International commercial arbitration (ICA) has many positive attributes. Because business transactions cannot take place without a functional system of adjudication, ICA has enabled parties to engage in and pursue international commerce. As a result, it has had an enormous impact upon the international practice of law, the structuring of a de facto international legal system, and the development of a world law of commerce. In a word, ICA has been a vital engine in the creation of transborder legality. Furthering this design, the arbitral ‘method’ has even been applied to State conduct and the unruly political problems that attend the regulation of State participation in international trade and the articulation of an international trade policy.
At the very least, a transborder contractual dispute can raise problems relating to choice-of-forum, choice-of-law, venue, jurisdiction, proof and interpretation of foreign law, and the enforcement of judgments. When a dispute arises, the fear of unknown foreign law and foreign judicial bias compels parties to file suit in their respective national jurisdictions, to pursue thereby parallel actions in the two forums simultaneously, and to arrive at the stalemate of having two equally unenforceable judgments.