Towards a Constitutional Doctrine of Alternative Dispute Resolution

In recent years, a discourse on ethno-religious minorities emerged, attesting that certain communities are involved in processes of dispute resolution. According to the alarming arguments from judicial and law enforcement institutions they pose a threat to the fundamental principles of public law. This paper will challenge this discourse on two levels: empirical and normative. First, I will present some empirical findings based on my own ethnographic research on Yazidis as well as on other socio-legal studies that challenge the common assumption that minorities are involved in institutionalized forms dispute settlements that reach the quality of informal jurisprudence. Second, I intend to challenge the constitutional assumption that the relevant practices of informal justice are unconstitutional at all. I will conclude with the potentials of thinking towards a constitutional doctrine of alternative dispute resolution

Gender and Ethnic Diversity in International Arbitration

The absence of women in international arbitration causes concerns from an equality perspective but also from a representational democracy perspective. Put differently, the absence of women constitutes an issue for the legitimacy of such jurisdictions. This is problematic given that an increasing number of issues are “litigated” via arbitration and that in certain areas, such as in the sports domain, arbitration is the only dispute resolution mechanism available. This paper will explore what is happening in such less visible alternative dispute resolution contexts with regard to women’s participation and what – if any – are the initiatives taken to increase their numbers. This contribution also intends to expand the existing literature by looking at how far the presence of racial minorities in the arbitral context is or is not taken into account and whether and how far the arguments made for women’s participation extend to aspects of racial/ethnic diversity.

Family law arbitration, how new British citizens are seeking justice

British commonwealth citizens came and built their lives in Britain and with that came family reunification and the birth of the first British born South Asians. These new Brits have gone on to have their own families and now are left with the difficult task of framing their plural identity alongside their place of birth. Examining the role of arbitration in the family scenario reveals how British Asians are exercising their cultural requirements, within the parameters of the law. This paper seeks to demonstrate that it remains vital for the state to genuinely believe in equality, and this can only take place by acceptable, not accommodation, of diversity. Therefore, ethnographic material will be used to discuss to what extent the new Brits see themselves as legal subjects navigating consciously through normative pluralities. It will also become important to explore the conformity of the arbitration results with legal principles such as equality, secularism, and freedom of religion.