Dispute Resolution

Author:Anthony Connerty
Profession:Barrister and member of WIPO arbitration panel

1) Introduction. -2) Some Methods of Dispute Resolution Used Internationally. -3) Organisations Providing Dispute Resolution Facilities: i) Inter-State Courts and Tribunals. ii) International commercial organisations.


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1) Introduction

This chapter briefly describes two areas that are dealt with in more detail in later chapters. First, it looks at some of the methods of dispute resolution used internationally, both in the context of inter-State disputes and in the context of international trade and commerce. Second, it reviews some of the organisations involved in international dispute resolution - again, in both inter-State and commercial dispute resolution.

2) Some Methods of Dispute Resolution Used Internationally

There is probably little doubt that the two major methods of dispute resolution in use are litigation and arbitration, both in the inter-State area and in the pure commercial area. However, it is clear that other dispute resolution processes are also being used, among them alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and - in fairly restricted areas - expert determination. One example of the use of expert determination is in the oil and gas industry in relation to measurement disputes.

Which type of dispute mechanism is to be used in a particular case will depend on the precise nature of the dispute. For example, a jurisdiction dispute arising out of an international contract is more likely to be settled by litigation (or arbitration) than by, say, expert determination.

There are certain areas where disputes between States and disputes between States and non-State bodies (such as corporations) may be resolved by way of methods specified in international conventions. Areas of particular importance globally are investor-State disputes and maritime and land boundary disputes. Such disputes are likely to be resolved by what may be described as supranational dispute resolution bodies such as the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) and the World Bank's International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (the ICSID Centre).

In the case of the ICJ, the method of dispute resolution is litigation. In the case of the PCA and the ICSID Centre, the process used is international arbitration, administered under the rules prescribed by these organisations. The 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS...

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