Emory International Law Review

Volume 31Issue 3
Essay

Diversity and Uniformity in International Arbitration Law

Christopher R. Drahozal | 31 Emory Int'l L. Rev. 393 (2017)

The leading instruments of international arbitration law—the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (New York Convention) and the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration—both are widely touted for the uniformity they have brought to arbitration law, and commentators continue to urge more uniformity rather than less when proposing reforms to international arbitration law. This Essay argues for greater openness to the benefits of diversity in the legal rules that govern international arbitration. The easy benefits of uniformity have already been obtained, meaning that the marginal benefits of greater uniformity are more limited. At the same time, the costs of uniformity (or the benefits of diversity) are at their greatest when national arbitration laws remain diverse. Rather than simply seeking more uniformity, the goal should be to aim for the optimal degree of uniformity, recognizing that some diversity in international arbitration laws is beneficial.

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