Professor George Bermann does not propose arbitration as the method of resolving commercial disputes for the sake of arbitration itself. Certainly, he is deeply committed to the development and use of arbitration to resolve disputes. He is, after all, a sought-after and well-regarded arbitrator. He has also been chiefly responsible in recent decades for placing Columbia Law School at the forefront of international arbitration through his prolific scholarship and teaching, as well as by leading the significant activity of the Center for International Commercial and Investment Arbitration Law, which he founded in 2012. Still, Professor Bermann recognizes intuitively and intellectually that arbitration is not a virtue in itself; it is a means to an end.
Therefore, a core part of Professor Bermann’s scholarship is an analytical preoccupation with whether arbitration remains an attractive alternative to litigation. His scholarship features the twin objectives of (a) efficacy, which he defines as facilitating arbitration’s achievement of its core objectives of speed, economy, and technical expertise of a commercially savvy tribunal chosen with party input, and (b) legitimacy, which may be measured by ensuring the adequacy of party consent on which arbitration depends, as well as the degree to which the arbitral process and arbitral awards are endorsed by courts.