Yale Law School’s Seminar in Private Law: Dispute Resolution Beyond the State — Sadie Blanchard

Post by Sadie Blanchard, Research Fellow Yale Law School

Over the coming term, the Seminar in Private Law at Yale Law School will explore dispute resolution outside the state. Disputes are often resolved through processes that fall outside any previously authorized political structure. Because such processes cannot rely on the state for legitimacy, they owe whatever authority they achieve to their own natures. To better understand this category of dispute resolution mechanisms, the Seminar will bring together scholars in law, the social sciences, and the human sciences and people who practice law, politics, medical research, human rights advocacy, university administration, and commerce to discuss their ideas and experiences concerning such free-standing efforts to resolve disputes.

The Seminar will take up an eclectic mix of cases: for example, one session will feature the creator of eBay’s and PayPal’s online dispute resolution platforms; another will feature the former EU foreign minister who was a key figure in the Iran nuclear negotiations. Each week, the Seminar will pair one or more speakers who have practiced dispute resolution at the highest levels with a scholar who might bring general, theoretical insights to bear on that practice and its aspirations to legitimate the outcomes that it produces. A central objective is to generate a conversation across practices, to see whether structural patterns or other generalizations emerge when forms of dispute resolution that typically proceed in isolation are studied together.

Beginning next week, New Private Law will publish a series of posts, each discussing a session of the Seminar. The first session will focus on the sociology of international commercial arbitration. Emmanuel Gaillard and Yas Banifatemi of Shearman & Sterling, which has one of the largest international arbitration practices, will speak alongside Emily Erikson of Yale’s Department of Sociology. Erikson has provided as background reading a working paper she is coauthoring with Sampsa Samila entitled Networks, Institutions, and Encounters: Information Flow in Early-Modern Markets. Gaillard and Banifatemi’s background text is a recently published article entitled The Sociology of International Arbitration.

The full lineup for the term is posted at the Seminar’s website. Readings will also be posted there on a rolling basis. More soon . . .


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