2016 Annual Meeting

THE DISPUTE RESOLUTION DIVIDE: HARMONIZING GLOBAL APPROACHES

We live in interesting times. With the growth of global trade in the post-war era, we saw the growth of efforts to harmonize approaches to dispute resolution – and, in particular, arbitration – around the world. The New York Convention provided the foundation for success on that front – a foundation upon which UNCITRAL Model Laws and Rules for commercial arbitration and conciliation have built, thus paving the way for growing uniformity in institutional approaches to dispute resolution around the world. Yet, this very success has produced a backlash. Treaty-based arbitration is being challenged as a violation of state sovereignty, ethical concerns are being raised in both investor-state and broader commercial arbitration contexts. As the use of mediation grows, calls for national and international standards raise concerns about preserving the flexibility that is widely viewed as a hallmark of conciliation/mediation processes.