"What is the argument on the other side? Only this, that no case has been found in which it has been done before. That argument does not appeal to me in the least. If we never do anything which has not been done before, we shall never get anywhere. The law will stand still whilst the rest of the world goes on: and that will be bad for both."
Lord Justice Denning 120
This Manual has tried to give an overview of five topics in the field of international dispute settlement:
1 Supranational disputes where one or more of the parties is likely to be a State. The areas chosen were those that it is hoped will be of particular interest to Commonwealth countries: territorial disputes, maritime delimitation disputes and investor-State disputes.
2 Supranational dispute resolution bodies dealing with such disputes. Four were chosen, again in the hope that they will be of particular interest to Commonwealth governments: 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 (ICSID Centre).
The dispute settlement methods considered in relation to supranational disputes - and the international dispute settlement bodies dealing with such disputes - were litigation, arbitration and mediation / conciliation.
3 Dispute resolution in the area of international trade and commerce. Here, four methods of dispute resolution were considered: litigation: but this time in the national rather than the international sphere; arbitration; various forms of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) - in particular, mediation / conciliation; and expert determination.
4 Institutions and other bodies concerned with dispute resolution in international trade and commerce. The international commercial arbitral institutions looked at included the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) and the American Arbitration Association (AAA). In addition, organisations concerned with international trade and commerce, in particular the United Nations, were also considered.
In an attempt to 'put some meat on the bones', various topics were illustrated by reference to decisions of the supranational dispute resolution bodies as well as to decisions of national courts, particularly in relation to the vitally important New York Convention and the UN Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Model Law.
5 Online dispute resolution. After looking at commercial user developments in the form of eBay and SquareTrade, two particular areas were chosen - again in the hope that Commonwealth countries would find them useful. These are of great significance in the fields of international trade and commerce and international intellectual property: documentary credits and domain name disputes. The specific systems considered were the ICC's DOCDEX scheme and the Domain Name Dispute Resolution system of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
The point was made early on in this book that the topics that the Manual has tried to cover are vast, and that any one of them would justify a learned work. The Manual has sought to do no more than give an...