Thomas Carbonneau is the Samuel P. Orlando Distinguished Professor of Law at Penn State's Dickinson School of Law. Professor Carbonneau is commonly regarded as one of the world's leading experts on domestic and international arbitration. He serves on the editorial board of La Revue de L'Arbitrage and is the author of ten highly acclaimed books and 75 scholarly and professional articles on arbitration. Professor Carbonneau was formerly the Moise S. Steeg Jr. Professor of International Law at Tulane University School of Law.
The contemporary law of arbitration originated in North America and Europe.1 Among like-minded States with conflicting legal traditions, arbitration represented a means of transcending the diversity of legal systems. It had the additional advantages of neutrality and enforceability.2 Arbitration’s regional success and the globalization of national economies eventually gave it a wider, more universal vocation.3 A world law of arbitration emerged and developed.4 Not only was it global in application, but its content was modern and sophisticated.5 States, admittedly to varying degrees,6 had come to the realization that its participation and that of its nationals in the world marketplace should only be undertaken with the adjudicatory guarantees of arbitration.7 In a word, international commercial arbitration (ICA) was vital to transborder commerce, it supplied interational merchants with a functional and effective transnational adjudicatory process.8 In some measure, albeit with differences in the volume and diversity of transactions and the character of institutional regulation, modern-day ICA represented a return to the practices of the medieval trade fairs.9