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Arbitration Discourse in Asia

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Edited By Vijay K. Bhatia and Maurizio Gotti

Arbitration is the most widely used alternative method to resolve commercial disputes between parties. Since arbitration in international contexts is equally applicable to legal traditions across the world, there has been incessant effort on the part of all jurisdictions to harmonize principles and practices to establish a unified system of arbitration. As differences are difficult to reconcile, 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.
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.
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Legislating on Arbitration in Singapore: Linguistic Insights

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1. Introduction

Arbitration is one of the ADR methods used for resolving commercial disputes, and increasingly is a popular, cost-effective and expeditious alternative to the more formal and public litigation. Arbitration takes place within complex and important national and international legal frameworks where legislation, rules, and conventions provide specialized regimes for arbitration practices. Coinciding with a strong interest taken by (applied) linguists since the early 2000s, the relevance of arbitration has led to a burgeoning of scholarly studies appearing in edited collections of papers (Bhatia/ Candlin/Gotti 2003, 2010, 2012; Bhatia/Candlin/Engberg/Trosborg 2003; Bhatia/Candlin 2004; Bhatia/ Candlin/Engberg 2008; Bhatia/Candlin/Evangelisti 2008; Salmi-Tolonen/Tukiainen/Foley 2011; Bhatia/Garzone/Degano 2012) as well as individual papers (Evangelisti 2008; Garzone 2008; Gotti 2008; Bhatia 2011). While these insightful works reveal the important context of the institutional and professional practices of arbitration from which different texts and genres originate, they also show the dynamism of arbitration language and discourse in a variety of situational genres, enhancing knowledge of arbitration practice and its integrity across languages, cultures, and legal systems. The reviewed studies therefore provide evidence of the commitments made by the academic strand of linguists to respond to an agenda that arbitration continuously sets in an increasingly globalised world.

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