January 6, 2021
AJIL Unbound, 115, 5-10. doi:10.1017/aju.2020.78
In this essay, we describe the overlapping phenomena of new legal hubs (NLHs), international commercial courts, and arbitral courts. We survey their impact on the law and geopolitics of international commercial dispute resolution, identifying key issues these new dispute resolution institutions raise. While the rise of international commercial courts spans authoritarian and liberal states, Western and Asian states, common law and civil law traditions, it also highlights and builds upon regional differences. We question the assumption that the establishment of new courts is always consistent with an increase in the rule of law, particularly in non-democratic states. We close with thoughts about the potential influence and future role of these institutions. Some of the procedural innovations discussed here may lead to shifts in international commercial dispute resolution for years to come, but the question of whether there is sufficient demand for these new institutions lingers.
Published as an essay in the AJIL Unbound symposium issue on "Global Labs of International Commercial Dispute Resolution.”