Is Arbitration still the preferred Dispute Resolution Mechanism?

Author: N. Pirilides & Associates LLC
The ongoing growth of international arbitration as preferred dispute resolution mechanism, both in commercial and in investment disputes, is undeniable. The bigger the amount in dispute, the more likely is it that it eventually ends up before an arbitral tribunal.
There are a number of factors one can point to for an explanation of this success story.  Surveys, like the ones the School of International Arbitration is regularly conducting, show that the flexibility of the arbitral process and the depth of the arbitrators'?? expertise are amongst the major advantages of arbitration.
Above all, however, due to the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards of 1958, adopted by more than 140 countries, it is the enforceability of arbitral awards in many countries, where state court judgments would be ineffective, that is the one crucial but unique feature of international arbitration.
While some users have recently claimed a deterioration of time and cost efficiency of arbitration, the majority of users, mostly in-house corporate counsel, is nevertheless still satisfied with arbitration. Users appreciate their direct influence on issues like the governing law, the language of the arbitration, etc. In particular, they know that it is eventually in their hand to control time and costs i.e.. by agreeing on only one (instead of three) arbitrator(s) in smaller cases, by making sure the arbitrator is the ??right one and indeed available and finally by choosing an affordable place of arbitration, such as Cyprus.

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