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Boston University School of Law




In international proceedings, a transnational “soft law” often finds expression in rules, guidelines and canons of professional associations which serve to supplement the “hard law” of national statutes and court decisions. Memorializing the experience of those who sit as arbitrators or serve as counsel, such standards contain a degree of circularity, in that relevant norms both derive from and apply to cross-border arbitration. Neither the nature nor the limits of “soft law” always present themselves with clarity. Often the litigants’ agreement fails to provide standards on controverted questions whose answers fall beyond common practice. In such instances, the integrity of the process requires a healthy humility from scholars and practitioners professing to summarize arbitral standards.


Published as: "Soft Law and Transnational Standards in Arbitration: The Challenge of Res Judicata," in Contemporary Issues in International Arbitration and Mediation: The Fordham Papers 2015 52, Arthur Rovine, ed., BRILL/Nijhoff (2016).

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