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University of Iowa College of Law




More than one thoughtful international business manager has been haunted by the fear that foreign judges might not always respect Moses' admonition to impartiality., Concern that the other side will have an unfair advantage in its home court has often driven lawyers to include in international contracts one of two forum selection devices:2 an arbitration agreement entrusting the controversy to a private decision-maker or a courtselection clause granting adjudicatory power to courts at a designated location.3 Both mechanisms can enhance political and procedural neutrality, thereby facilitating business ventures when parties have a mutual mistrust of each other's courts and a mutual interest in locking in a predictable dispute resolution process at the time of contract signature. However, the effectiveness of the two devices can differ radically due to quite disparate statutory and treaty enforcement frameworks.

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