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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Private International Law


Welcome to the Private International Law site.

The Office of the Assistant Legal Adviser for Private International Law (L/PIL) is responsible for the negotiation and conclusion of international conventions, model laws or rules, legislative guides, and other instruments governing private transactions that cross international borders. The Office is also responsible for providing advice on private international law matters, including when these matters arise in domestic litigation. Subject areas of private international law include arbitration and judgments; matters relating to families and children; judicial assistance; finance and banking; security interests; and wills, trusts, and estates.

Most of the work of the office takes place in three international settings: the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCOPIL), the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), and the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT). The Office also engages in activities at the Organization of American States (OAS) and the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT).

From time to time, the Office obtains advice regarding its work from the Secretary of State’s Advisory Committee on Private International Law (ACPIL). The ACPIL typically meets once a year in a public meeting. It also has study groups to provide advice on specialized subjects of private international law. The ACPIL consists of members of private sector organizations; bar associations; national legal organizations; and federal and state governmental and judicial interests concerned with private international law matters. Current meeting summaries for the study group and annual meeting are located in the Current Developments page.

Persons or organizations wishing to comment on this website or to otherwise contact L/PIL are invited to email, fax, or write a letter to the following:

John J. Kim
Assistant Legal Adviser for Private International Law
2430 E Street, NW
Suite 357 South Building
Washington, DC 20037-2851

E-mail: PIL@state.gov Attn: Tricia Smeltzer
Fax: (202) 776-8482


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