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Got Disputes? Asian/Western Insights on Commercial Dispute Resolution

With rapid growth in commercial dealings between Asian nations and an ever-expanding number of partners, the likelihood of disputes grows along with opportunities for greater understanding and early resolution.

Often, many assume that the approach to resolution in the Asia Pacific is monolithic.  Rather, recent empirical research published in Resolving Disputes in the Asia Pacific: International Arbitration and Mediation in East Asia and the West, shows that a great deal of variation exists within the region.  For example, in some countries such as Japan, conciliation attempts are often integrated within arbitral proceedings, while in Hong Kong, formalized multi-tier dispute resolution mechanisms are often used particularly in the area of construction disputes. 

Another common assumption is that there is a wide chasm between the way disputes are resolved in the so-called ‘West’ and ‘East Asia’.  In fact, in a number of areas, there is a great deal of harmonization in practice. Building on the influence of Model Laws and Rules such as those developed by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law, increasing harmonization exists with respect to arbitral pre-hearing directives, party statement of claims and defenses, oral hearings, use of experts, taking of evidence, and issuing of awards.

At the same time, the practice of international arbitration is enriched by regional diversity. This is demonstrated, for example, by a greater openness to exploring settlement options and a greater degree of support for arbitrator-initiated settlement discussions among practitioners working in East Asia.

Drawing on interviews and surveys with over 115 arbitrators, judges, lawyers and members of the rapidly expanding arbitration community in China, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, Singapore, and Malaysia as well as North America and Europe, the book Resolving Disputes in the Asia Pacific Region: International Arbitration and Mediation in East Asia and the West (Routledge), aims to contribute to the wider discussion on effective mechanisms of resolving commercial disputes.  The book will be of interest to practitioners, students and scholars of international arbitration and dispute resolution, comparative and Asian law, as well as anyone dealing with potential conflict in international business relationships in East Asia.


Shahla Ali

Dr. Shahla Ali, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Law at the University of Hong Kong.  Her teaching and research focus on arbitration and dispute resolution, international commercial transactions and law and development in East Asia.  Prior to joining the faculty of law, she worked at the international… MORE >

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