Mr. Sorieul is the Director of the International Trade Law Division (ITLD) of the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs, which functions as the substantive secretariat for the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL). He is the eighth Secretary of UNCITRAL since the Commission was established by the General Assembly in 1966. He took up his duties on 1 October 2008.
He joined the UNCITRAL secretariat in 1989 and was particularly active in the development of UNCITRAL standards in the fields of international payments, electronic commerce, arbitration and conciliation.
A French national, Mr. Sorieul holds degrees in private law from the University of Paris (Paris II). He is also a graduate of the Institut d’études politiques de Paris and the École Nationale de la Magistrature. A member of the French judiciary since 1981, he served as a magistrate in first-degree law courts (1981-1985), and was subsequently appointed a member of the International Criminal Law Division at the Ministry of Justice (1985-1987). He was then seconded to serve as Head of the Legal Office of the Directorate-General of Energy and Mines, at the Ministry of Industry (1987-1989). In the latter capacity, he was a member of the French delegation negotiating the Convention on the Regulation of Antarctic Mineral Resource Activities and advised the French Government in the process that led to the registration of France as a pioneer investor (Law of the Sea).