This volume reports on one such initiative undertaken by an interdisciplinary project, whose main objective is to investigate the norms and arbitral practices in some important Asian countries from the point of view of discursive practices prevalent in these jurisdictions.
The project focuses on the documents used in arbitration in the main Asian countries and compares them with those employed in other continents. The investigated texts include not only norms and awards, but also interviews with professionals in the field so as to gain direct insights into the linguistic and textual choices employed in the drafting of these documents.
1. Arbitration discourse in Asia
Arbitration is the most widely used alternative dispute resolution method to resolve commercial disputes between parties. International commercial arbitration is considered a creature of party agreement as it crucially depends on the parties’ agreement to resolve disputes through private adjudication by a single arbitrator, or a tribunal of more than one, appointed in accordance with rules of a specific arbitration institution that the parties themselves have agreed to adopt, usually by including an arbitration clause in their contract. The practice of international arbitration has developed in a manner to allow parties from different legal and cultural backgrounds to use any variety of English or other language to resolve their disputes without any interference from the system of courts. Since arbitration in international contexts is equally applicable to all jurisdictions and legal traditions across the world, there has been incessant effort on the part of all jurisdictions to harmonize principles and practices to establish and follow a unified system of arbitration, which is not an easy task. Local laws, arbitrators’ background, experience and expertise, language preference, and socio-political as well as economic considerations, in addition to differences in jurisdictional constraints and contestations are often difficult to reconcile, and hence there has been quite a bit of interest and effort invested in the study of some of the key issues and challenges in the field.
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