image of Introduction

Foremost among the dispute resolution methods analysed in this handbook is international arbitration. Parties can choose to – and sometimes have to – bring their case before a State court or national administrative authority (in customs valuation disputes, for example). However, in an international context and for most contracts involving such subjects as sales, distributorship, licensing and joint ventures, a business operator may feel at a disadvantage. The dispute could well be tried before the courts of the other party’s place of business, before the other party’s nationals, in the other party’s language, and according to the procedural rules of the opponent’s country. To achieve neutrality and flexibility are therefore the two basic reasons why arbitration and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) processes, such as mediation, have been developed, with the support and cooperation of State courts. But there are other considerations as well: time constraints, the need for specialized knowledge, confidentiality and – particularly relevant to arbitration – international enforceability, are all further good reasons for using arbitration or ADR.

Related Subject(s): International Trade and Finance
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