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Institutional vs. Ad Hoc

  • States provide legal rules for arbitration, usually allowing for a considerable degree of party autonomy;
  • States provide assistance with respect to the constitution of the arbitral tribunal through the courts;
  • State courts usually provide other types of assistance, e.g. for the collection of evidence;
  • State legislation provides for a minimum amount of control (i.e. procedure to challenge an award); and
  • State monopoly of coercive force benefits awards, since awards can be enforced by the state courts.

Arbitral institutions play a role with respect to the first and second aspect.

Pure ad hoc is rarely advisable, in particular in an international context. If parties chose ad hoc, they may be well advised in many instances to opt for the UNCITRAL Rules.