Court Intervention in Arbitral Proceedings in Countries Adopting the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration: An Impact of Legal Culture on Reception (Case studies of Canada, Hong Kong and Russia)

Research output: Doctoral Thesis


This thesis explores problems regarding the reception the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration (ML) in Canada, Hong Kong and Russia. Focusing on the relationship between national courts and arbitrators, it argues that the ML fosters gradual harmonization of law on international arbitration, while accommodating the particular needs of the legal cultures and traditions of Canada, Hong Kong and Russia. The importance of this study derives from the fact that the experience of these three countries has been, and it still is, a guide for a number of other countries considering the adoption of the ML and modification of their arbitration laws. First, the thesis explores the implementation of the ML at the national level, in each of the countries of adoption in order determine, the legal changes, if any, brought about by the adoption. The hypothesis is that legal borrowing can lead to different results in countries with different legal traditions, different levels of economic development and different political structures. At this level the analysis focuses on statutory frameworks and judicial practice in these countries. Second, the thesis compares the results from the study at the national level in order to explore the ways in which the same pattern (that is, the ML) has been modified to reflect the socio-economic environment and principles of old systems, and to determine changes to the original model. The hypothesis is that arbitral tribunals are promoters of a new "internationalized" legal culture and that national judges and courts, in comparison, are more likely to reflect local or national legal cultures. The thesis concludes that variations in the application and interpretation of the M L in the three countries does not mean that the ML cannot bring about the harmonization of laws. However, the ML is not a transplantation or duplication of foreign law, but a project of reception. In that way, the ML serves as a basis for creativity, rather than representing the imposition of a new, and perhaps, inappropriate; legal culture.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia
Place of PublicationVancouver
Publication statusPublished - 1998

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