GROWING CONVERGENCE OF INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION AND HUMAN RIGHTS

Meenal Garg

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In spite of the growing popularity of international arbitration in resolving virtually all kinds of commercial disputes, one area of law that has largely remained untouched by arbitration is human rights violations. However, a proposal in form of a Working Group Report by a group of international lawyers has argued that international arbitration is a measure of ‘great promise’ to resolve business-related human rights disputes. This Working Group Report has prompted the global arbitration community to notice the overlap between human rights and arbitration. In an attempt to highlight this overlap, this paper firstly traces the history of such overlap to investment arbitrations where human rights claims are often raised before the arbitral tribunal. Then, the focus shifts towards international commercial arbitration where the author argues that there is no bar on the arbitrability of human rights disputes and throws light on the varied advantages of arbitrating human rights as against litigating human rights claims. Next, this paper recommends changes to the existing arbitral regime in light of the Working Group Report. Lastly, this paper concludes on the note that arbitration has a huge potential to effectively adjudicate human rights claims and adoption of the same would result in a win-win situation for all the interested parties.