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The growth of international commercial arbitration over the past three decades has been principally driven by the advent of the New York Convention [see Endnote 1], which entered into force for the United States in 1970 and now binds over 140 countries. This growth has also been materially assisted (and, indeed, enabled in the United States) by the United States Supreme Court’s broad embrace of the international arbitration process and its rejection of legal doctrines that attempt to limit its effective use [see Endnote 2]. Arbitration was generally transformed in the 1980s and 1990s by a series of decisions interpreting the United States Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) [see Endnote 3] which have made arbitration more accessible and its enforcement more predictable. These developments in turn have not only encouraged, but – in the context of an international arbitration – effectively mandated, business users with roughly equal bargaining leverage to agree to arbitration in an international commercial transaction.
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