmaterial umfasst sowohl „klassische Fälle“ als auch wichtige neuere Entscheidungen, etwa zur internationalen Zuständigkeit US-amerikanischer Gerichte in Produkthaftungsf ällen. Die Entscheidungen und sonstigen Quellen sind ansprechend redigiert und können daher im Unterricht gut eingesetzt werden. Da zudem Gesetzestexte aus ganz unterschiedlichen Jurisdiktionen abgedruckt sind, wird – soweit dies im Rahmen eines Lehrbuchs möglich ist – in gelungener Weise ein vielschichtiges Bild der Behandlung grenzüberschreitender Rechtsverhältnisse gezeichnet.

Wolfgang Wurmnest, RabelsZeitschrift für ausländisches und internationales Privatrecht

La publication d’un livre comme celui-ci est digne d’éloges à plusieurs égards. C'est loin d'être une nouveauté que d'affirmer que le droit comparé est inséparable du droit international privé. Néanmoins, ces deux disciplines sont rarement mises ensemble de façon systématique et articulées dans l'enseignement. La contribution de l'auteur, qui est un spécialiste reconnu des deux disciplines, est à cet égard remarquable. () il existe au moins quatre raisons justifiant le besoin d’enseigner le droit international privé sur une base comparative. Premièrement, la vie de la plupart des personnes, tant physiques que morales, n'est plus exclusivement rattachée à un seul ordre juridique, même à supposer que ces personnes ne sortent jamais de leur domicile ; deuxièmement, les ordres juridiques sont eux-mêmes pluraux, c'est-à-dire qu'ils ont plusieurs dimensions (et la dimension étatique n'est pas la plus importante dans tous les cas) ; troisièmement, le droit en général est en cours d'internationalisation et supranationalisation ; enfin, non moins important, l'accès à la connaissance du droit étranger s'est considérablement amélioré dans les dernières décennies.

Diego Fernandez Arroyo, Revue Critique de Droit International Privé

L’Autore perviene cosı a identificare convergenze e divergenze, inspecial modo, tra il ‘‘sistema’’ dell’Unione europea e quello degli Stati Uniti d’America, con particolare riferimento al primo e al secondo Restatement on Conflict of Laws e alla governmental interest analysis, sotto il profilo del metodo e degli istituti di parte generale, quali i profili della qualificazione, delle questioni preliminari, del trattamento processuale delle norme di d.i.p. e del diritto straniero applicabile, offrendo altresı ad un tempo chiavi di accesso ai multiformi approcci e soluzioni adottati nei diversi Stati nordamericani e riflessioni attente sulle conseguenze pratiche derivanti dalle variegate impostazioni accolte nei diversi ordinamenti, capaci di instillare un’attitudine al ragionamento orientato al problem solving e di ispirare anche al lettore piu smaliziato nuove chiavi di ragionamento.

Francesca Villata, Rivista di diritto internazionale privato e processuale

Το εν λόγω σύγγραμμα αποτελεί ένα καινοτόμο εγχειρίδιο, που προσεγγίζει το Ιδιωτικό Διεθνές Δίκαιο μέσα από μία συγκριτική θεώρηση, με πλούσιες αναφορές στη νομολογία [...] Το βιβλίο χαρακτηρίστηκε από την καθηγήτρια Horatia Muir Watt ως ένα εξαιρετικά παιδαγωγικό εργαλείο. Πράγματι, η δομή που επέλεξε ο συγγραφέας διαφοροποιείται από αυτή των κλασσικών εγχειριδίων, που γνωρίζει και ο Έλληνας νομικός στο πλαίσιο του ΙΔΔ. Η προτίμηση αυτή πηγάζει ενδεχομένως και από τη διδακτική εμπειρία του Cuniberti  σε αγγλόφωνες νομικές σχολές. Πρόκειται άρα για σύγγραμμα που κινείται περισσότερο σε πλάτος, και λιγότερο σε βάθος. Το εύρος του πρώτου είναι πραγματικά δυσεύρετο σε αντίστοιχα έργα, δεδομένο που μας επιτρέπει να μην σταθούμε με κριτική διάθεση στην έλλειψη βάθους. Και αυτό διότι πρόκειται για συνειδητή επιλογή του συγγραφέα.

Apostolos Anthimos, Armenopoulos

The author leads the reader through the field from the beginning to end in a most satisfactory way and is “perfectly pitched for international students and courses with a global outlook” as the cover suggests and is a great complement to an undergraduate’s growing law library.

The Barrister Magazine

Last updated on: 27 Feb 2019

Rethinking International Commercial Arbitration - Towards Default Arbitration, Edward Elgar, 2017.

This innovative book proposes a fundamental rethink of the consensual foundation of arbitration and argues that it should become the default mode of resolution in international commercial disputes.

The book first discusses the most important arguments against this proposal and responds to them. In particular, it addresses the issue of the legitimacy of arbitrators and the compatibility of the idea with guarantees afforded by European human rights law and US constitutional law. The book then presents several models of non-consensual arbitration that could be implemented to afford neutral adjudication in disputes between parties originating from different jurisdictions, to offer an additional alternative forum in the doctrine of forum non conveniens or to save judicial costs.

The first dedicated exploration into the groundbreaking concept of default arbitration, Rethinking International Commercial Arbitration will appeal to scholars, students and practitioners in arbitration and international litigation.

Arbitration is, for many reasons – one of which is neutrality – a more suitable mode of dispute resolution in an international context than litigation before a State court. Building on his seminal 2009 article, Professor Gilles Cuniberti implacably demonstrates that arbitration should be given the status of default mode, and systematically rebuts the conventional objections against such a revolutionary proposal. He does so with such talent and persuasive power that the initially sceptical, but open-minded, reader, after turning the last page, must honestly admit that Professor Cuniberti might well have convinced him.

Pierre Mayer, Emeritus Professor at the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne

Cuniberti’s thought-provoking book elaborates on the concept of default arbitration which he was the first to propose in a 2009 article. The idea is that, in the international setting, arbitration should be the default mode of resolution of commercial disputes because it is superior to court litigation, particularly on account of its neutrality and flexibility. This shift of paradigm has been gaining traction, but remains controversial. Cuniberti’s well-argued analysis brings a welcome breath of fresh air to the debates on arbitration, which remain extremely deferential to acquired wisdom but often fail duly to consider the evolution in the reality of international commercial relations.

Luca G. Radicati di Brozolo, Catholic University of Milan

International commercial arbitration has of late attracted vast amounts of commentary, much of it merely advocacy in favor of or against the enterprise, and all too often polemical in nature. What the field has lacked is a truly penetrating and holistic study of the challenges facing the enterprise, both its workings and its connection with other international dispute resolution regimes. Into this gap comes Gilles Cuniberti’s masterful work which deserves the attention of anyone wanting to take international commercial arbitration seriously.

George A. Bermann, Columbia Law School

The value of Professor Cuniberti’s book is not only in the approach that he takes, namely analysing different models of arbitration, such as foreign investment and domain name arbitrations, and drawing methodological conclusions to lay the foundations for his default arbitration model. The importance of the monograph lies also in asking questions which force us to rethink the role of arbitration in international trade and re-evaluate the benefit it has to the international business community.. . . The book deserves the attention of anyone interested in dispute resolution.

Petya Koycheva, International Company and Commercial Law Review

Dr. Cuniberti’s work proves to be a unique and challenging one, as it not only provides arguments supporting his thesis, i.e. that default arbitration should be the rule in the international commercial context, but argues for a change of paradigm: to move from a contractual/consensual foundation of arbitration to a very different one, where arbitration does not require any express agreement from the parties. The implications of such a proposal are, from our point of view, of great extent (…). Furthermore, it is hard for us to imagine that upon acceptance of such a position and change of paradigm, the same would not apply to domestic arbitration, and further to arbitration as a whole. After all, the advantages of arbitration seem to be applicable in both international and domestic context and it seems to be only a matter of time until domestic arbitration follows the same path. Default arbitration seems inevitable.

Alfredo Bullard and Jose Maria de la Jara, ICC Dispute Resolution Bulletin

Arbitration without consent is a truly revolutionary concept. This concept, however, carries the burden of every pioneer; there is currently no model of “consentless” arbitration that is already working in different fields of law waiting for its implementation in international commercial arbitration. Furthermore, taking inspiration in investment treaty arbitration or domain name arbitration, where consent is still constructed, will always raise numerous “buts”. (...) Notwithstanding the above, the book approaches the topic with an open mind and brings fresh air to the discussion on arbitration as a default rule. The book represents a courageous attempt to completely renegotiate the terms on which international commercial arbitration rests nowadays.

Nicole Jancova, Transnational Dispute Management

It is submitted that the current regime of international commercial arbitration overall functions and serves its users well. Although there will always be room for improvement, there is no evidence that it suffers from any problem that could be fixed by 'default arbitration'. For this concept to merit any further discussion, a pressing need for change should be demonstrated first.

Johannes Landbrecht, Australian Yearbook of International Law

Insgesamt handelt es sich um ein lehrreiches, zum Nachdenken anregendes Buch über ein Konzept, das seine Tragfähigkeit erst noch beweisen muss. Zwar bleibt abzuwarten, ob Default Arbitration tatsächlich einmal das Stadium eines juristischen Glasperlenspiels überschreiten und den Weg in die Wirklichkeit finden wird, doch sollte dies nicht dazu führen, sich dem Thema von vornherein zu verschließen. Das Buch verschafft einen guten Überblick über das Konzept Default Arbitration und eine Vielzahl der Fragen, die damit im Zusammenhang stehen, ohne sie erschöpfend zu erörtern. Insbesondere zeigt es auf, dass man sowohl die grundsätzliche Zuständigkeit staatlicher Gerichte in internationalen Handelssachen als auch die vertragliche Basis der Schiedsgerichtsbarkeit nicht unkritisch als unumstößliche Dogmen verstehen sollte. Schließlich setzt das Buch auch einen deutlichen, vielleicht teils zu euphorischen, Kontrapunkt zur noch immer lautstarken Kritik an der Handelsschiedsgerichtsbarkeit.

Stephan Walter, SchiedsVZ

Last updated on: 27 Feb 2019