There Should Be an Answer to § 1782(a) – As to Whether Its Scope Includes Private Arbitral Tribunals
Posted: 15 Sep 2016
Date Written: September 14, 2016
USC § 1782 grants standing to “a foreign or international tribunal” to obtain an order from a US federal district court compelling the production of evidence from uncooperative parties. Whether this provision extends to private arbitral tribunals has been the subject of controversy, with both sides of the argument pointing to the plain meaning of the term, the legislative history of § 1782, and principles of international arbitration in order to reach opposite conclusions. Federal courts, too, have reached different conclusions on the issue since 2004. While it is the author’s opinion that private arbitral tribunals are likely not within the scope of § 1782, this article highlights the need for a clear answer to the question in the face of ambiguous evidence, and provides avenues to finally settle the issue.
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