IRU Commission on Legal Affairs

Through the International department, Logistics UK is represented on the IRU’s Commission on Legal Affairs (CAJ) which meets annually in Geneva. A conference on particular issues of interest to CAJ members is held bi-annually, in conjunction with the regular Commission meeting.


For four decades, the IRU Commission on Legal Affairs, comprising transport lawyers and legal advisers from across Europe and beyond, has been monitoring and analysing the legal environment of passenger and goods transport by road in order to inform the transport industry and encourage the development of a favourable legal environment.

Thanks to the IRU’s good relations with international governmental organisations such as the UN in Geneva, EU in Brussels and UNIDROIT in Rome, the work is greatly enhanced when CAJ members are invited to participate in their meetings and contribute to the drafting of international legal instruments relating to road transport.

Current projects

From time to time, the CAJ also leads in major projects affecting the road transport industry which do not require multi-industry consultations. For example, the CAJ is currently working on:

  • advice to be given to road transport operators in order for them to avoid facing the harmful consequences of the possible entry into force of the Rotterdam Rules and of the European Commission single multimodal transport document
  • infringements to the free circulation of goods (in particular on the non-application of Article V of the GATT) and people (attacks against drivers, etc.) in order to find sustainable solutions to such problems
  • a project comparing the variation of sanctions imposed upon drivers and operators for drivers’ hours and tachograph offences in different countries
  • In addressing these and similar issues, the CAJ contributes to improving and harmonising road transport-related law, simplifying procedures and facilitating contractual relations between carriers and their customers

The on-going working programme includes:

  • informing IRU members about the regulatory requirements in the profession and about the legislative projects in connection with international road transport and related activities. These may include topics relating to contractual and non-contractual responsibilities, contracts concluded at arm’s length, misleading advertising, protecting users, roll-on roll- off, piggyback, multimodal and intermodal transport
  • gathering, supervising and preparing analyses, legal opinions, recommendations, standpoints and adopt resolutions, in order to protect the interests of international road transport of both goods and passengers
  • contributing to debating and the harmonisation of international road transport law, to the simplification of relevant procedures and to the facilitation of relationships between road carriers and their customers
  • following up the finalised work of the CAJ on conventions and standard contracts, exchange of electronic data between partners in international road transport, legal interpretation of the CMR Convention 

Considering the range of topics mentioned above it is easy to appreciate that the Commission on Legal Affairs makes a significant contribution to improving and harmonising road transport related law and becoming involved in many projects of practical use to fleet operators. As an example, see the detailed pages on the CMR consignment note