‘From Paris with Love’: Transnational Public Policy and the Romantic Approach to International Arbitration

by Giovanni Zarra

This article discusses the concept of imperative norms (either public policy or mandatory rules) in the context of international commercial arbitration. It demonstrates that, as of today, arbitrators are perfectly suited to apply domestic imperative norms and that they have to carry out the difficult task of applying – or at least taking into account – all the imperative norms that may affect the enforceability of the award. The arbitrators’ task is, in this regard, to carry out a balancing process between the need to respect party autonomy and the duty to issue an award which is worthy of enforcement. In this regard, the author criticizes and demonstrates the lack of conceptual autonomy of the concept of transnational public policy, a non-identified set of rules grounded in the practice of international commerce which is allegedly binding for international arbitrators.

DOI 10.23815/2421-2156.ITALJ           ISSN 2421-2156

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