International arbitration is a very tricky area, there are too many peculiarities so that even an academic course in this field is only a small amount of knowledge that the practitioner should have. We are often asked by young lawyers starting their practice in arbitration about the general information that could help them to have a general picture of what is arbitration.
”So far as international commercial arbitration is concerned, it would save considerable time, trouble and expencse if the laws governing arbitrations were the same throughout the world, so that there was – so to speak – a universal lex arbitri.”
(Law and Practice of International Commercial Arbitration. Alan Redfern. London, Sweet&Maxwell Limited, 2004)
With this post we continue the series of comments “Stereotypes of international arbitration”. There is nothing new in the statement that the procedures that govern the commercial arbitration proceeding is a subject that has been left to the parties. Some arbitration agreements call for the use of an off-the-shelf set of procedures, such as the rules of the International Chamber of Commerce, or the United National Conference on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL). The institutions which support international commercial arbitration essentially contribute to the process of permanent development of the arbitration practice. At least I hope that the amendments to the rules adopted by the world-renowned arbitration centers were aimed at that development. Some of them may be treated as a step toward unification of arbitration procedures. Here I would like to draw your attention to certain differences in arbitration procedures generally and without particular stress on national legislation governing arbitration in different states. Even in the states that adopted the UNCITRAL Model Law commercial arbitration procedures differs due to the legal culture and traditions and the history of arbitration. In the table below we tried to present the contrast in the case (common) law and civil law arbitration systems.
”The LCIA arbitration rules are universally applicable.
They offer a combination of the best features of the civil
and common law systems, including in particular:
maximum flexibility for parties and tribunals to agree on procedural matters..”
London Court of International Arbitration
This post is the second in the special set of comments “Stereotypes of international arbitration”. It is worth mentioning that here we discuss the myths which re typical for international arbitration. If you are interested in discovering the misconceptions about the domestic arbitration process you may read about some of them on Arbitration-Truth.com. In this post we would like to draw your attention to the idea, that flexibility of international arbitration procedure does not mean that there is no “scenario”.