With concerns about the golden age of arbitration coming to an end given the various crises that afflict arbitral institutions these days, the purpose of this paper is to discuss the various crises confronting dispute resolution and propose a framework to preserve the institution of arbitration, notwithstanding such challenges. Crisis has been defined as a “time of intense difficulty or danger”. Disputes almost inevitably fall within the scope of this definition - they can indeed be very destructive, are a cause of not merely financial harm, but also potential psychological harm and distress, and are, therefore, generally a time of intense difficulty for the parties concerned.
The approach to crises in the Far East slightly differs from the one in the definition given above. In the Chinese language, for instance, two characters are used to form the word “crisis”—“wēijī”—one of the characters (wēi) referring to danger and the other (jī) to a crucial point, when something begins or changes. From this perspective, every crisis, including a dispute, can be viewed as an opportunity for change and for creating something new, and possibly better.