Maritime Arbitration As An Alternative Recourse

Arbitration is emerging as a viable and preferred recourse to dispute resolution even in maritime matters owing to the international and cross border nature of the subject matter.. The traditional and usual methods of approaching national courts of the parties, independent of each other, choosing one of the courts of the parties or choosing a neutral national court or resorting to mediation or conciliation, so on and so forth, have their own setbacks. For instance, the National courts of independent parties may be perceived to be partial, corrupt or incompetent by the other, while a neutral national court of a third country and its procedures, though assuring, might seem foreign and alien to both the parties. Mediation and conciliation on the other hand may have no final result as they are just  forms of further agreement. In relation to all of the above, Arbitration tends to sort out the ambiguities and drawbacks of the conventional solutions pragmatically.

There are an array of advantages for the parties in using arbitration, such as, the ability of the parties to choose the identity of the arbitrator, or the mechanism of choosing the arbitrator, the place or venue of the arbitration, the procedure of the arbitration (including the degree of confidentiality involved), the law to govern the dispute, the law to govern the procedure of the arbitration and the court to supervise the arbitration are all important benefits which gives the parties greater degree of freedom and flexibility in resolving the dispute relating to them. It is also a way to escape the mundane and complex legal systems of ordinary jurisdictions, which international parties are forced to interact owing to commercial interest in maritime industry. Still further Conventions like United Nations Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards 1958 (the New York Convention) and the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration 1985 (the Model Law) have cemented the recognition of international arbitrations globally; thereby making Arbitration awards conformably with these conventions far more widely enforceable than the judgments of national courts.