International Arbitration: A Historical Perspective And Practice Guide Connecting Four Emerging World Cultures: China, Mexico, Nigeria, And Saudi Arabia - Aria Vol. 17 No. 2 2006
S. Breckenridge Thomas - The author teaches arbitration law and commercial law at St. Mary’s University School of Law. B.A., cum laude, St. Mary’s University 1982; J.D., St. Mary’s University
School of Law 1985. Director, Office of Academic Excellence, St. Mary’s University
School of Law; Of Counsel, Constangy, Brooks & Smith, L.L.C. I thank my family for
their support during the time I was preparing this paper. I particularly am thankful for my
husband Bryan L. Thomas, who consistently is my “Rock of Gibraltar” and personal
encourager. I give innumerable thanks to my research team: Jordan Mischel Thomas
(B.B.A. Candidate – May 2010), Stephanie Akenuwa (LL.M. Candidate – December
2007), Jack Reid (J.D. May 2007) and Dawn Norman (J.D. Candidate – May 2008) for
their untiring research and diligence. Considerable thanks to my colleagues Grace
Uzomba, Attorney at Law and Professor Mike Forrest for their comments on the draft.
Immeasurable thanks go to the editing team of Gloria Valenzuela, Guadalupe Valdez and
Alice Contreras. Finally, a version of this paper was presented at the Center for
International Legal Studies’ International Arbitration Symposium (Symposium) held in
Salzburg, Austria the summer of 2006. I am most grateful for the warm reception and
valuable comments received from the Symposium organizers and participants
Originally from American Review of International Arbitration - ARIA
Rampant changes in communications and technology have ushered the world into an era of globalization that has huge implications and opportunities for international dispute resolution. In the past, globalization was controlled mainly by European and Western economic and business powers. The world of international arbitration was likewise influenced. However, this new era of globalization has “flattened” the competitive field and culturally diversified participants in global markets. This cultural diversification will result in the commercial and financial markets being influenced and driven by non-European and non-Western countries, companies, and individuals. In like manner, this cultural diversification will impact international arbitration and, as a result, require practitioners to be cognizant of different approaches to arbitration taken in various countries.
This article considers the approach to international arbitration taken by four countries – China, Mexico, Nigeria, and Saudi Arabia. It is the opinion of the author that these countries are and will be major participants in the global market place. International dispute resolution professionals responsible for drafting international contracts and participating in dispute resolution proceedings are well advised to consider carefully the cultural nuances that could impact the outcome of international commercial disputes. This article takes a comparative approach, using Western and international models of commercial arbitration as benchmarks.
While not exhaustive of the treatment of the subject of cultural considerations, this article will provide the reader with a current status of the countries’ economies, the historical development of alternate dispute resolution, and pertinent laws governing the treatment of international arbitration.