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INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION IN THE ERA OF TRADE WARS AND NATIONALISM
DR EUN YOUNG PARK
Vice-President, LCIA Court
Co-chair, International Arbitration and Litigation Practice, Kim & Chang
In this Keynote Address delivered at the LCIA Symposium in Seoul, South Korea on 22 September 2019, Dr Eun Young Park talked about the coming challenges in the international arbitration sphere; and his thoughts on what the arbitration community should aim to do in an era that no longer enshrines the principles adhered to in arbitration.
1883 was a year opening doors for the LCIA. The Court of Common Council of the City of London set up a Committee to establish a tribunal for the arbitration of domestic and transnational commercial disputes. The City of London Chamber of Arbitration was inaugurated subsequently and evolved into the LCIA.
Coincidentally, 1883 was a momentous year in modern Korean history. On 18 September 1883, a special mission from Korea arrived in New York to meet the US President Chester Arthur. Chosun, the last Kingdom of Korea, sent the diplomatic mission to the US to officially confirm the US-Korea Treaty of Peace, Amity, Commerce and Navigation signed in 1882. The Treaty contained investment protection and dispute resolution clauses and was the first negotiated international treaty with the West. The New York Times at the time covered this story noting that the men’s first impressions of the country must have been startling, for they were the first Koreans who have ever left the hermit kingdom for the New World. 1 President Arthur arranged a naval vessel, USS Trenton, to escort the ambassadors in their exploration of the Western civilisation. They visited Paris, London, Singapore, and Hong Kong before their return to Seoul, South Korea. I wonder whether they had a sense that these places would become the most well-known arbitration seats in the future.
The beginnings of a modern nation and an arbitration institution had differences in the degree, width, and depth of the openings, but both have since brought tremendous change in and out of its doors.
International arbitration has flourished in the last 100 years and it has become a trusted dispute resolution mechanism around the world. With the
1 New York Times , 18 September 1883.
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