ARTICLE: Delocalization of International Commercial Arbitration: Its Relevance in the New Millennium Skip over navigation
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Copyright (c) 1999 Juris Publishing, Inc.
The American Review of International Arbitration

ARTICLE: Delocalization of International Commercial Arbitration: Its Relevance in the New Millennium


10 Am. Rev. Int'l Arb. 177


Pippa Read *



The delocalization of international commercial arbitration has been a topic that has sparked imaginations and fueled debate for over 20 years. In its most simplistic form, delocalization involves freeing an international arbitration from the constraints of the lex loci arbitri (procedural law of the place of arbitration), thereby leaving it to "float" free of national jurisdiction, irrespective of where the arbitration takes place. Whilst delocalization was initially rejected by traditionalists, 1 and even branded by some as a "dangerous heresy," 2 over time the concept has drawn considerable support from commentators. 3 In practice, though there were few judicial decisions that could be clearly seen as supporting the notion of delocalization, a trickle of judgments has provided the proponents of delocalization with sufficient ammunition to continue the debate. In the last few years, however, stronger support for delocalization, particularly in the context of enforcing locally annulled awards, has been evident in a number of jurisdictions.

The delocalization theory is an attractive one from the perspective of both arbitrators and parties to an arbitration. Very often the place of arbitration is selected for reasons of convenience or neutrality, with neither party desiring to submit the arbitration to the procedural norms of that forum, especially those that permit the intervention of the local court system. In addition, failure to comply with the local procedural law could result in the final award being set aside by a local court, which may jeopardize any chances of enforcement ...
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