Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution

How to Settle International Business Disputes

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This handbook focuses on available methods for preventing and resolving commercial disputes in international commerce. It examines the different types of disputes encountered in international trade and outlines the fundamental principles applicable to international commercial arbitration. Text of the major international arbitration convention and rules, as well as a list of arbitration institutions worldwide are also included.

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Applicable law

The importance of stipulating, in advance, the law that is applicable to the contract, cannot be emphasized enough. A dangerous situation is created when the applicable law is not stipulated in the contract: its absence may not only complicate the settlement of disputes, but it may sometimes lead to a new dispute arising over what law is applicable. As soon as there occurs any unforeseen situation not covered by the contractual terms, or when the contractual terms need to be interpreted, the gaps in the contract will have to be filled in order to determine the extent of the parties’ obligations on the basis of the applicable law. When the dispute is brought before an arbitral tribunal, parties will first have to convince the arbitral tribunal as to the law they consider applicable, before they can start arguing their case in full on the merits. Obviously, failure to stipulate in a contract what law is applicable will cause delays and mounting costs.

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