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We live in a connected global environment where the number and complexity of international transactions is ever increasing. As a consequence, the policies and activities in one area of the world can impact and shape the commercial realities for business everywhere.

In this environment, parties engaged in international commerce should be able to rely on efficient and reliable mechanisms to resolve their disputes. Arbitration has long been the preferred method for resolving international commercial disputes. The reasons for the success of arbitration, particularly in the context of international commercial relationships, include:

  • the neutral forum it creates for the resolution of disputes, which transcends the restrictions of national court systems and procedural law;
  • the flexibility of the process, adaptable to the individual circumstances of the case and the needs and expectations of the parties;
  • the higher level of confidentiality of arbitration compared with state court proceedings; and
  • the ease of enforcement of arbitral awards (compared with national court judgments) in over 150 jurisdictions worldwide under the New York Convention.

The development of international arbitration has to a large extent been influenced by the work of UNCITRAL, notably the publication of the UNCITRAL Model Law, which was first produced in 1985 and revised in 2006. The Model Law now forms the basis of, or significantly influences, the arbitration laws of most major trading nations across the world, including new laws adopted by countries that are either updating their legal framework for arbitration or implementing one for the first time. The resulting harmonisation of national arbitration laws has increased the efficacy of arbitration as the preferred method for the resolution of international commercial disputes.

Even with the wide scale adoption of Model Law principles, certain key elements of arbitration law still vary across jurisdictions. This edition of the CMS Expert Guide to International Arbitration provides insight into arbitration law in a number of jurisdictions. It does not seek to provide an exhaustive academic analysis of arbitration in each of the jurisdictions covered, but aims to provide the reader with a detailed overview of arbitration, written by practitioners working in the relevant jurisdictions.

We hope you will find this edition of the CMS Expert Guide to International Arbitration to be a helpful and valuable resource.