BREAKING THE MONOPOLY: THE GLOBAL RAMP-UP OF INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION CENTRES OUTSIDE OF EUROPE AND NORTH AMERICA
Until 20 years ago, since very few legal systems globally possessed the necessary legislation to cater to international arbitration, it was only practiced in certain quarters. Most legal systems, both civil and common law, only provided for adversarial-type litigation for the resolution of commercial disputes. International arbitration was only essentially available in the metropolitan hubs of North America and Western Europe, where the thriving business environment, and the trans-boundary nature of many transactions, demanded such a dispute settlement mechanism. In North America, the American Arbitration Association (AAA) which had been administering dispute resolution since 1926, established the International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR) in 1996 as a distinct body for international commercial arbitration. In Europe, most international arbitrations were split between the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in Paris and the London Court of Arbitration (LCIA) in London. Sweden’s Stockholm Chamber of commerce was another key European institution involved in the resolution of international commercial disputes.
However, over the last two decades, states have come to appreciate the benefits of providing parties a viable alternative to litigation and many have begun instituting the necessary infrastructure to provide their business communities access to international arbitration. While it started relatively slowly, this phenomenon is now gathering further impetus across the globe and options to arbitrate ‘closer to home’ have started to surface.
Oct-Dec 2017 issue
BVI International Arbitration Centre