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The UNIDROIT Secretariat was invited by the Resolution passed by the Joint Session of the UNIDROIT General Assembly and the UNIDROIT Committee of governmental experts for the finalisation and adoption of a draft model law on leasing in Rome on 13 November 2008 to prepare an Official Commentary on the UNIDROIT Model Law on Leasing, adopted by the Joint Session. It was invited to prepare this Official Commentary in close co-operation with the Chairman of the Committee of governmental experts, the reporter to the Joint Session and members of the Drafting Committee of the Committee of governmental experts.

It was agreed between the Secretariat and those invited to work in close co-operation with it that the proposed Official Commentary should concentrate on those issues referred for clarification by the Committee of governmental experts and the Joint Session to such an Official Commentary, notably with a view to ensuring that the Official Commentary in question be made available at the earliest possible opportunity, in view of the generally recognised urgency of an authoritative interpretation being provided to the international community on such issues, all the more so given that the Model Law had already been implemented in a number of jurisdictions and was in the process of being implemented in other jurisdictions too.

A first draft of the requested Official Commentary was prepared by Mr R.M. DEKOVEN, as Reporter to the Joint Session, in April 2009 and circulated among those invited under the Resolution passed by the Joint Session to work closely with the Secretariat in preparing the Official Commentary, for comment. On the same occasion, the Secretariat invited the same persons to attend a meeting for finalisation of the planned Official Commentary, to be held in Rome on 23 and 24 June 2009.

Detailed comments were received from the Chairman of the Committee of governmental experts and the Governments of Canada, France and the United States of America, as members of the Drafting Committee. These comments were circulated amongst all those invited to work with the Secretariat on preparation of the Official Commentary. A proposed revised draft Official Commentary was submitted by the Government of Canada, on the basis of those comments.

This proposed revised draft provided, together with the comments received on the Reporter’s first draft, the main focus of the discussions at the meeting, which was attended by the Chairman of the Committee of governmental experts, representing the Government of South Africa, the Reporter and representatives of the Governments of Canada, France and the United States of America, as members of the Drafting Committee. The meeting was chaired by Mr M.J. STANFORD, deputy Secretary-General of UNIDROIT.

At the meeting, in the light of the further proposals made for improvement of both the first draft Official Commentary and the proposed revised draft, it proved possible to agree on not only the elements to be included in the Official Commentary but also, subject to one exception, to be resolved by correspondence after the meeting, on the language to be employed for this purpose. The Secretariat was given responsibility for finalising the text of the Official Commentary in the light of this agreement.

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