Cornell Law Review Volume 94 Issue 1

Globalizing Commercial Litigation

The quality of national judicial systems varies widely from country to country.  In some jurisdictions, the courts resolve commercial disputes quickly, fairly, and economically, while in others, they are slow, inefficient, incompetent, biased, or corrupt.  These differences affect not only litigants, but nations as a whole: effective courts are important for economic development.  A natural implication is that countries with underperforming judiciaries should reform their courts.  Unfortunately, judicial reform is both difficult and slow.  Another way to deal with a dysfunctional court system is for litigants from afflicted nations to have their domestic commercial disputes adjudicated in better-functioning foreign courts.  In this Article, we explore the potential advantages and limitations of such extraterritorial litigation and conclude that its promise is strong, particularly in light of a revolution in communications technology that permits litigation in a remote court without travel by parties, witnesses, or lawyers.


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