Published in December 2021
Multi-tier dispute resolution (MDR) entails an early attempt at mediation followed by arbitration or litigation if mediation is unsuccessful. Seemingly, everyone acknowledges MDR's attractiveness as a means of resolving disputes due to its combination of the flexibility and informality of mediation with the rigour and formality of arbitration or litigation. Yet, the question is why, except in China and some Asian jurisdictions, MDR is not resorted to around the world and MDR clauses in commercial contracts remain relatively uncommon. This book responds to that question by (1) surveying global regulatory approaches frameworks for MDR, (2) comparing MDR trends in Asia and the wider world, (3) identifying MDR's strengths and weaknesses, and (4) prescribing ways to address MDR's weaknesses (the enforceability of MDR clauses, the difficulties arising when the same person acts as mediator and decision-maker in the same dispute, and the enforcement of mediated settlement agreements resulting from MDR).
'International arbitration is suffering from resurgent costs and delays (or formalization), underpinning the growth of multi-tiered dispute resolution clauses – requiring parties first to attempt mediation. The 2019 Singapore Convention should promote this by facilitating cross-border enforcement of settlements, despite few ratifications so far. But growth also depends on whether and how local legal systems allow enforcement of the mediation or other agreed step before arbitration. This timely and authoritative book examines 11 jurisdictions, mostly in the vibrant Asia-Pacific region, and wider developments across two other regions (OHADA and the EU). Some chapters also discuss Arb-Med, where an arbitration is – still somewhat controversially – combined with active settlement facilitation. The experienced editors assemble an impressive team of 16 other experts, mostly professors but often considerable experience in practice, to offer an invaluable and unique resource for researchers, practitioners and policy-makers.'
Professor Luke Nottage - Professor of Comparative and Transnational Business Law, University of Sydney & Williams Trade Law
'This book provides a rich and insightful comparative analysis of the treatment of multi-tier dispute resolution clauses, a topic previously under-examined in the literature. These clauses are both practically significant and raise important questions of principle regarding the interaction between different modes of dispute resolution, and this very welcome book will be an invaluable reference point for practitioners and academics alike.'
Professor Alex Mills - Professor of Public and Private International Law, University College London
'Multi-tiered dispute resolution clauses are the new norm: and this is the one book you have to turn to if you want to understand them, and this irrespective of where you practice.'
Professor Franco Ferrari - Director, Center for Transnational Litigation, Arbitration, and Commercial Law, NYU School of Law
‘Anselmo Reyes and Weixia Gu give to us a precious gift on a topic which is becoming more and more common and increasingly challenging. The global perspective of the book with a standing point of observation in Eastern Asia is as unique as it is fascinating. This region has much to teach about its diverse experience of multi-tier dispute resolution. Furthermore, the team of authors gathered by the editors is simply outstanding. They have been capable of combining in their contributions useful data with theoretical thoughts and attractive proposals. Sincerely, none interested in the theory and practice of dispute resolution should ignore this wonderful book!’
Professor Diego P. Fernández Arroyo - Professor of Law at Sciences Po and Secretary-General, International Academy of Comparative Law
‘Multi-tier dispute resolution (MDR) may give rise to profound conceptual and practical challenges. Through offering comprehensive and delicate analysis of the MDR, this book has made an unparalleled contribution to the cross-disciplinary study of dispute resolution, societal legal studies and international law. The insights of Judge Anselmo Reyes, Professor Weixia Gu, and a group of leading scholars and practitioners make this book an indispensable reference and a rich source of inspiration for anyone interested in the cutting-edge topic of MDR.’
Professor Manjiao Chi - Professor at University of International Business and Economics and Founding Director, Center for International Economic Law and Policy