The New Litigation Landscape: International Commercial Courts and Procedural Innovations

The establishment of new “ international commercial courts ” over the past few years has been a major development, which brings a new perspective to the adjudication of international commercial disputes. These courts join other specialist courts in a number of countries which are established to try commercial cases.

In his recent article The New Litigation Landscape – International Commercial Courts and Procedural Innovations Sir William Blair considers why these courts have been created, and the rationale for specialist commercial jurisdictions.  He discusses procedural innovations, the impact of technology, enforcement, and the part played by SIFoCC.

Together, these courts have the potential to provide:

  •  authoritative development of the content of commercial law;
  •  the essential basis upon which international arbitration functions;
  •  a specialised forum of choice for businesses that prefer courts to arbitration;
  •  a specialised forum for commercial disputes which cannot be arbitrated;
  •  a route to capacity-building amongst the judiciary;
  •  procedure that can be/has been developed first in a commercial court for later wider use across a legal system;
  •  an ability both to optimise the potential of technology, and to develop it under high ethical standards; and
  •  where methods of dispute resolution currently fall below best standards, the potential to raise standards across the whole system.

Sir William Blair is Professor of Financial Law and Ethics, Centre for Commercial Law Studies, Queen Mary University of London, a former Judge in Charge of the London Commercial Court, and an Arbitrator based at 3VB Chambers, London.  He is a judge of the Qatar International Court, a Deputy Judge of the Court of First Instance of the High Court of Hong Kong SAR China, a Member of the International Commercial Expert Committee of the Supreme People’s Court of the People’s Republic of China, and a member of the Steering Group of the Standing International Forum of Commercial Courts. This article is based on a paper delivered at the Max Planck Institute Luxembourg for Procedural Law, Luxembourg, 14 October 2019.