HISTORY OF INTERNATIONAL COMMERCIAL ARBITRATION
During the second half of the 20th century, international arbitration has emerged as the method preferred by many private businessmen for the resolution of commercial disputes among them which they have been unable to settle by informal means. The growth of international commercial arbitration has accompanied and gained momentum from the phenomenal growth in world trade and private foreign direct investment (FDI) which has characterized the postwar period. This research paper summarizes the historical roots of commercial arbitration and its use in international transactions, including the role of various legal systems in facilitating or impeding its development, and the steps taken in the early postwar period to establish a solid international legal and institutional framework for its further expansion.
According to Domke, "arbitration is a process by which the parties voluntarily refer their disputes to an impartial third person, an arbitrator, selected by them for a decision based on the evidence and arguments to be presented before the arbitration tribunal." One of the principal bodies involved in the arbitration of commercial disputes, including international commercial disputes, the American Arbitration Association, defines an arbitration as "the voluntary submission of a dispute to an impartial person or persons for final and binding arbitration." Both definitions stress the voluntary nature of commercial arbitration. The parties must agree contractually by signing a pre-dispute agreement to arbitrate their dispute ("PDAA"). Once they do so, they must take their dispute to arbitration at the option of either party, and unless the award of the arbitrator is overturned by the courts, the arbitrator's award has the force of law.
Arbitration differs from other modern alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanisms. In negotiations, the parties resolve their disputes direc...