Society of Comparative Legislation
Luke's gospel reports that Jesus once declined to arbitrate a family dispute over an inheritance by asking a disgruntled sibling, "Who set me over you to arbitrate?" Private resolution of business disputes raises a related question: whence springs the arbitrator's authority to render a binding award? A company that submits a controversy to arbitration may later regret having abandoned recourse to the courts. On the day of reckoning, the sage chosen to decide the dispute may no longer seem so wise to the losing party, and the loser might consider refusing to comply with the arbitrator's decision. Some legal system, therefore, must legitimise the arbitrator's authority. Otherwise, the award remains an unenforceable conciliation attempt that the parties are free to treat as mere foreplay to litigation.
William W. Park,
The Lex Loci Arbitri and International Commercial Arbitration
International and Comparative Law Quarterly
Available at: https://scholarship.law.bu.edu/faculty_scholarship/2511