“The Role of the Arbitrator in Determining the Applicable Law”, in The Leading Arbitrators’ Guide to International Arbitration (L.-W. Newman, R.D. Hill, Editors), Juris Publishing, 2004, p. 185.
It should hardly be necessary to preface a discussion of the applicable law in international arbitration by stressing its importance to the outcome of the dispute. Yet despite the particularly obvious relationship between the content of the law applicable to the merits and the result of an arbitration, it appears to be fashionable in certain circles to dismiss as devoid of any practical relevance the complex issues of private international law that may arise in this regard. According to these skeptics, rather than wasting their time on such purely academic questions, arbitrators should focus on adopting pragmatic solutions to determining what law to apply to a given dispute.