“Those who favor international forums for settling disputes — where arbitrations are presided over by one arbitrator or a panel of three — say that such tribunals avoid local courts, which can tilt in favor of parochial interests.
“It’s a big improvement from historical gunboat diplomacy,” said Edna Sussman, an arbitrator and mediator with experience in more than 100 international and other arbitrations. She helped spearhead the opening of the New York International Arbitration Center in Manhattan to encourage holding such proceedings in the city.
Such “arbitration will definitely grow as international commerce grows,” she said, adding that some question whether secretive arbitration bodies should be deciding cases with billions of dollars on the line that can impinge on a government’s regulatory powers…”
Colin Rule has worked at the intersection of technology and conflict resolution for the last two decades. He is CEO of Modria.com, an online dispute resolution service provider in Silicon Valley, and a non-resident Fellow at the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School. From 2003 to 2011, he served as eBay and PayPal's first director of Online Dispute Resolution, designing and implementing systems that now resolve more than 60 million disputes each year. Mr. Rule is the author of Online Dispute Resolution for Business, published by Jossey-Bass in September 2002. He has presented and trained around the world for organizations including the U.S. Department of State, UNCITRAL, the International Chamber of Commerce, and the CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution, as well as teaching at UMass-Amherst, Stanford, Southern Methodist University, and Hastings College of the Law. He has written and been interviewed extensively about the Internet since 1999, with columns and articles appearing in ACResolution, Consensus, Dispute Resolution Magazine, and Peace Review. He holds a master's degree from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government in conflict resolution and technology, a B.A. in peace studies from Haverford College, and he served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Eritrea from 1995-1997.