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International Arbitration: Law and Practice in Switzerland by Kaufmann-Kohler, Gabrielle; Rigozzi, Antonio (22nd October 2015)

1 The Concept and Sources of Arbitration

From: International Arbitration: Law and Practice in Switzerland

Gabrielle Kaufmann-Kohler, Antonio Rigozzi

Subject(s):
World Trade Organization (WTO) Dispute Settlement Body — International Court of Arbitration (ICC) — Arbitral agreements — Claims commissions — Conciliation — Mediation

This introductory chapter analyses the concept of arbitration, distinguishing it from other alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods, in particular mediation, conciliation, and expert determination. Having traced the historical roots and evolution of international arbitration, it then discusses the advantages and drawbacks of choosing to settle disputes by way of arbitration. The chapter further presents the main sources of arbitration law, from national laws and international treaties – in particular the New York Convention – over arbitration rules, soft law, jurisprudence, and scholarly writings. It then considers the role of Switzerland as a place of arbitration, discussing its long-standing dispute-settlement tradition and the arbitration-related bodies and institutions operating in the country. Finally, as an introduction to the next Chapters, the discussion briefly sets out the situations in which the arbitration process can come into contact with the courts.

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