International Commercial Arbitration in Cyberspace: Recent Developments

Biukovic, Ljiljana | January 1, 2002

This article examines some features of virtual arbitration and argues that the use of new technology and the development of e-commerce raise some interesting questions to international arbitration laws. Part It describes initiatives to develop online dispute resolution. Part III discusses virtual dispute resolution centers, including, how, why, and where they function. More importantly, however, Part III investigates the differences between online and off-line arbitration, where the focus remains on three questions. The first question is a crucial one. It has been debated by scholars and practitioners but still remains unresolved: will arbitration agreements concluded online and arbitration awards rendered online meet the formal requirements of the Convention on Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (the New York Convention) and enjoy the benefits of worldwide enforcement? 6 The second question probes how flexible international commercial arbitration is as a process: does online arbitration retain all the advantages traditional arbitration had over litigation? Finally, the third question asks whether these online commercial disputes are really something new.