Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law


Martin Domke

First Page



There has been, in recent years, a substantial growth of international trade. This phenomenon has not confined itself to the more economically developed nations of the world. The developing countries, with different economic and social structures, have also participated in the increased trade activity. Moreover, it can be expected that this trend will continue in the coming years, steadily forging more and more links between countries in all parts of the world.

Growth of trade activity is necessarily accompanied by a corresponding increase in the number of disputes between parties to commercial agreements. The business community is in general accord that, in the majority of cases, the most expedient way to settle commercial disputes is by means of arbitration. Recourse to arbitration, however, is often impeded by a lack of understanding between the parties regarding the selection or composition of the arbitral tribunal, its location, rules of procedure and the law the tribunal is to apply. The difficulties in reaching agreement on arbitration may often occur irrespective of whether the parties wish to submit their dispute to an ad hoc tribunal or whether they prefer institutional arbitration. In the case of ad hoc arbitration, difficulties are sometimes encountered in determining the place of arbitration and the manner of designating a third arbitrator. On the other hand, where the parties intend to submit their dispute to institutional arbitration, the difficulty usually arises from the attempt to select an agency which both parties consider impartial.