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Boston University School of Law




Most fields of law provide guidance on how courts decide cases. In contrast, arbitration law tells judges when not to decide disputes, in deference to private decision-makers selected by the litigants.

At such moments, arbitration law normally includes two limbs: first, to hold parties to their bargains to arbitrate; second, to monitor the basic integrity of the arbitral process, so the case will be heard by a fair tribunal that listens before deciding, stays within its mission, and respects the limits of relevant public policy. As we shall see, in applying these principles, the devil lurks in the details of each award, ruling or contract.


Published as: "Explaining Arbitration Law," in Defining Issues in International Arbitration: Celebrating 100 Years of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Julio César Betancourt, ed., Oxford University Press (2016). [Centennial Liber Amicorum]

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