Now and then… Watching the evolution of international arbitration in the last four decades has been fascinating, including the evolution in the Arab region. “One should speak, when discussing the subject at large, of ‘arbitrations’ in the plural, for otherwise the sense of diversity may be lost” wrote a famous practitioner. Cultures of arbitration are indeed different and we build on the experience of each.
Over the years, users have become more familiar with arbitration and recognised it as a mechanism to solve disputes out of courts. While the most common users in the past originated mainly from Europe and North America, we have seen bigger diversity in the recent decades. Parties from a few regions including the Arab region were mostly respondents but this tendency has changed. Likewise, respondents have understood the importance of participating in arbitration proceedings instead of relying on the policy of the empty chair. Governments realised the necessity to adhere to and adopt legal instruments to facilitate the resolution of potential disputes through arbitration, and thus to encourage investors and promote business. The authors refer the readers to the contribution in this book of the late and distinguished Ahmed El Kosheri who shared his experience on the evolution of arbitration in the MENA countries “Arbitration in the MENA: a brief history of time”.