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The Three Ages of International Commercial Arbitration
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  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Expected online publication date: December 2021
  • Print publication year: 2021
  • Online ISBN: 9781108891837
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Book description

Drawing on a wide range of previously unpublished sources, this unique history of international commercial arbitration in the modern era identifies three periods in its development: the Age of Aspirations (c. 1780–1920), the Age of Institutionalisation (1920s–1950s) and the Age of Autonomy (1950s–present). Mikaël Schinazi analyses the key features of each period, arguing that the history of international commercial arbitration has oscillated between moments of renewal and anxiety. During periods of renewal, new approaches, instruments, and institutions were developed to carry international commercial arbitration forward. These developments were then reined in during periods of anxiety, for fear that international arbitration might be overstepping its bounds. The resulting tension between renewal and anxiety is a key thread running through the evolution of international commercial arbitration. This book fills a key gap in the scholarship for anyone interested in the fields of international arbitration, legal history and international law.


‘One of the great strengths of this remarkable book is that it makes use of countless new documents and archival research - such as unpublished ICC arbitral awards, rare periodicals, and all successive versions of the ICC Rules of Arbitration - to retrace the modern history and evolution of international commercial arbitration. Through this in-depth research, Dr. Schinazi is able to explore the field's inner dynamics. An elegantly written book, The Three Ages is a must-read for anyone interested in the history of international arbitration and international law in the making.'Yas Banifatemi, Founding Partner, Gaillard Banifatemi Shelbaya Disputes; Lecturer, Panthéon-Sorbonne University; Visiting Lecturer, Yale Law School and Harvard Law School

‘Dr. Schinazi's The Three Ages of International Commercial Arbitration is brilliant and momentous – nothing short of a tour de force. It is a meticulously researched, but also a deeply rich and imaginative work, eclipsing anything that has been produced up to now on the genesis and evolution of international commercial arbitration. I confess to finding it a real page-turner.'George Bermann, Gellhorn Professor of Law and Monnet Professor in European Union Law, Columbia Law School

'Dr. Schinazi's scholarship is used to contradict some well-worn myths about the history of the field of international commercial arbitration and trace the genealogy of key concepts and ideas. This book is an absolute pleasure to read, and a treasure-trove of new information. It is to be expected that it will continue to garner praise and become a reference work for those seeking more information about the modern history and evolution of international commercial arbitration.'Emmanuel Gaillard, Founding Partner, Gaillard Banifatemi Shelbaya Disputes; Professeur agrégé des Facultés de droit; Visiting Professor, Yale Law School and Harvard Law School

‘This is one of the most detailed works exploring the International Chamber of Commerce's past since Ridgeway's 1938 Merchants of Peace. Dr. Schinazi's book offers a detailed panorama of the arbitration landscape to coincide with the ICC's centennial. Readers will discover a wealth of hitherto unpublished information about the ICC and the beginnings of its International Court of Arbitration. This is a major book about the history and evolution of the ICC arbitration system, informed by keen insights drawing on legal theory and intellectual history. It is a delight to see the book in print, the fitting culmination of Dr. Schinazi's doctoral research.'Emmanuel Jolivet, General Counsel, International Chamber of Commerce and International Court of Arbitration

‘As a practising lawyer and later a Supreme Court Justice, I have always been fascinated by international commercial arbitration institutions, including the ICC. Now, after reading Dr. Schinazi's brilliant work, I can better understand the development and essence of those modern institutions over the ages. The book is therefore immensely important for researchers as well as practitioners in the field of international arbitration. It seems to me that we are now facing a New Age in this field due to the huge influence of social networks and the opportunities they present. I hope that Dr. Schinazi will provide similar illumination on these aspects, too, in the future.'Justice Hanan Melcer, Deputy President, Supreme Court of Israel

‘At last an in-depth historical presentation! Arbitration has firmly established itself as the choice method of dispute resolution in the international legal order, progressively and almost imperceptibly overshadowing state courts. It is important to understand how this development came about, and the key can be found in Dr. Schinazi's remarkably intelligent and synthetic account. The insights he offers are essential to understanding not only the current situation but also its risks and prospects.'Pierre Tercier, Emeritus Professor, University of Fribourg; Honorary President, International Court of Arbitration of the ICC

‘Dr. Schinazi's meticulously researched monograph extends the turn to history in international legal scholarship to international arbitration. Relying on impressive archival research at the International Chamber of Commerce and beyond, The Three Ages uncovers the ideas and actors over two centuries that led to the emergence of the modern system of international commercial arbitration. A thoughtful, original book, and beautifully written to boot. Highly recommended!'Michael Waibel, Professor of International Law, University of Vienna


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