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International Arbitration and Global GovernanceContending Theories and Evidence$
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Walter Mattli and Thomas Dietz

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198716723

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198716723.001.0001

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Does International Commercial Arbitration Provide Efficient Contract Enforcement Institutions For International Trade?

Does International Commercial Arbitration Provide Efficient Contract Enforcement Institutions For International Trade?

Chapter:
(p.168) 7 Does International Commercial Arbitration Provide Efficient Contract Enforcement Institutions For International Trade?
Source:
International Arbitration and Global Governance
Author(s):

Thomas Dietz

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198716723.003.0007

Arbitration is considered legally superior to litigation in state courts. This widely shared understanding is not necessarily wrong, but the institutional analysis adopted in this chapter proves it to be too simplistic. International transaction partners only very rarely rely on arbitration to safeguard the performance of cross-border contracts. This is because the costs of doing so are too high and the enforcement structures are deficient. This chapter argues that the institutional performance of international commercial arbitration often is severely limited due to arbitral tribunals’ close links to or dependence on fragmented and frequently dysfunctional national legal systems. Unlike most other studies, the chapter argues that international arbitration courts fall well short of providing an efficient, low-cost legal infrastructure for global commerce. The chapter concludes by contrasting universal arbitration with specialized arbitration. The latter type rarely relies on state legal structures. This explains why it operates more efficiently than universal arbitration.

Keywords:   international commercial arbitration, enforcement structures, national legal systems, universal arbitration

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