Book review: International arbitration & global governance contending theories and evidence by Walter Mattli and Thomas Dietz
D'Silva, M, Book review: International arbitration & global governance contending theories and evidence by Walter Mattli and Thomas Dietz, Australasian Dispute Resolution Journal, 27, (1) pp. 66-68. ISSN 1441-7847 (2016) [Letter or Note in Journal]
Walter Mattli and Thomas Dietz’s (eds) International Arbitration & Global Governance Contending Theories and Evidence (International Arbitration & Global Governance) triggers a question of whether international arbitration arbitration’s function in public and private international law, operates in a manner which is similar to that of the police team depicted in the television show Hawaii Five-0. International Arbitration & Global Governance examines international arbitration as a form of governance in transnational commercial contract dispute settlements and global trade. With the exception of the Preface’s author Jan Paulsson, the book’s authors are listed as learned scholars who do not (at the time of the book’s publication) appear to practice as full time practitioners in international arbitration, meaning that the book might be regarded as written by "outsiders". The book’s topics invite direct comparisons to the fantasy themes of the current CBS re-make of the television drama Hawaii Five-0 which involves a separate, but effective, team of police detectives given prosecution immunity with a line of direct reporting to Hawaii’s Governor above and beyond the normal chain of command in the domestic legal justice system. Hawaii Five-0 depicts what might be considered by some, to be the current state of international arbitration: a somewhat ethnically diverse team of men with the occasional woman. Although tempted to abuse their power when personal relationships are destroyed or threatened, the fictional Hawaii Five-0 police team are portrayed as acting with integrity in situations of immense pressure as they legitimately operate outside domestic rules in an existence of near (but not total) self-accountability.
International Arbitration and Global Governance similarly exposes some of the mysteries of the field of international arbitration by bringing together inter-disciplinary research by prominent scholars who offer new angles to the international arbitration show.