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1999 Int'l Bus. L.J. 354 (1999)
Jurisprudence Arbitrale

handle is hein.journals/ibuslj15 and id is 354 raw text is: Arbitral jurisprudence resembles an English garden,
chaos appears to reign, but the arbitrators act as
invisible gardeners in a structure which has its own
brand of logic.
The absence of an overriding jurisdiction charged with
controlling awards in international commercial arbi-
trations, as much as the fact that arbitral awards are
confidential and that they are not systematically
published, all contribute to this impression of muddle,
shady patches, secrecy and anarchy.
It follows that anyone involved in international com-
merce who opts for arbitration will be keen to acquire
a better understanding not only of the substantive
solutions imposed by an award, but of the thought
process of the arbitrator.
Can one speak, however, of the thought process of
an arbitrator as we speak of the thought process of a
French judge, as compared with his English equiva-
There is much greater diversity among arbitrators,
coming as they do from different countries and legal
cultures, than among the judges of a national judicial
system. To differences of personality are added cul-
tural differences.
Arbitrators, however, do not work in isolation, alone in
their ivory towers. They mix with each other, consult
the same documentation, compare their practices
and theories, and deliberate together. From this kind
of contact, there has emerged a logic peculiar to
arbitration. In published awards, one can detect com-
mon trains of thought, identical thought processes,
and the development of similar substantive solutions.

La jurisprudence arbitrale est a I'image d'un jardin anglais : le
desordre y regne en apparence mais les arbitres sont les jar-
diniers invisibles d'une composition qui suit sa logique.
L'absence d'une juridiction supr6me qui aurait pour mission
de contr61er les sentences arbitrales du commerce internatio-
nal de m6me que la confidentialite des procedures d'arbitrage
ou bien encore le defaut de publication systematique des sen-
tences y sont pour beaucoup dans cette impression de
fouillis, de zones d'ombre, de secret et d'anarchie.
II s'en suit que tout operateur du commerce international qui
opte pour le recours i I'arbitrage est avide de mieux connaftre
non seulement les solutions de fond degagees par les sen-
tences mais aussi le mode de raisonnement de I'arbitre.
Mais, peut-on parler d'un mode de raisonnement de l'arbitre
comme on peut parler du mode de raisonnement d'un juge
francais en comparaison avec celui de son homologue
anglais ?
En ia matiere, Ia pluralite s'impose. La diversitd des arbitres
venant de pays et de cultures juridiques diff~rents est bien
plus importante que ia diversite des juges d'un systeme judi-
ciaire national. A la diversit6 des personnalites se rajoutent
les differences culturelles.
Pourtant, les arbitres ne travaillent pas seuls, isoles dans
leurs tours d'ivoire. Us se fr6quentent, consultent la m~me
documentation, confrontent leurs pratiques et leurs thdories, et
d61iberent ensemble. De ces contacts nait une logique propre
SI'arbitre. Les sentences publiees permettent de constater
des traits de pens6es communs, des modes de raisonnement
identiques et, finalement, un d~veloppement des solutions de
fond similaires.

Avocat aux barreaux do Paris et de Suede, Lagerlof & Leman, Linklaters
& Alliance.
Avocat au barreau de Paris, Linklaters & Paines.

RDAI/IBLJ, N' 3,1999

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