From Class to Collective: The De-Americanization of Class Arbitration
Arbitration International, Vol. 26, 2010
54 Pages Posted: 11 Aug 2010 Last revised: 14 Aug 2010
Date Written: August 10, 2010
Opponents to international class arbitration (also known as “class action arbitration” or “classwide arbitration”) frequently characterize the procedure as a “‘uniquely American’ device” and take the view that the procedure never could or never should expand beyond the United States. However, a growing number of commentators believe that large-scale group arbitration can or will spread beyond U.S. borders, although that does not necessarily mean that the procedures adopted will or should be the same as those used in U.S.-style class arbitrations. This Article considers what these new forms of group arbitration – described herein as “collective arbitration” to mirror terminology used to describe collective redress in national courts – will look like in terms of procedure. The discussion also includes analysis of certain potential problem areas, using analogies to the American Arbitration Association (AAA) Supplementary Rules for Class Arbitration as a guide, and addresses the likely enforceability of awards arising out of such actions under the New York Convention.
Keywords: international commercial arbitration, class arbitration, class action arbitration, international, enforcement, collective redress, New York Convention
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation