In his article What Does it Mean to be ‘Pro-Arbitration’? my friend and esteemed colleague, George Bermann, reflected on the fact that “those who practice international arbitration—whether as counsel, arbitrator, or expert—characteristically take an exceptional degree of interest in the health and well-being of the arbitration enterprise…. How ‘good’ a particular policy or practice is for international arbitration has become a veritable professional preoccupation.”
A recent program in which I participated, sponsored by CARTAL in India, was titled “Does Arbitration Still Hold the Crown?” This would not have been a question five years ago. But it is a question that was intriguingly posed in response to recent developments in related fields. The Singapore Convention completed in 2019 provides for the enforcement of cross-border mediated settlement agreements, an innovation that fills a significant gap in the utility of the mediation mechanism. Similarly, the Hague Conference on Private Inter¬national Law recently achieved a long-sought goal by adopting a new multilateral Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Civil or Commercial Matter. The Convention commits Contracting States to recognize and enforce civil and commercial judgments rendered by the courts of other Contracting States, and to do so without a substantive review of the merits of the underlying dispute.