S.I Strong, Associate Professor of Law at the University of Missouri and contributor to this blog, recently wrote an interesting article entitled From Class to Collective: The De-Americanization of Class Arbitration, Arbitration International, Vol. 26, No. 4, 2010. In the article, Professor Strong considers in detail what new forms of group arbitration will likely arise in the future.
Here is the Abstract:
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 US borders, although that does not necessarily mean that the procedures adopted will or should be the same as those used in US-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.
The article will appear in the December issue of Arbitration International. A draft version is currently available here (without charge) from Social Science Research Network. Other papers by Professor Strong can be found here.