As Professor George Bermann pointed in his article on “What Does it Mean to Be ‘Pro-Arbitration’?”, there are legal practitioners who are pro-arbitration and those who present arguments against the international arbitration practice. Commonly, those in favor of arbitration are involved in practicing international arbitration as counsels, arbitrators, experts and academics, whereas those against this practice usually represent the states, various international organizations and other actors.
In my reflection, I discuss whether the arbitration practice is favorable to small states. Over the past decades, the increasing number of international dispute settlement mechanisms has been analyzed with a lot of criticism by academics. The main concern was whether small states are significantly disadvantaged when they engage in international dispute resolution through arbitration.
In my analysis, I use the example of the Republic of Moldova, a small country in Eastern Europe, that has had a lengthy process transitioning from a communist regime to a market economy. The country is still striving to achieve a fair justice system and good democratic governance. The Republic of Moldova has rather little experience with arbitration mechanisms as an alternative method of dispute solving.