The Notion of Res Judicata in Investor-State Arbitration
Michael Lanser, Senior Legal Counsel, Skandia Mutual Life Insurance Company, Sweden
The notion of res judicata is a general principle of both national and international law. The general ideas of the principle are that, in the public interest, there should be and end of litigation, avoiding damage to the credibility and resources of the legal system, and, as a matter of private justice, no one should be proceeded against twice for the same cause, imposing unnecessary litigation costs and risks. In light of party autonomy, when choosing arbitration, parties deliberately confers jurisdiction on arbitrators, what act must be assumed to mean a determination to exclude in principle a review of an award and to establish a single and fully binding dispute settlement alternative to ordinary courts. The finality and binding effects of arbitral awards are prescribed in many institutional arbitration rules, which confirm its conclusive effect; and by agreeing to arbitration to such rules, the parties are presumed to accept the res judicata-effect of any valid award. The scope of res judicata differ between legal systems. International law applies a model placed between these legal systems, which approach can be argued to be apposite in investor-State arbitrations in order to balance between justice and efficiency.
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