Annual Survey of International & Comparative Law


Okuma Kazutake


Dispute settlement is an important area in international contract and trade. Settlement either by litigation in court or by alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is contemplated by contractual parties in international transactions. Each system presents its own problems. Effective litigation requires a judge to be an impartial, legal expert; however, is that always true, especially in the international context? A party litigating in another country is often concerned about whether he can achieve a fair judgment there. Decisions can sometimes be based on patriotic or parochial grounds, and even if a party receives a fair judgment, will he be able to enforce it in the other country? While litigation is a fundamental right of citizens under the constitutions of most countries nowadays, in civil cases there are alternatives. It is possible to settle a dispute by an ADR method, but only if the parties to the dispute have clearly and effectively agreed to ADR, thereby implying a waiver of litigation.