Peeking through the form of uniform law: International arbitration practice and legal harmonization

When judged by the sheer amount of scholarly literature to which it has given rise, uniform law, taken broadly here to include all forms of inter-jurisdictional legal harmonization, is a vast subject. To a significant extent, however, this fascinating subject presents but an academic interest. That is because efforts toward legal harmonization and the incorporation of uniform law have remained vain in many areas. Not so in respect of arbitration, the practice of which has seen spectacular growth in the context of international trade and commerce over the past twenty-five years. This paper looks at the incorporation of uniform arbitration law both in its formal and informal manifestations. An overview of incorporation through procedural and substantive instruments is first provided with reference to Canadian arbitration laws. Drawing insights from a multidisciplinary look at the concept of praxis and the teachings of Lon Fuller, the paper then looks at the status of arbitration practice vis-a-vis arbitration law and its incorporation, emphasizing the respective roles of experts and courts.
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