Party Autonomy to Choose a Forum: Philosophical and Historical Justification — Milana Karayanidi

Student post: Milana Karayanidi

On March 18-19, the Young Comparativists Committee (YCC) of the American Society of Comparative Law (ASCL) hosted its fifth annual global conference at Tulane University Law School. Many scholars presented their papers relating to teaching and writing in comparative law, and more than 100 scholars from 80 countries attended. At the conference, I presented my work on Normative View of Party Autonomy to Choose a Forum in a Comparative Perspective. My paper emphasized the unprecedented rate of recognition of forum selection clauses in international civil and commercial transactions. I discussed theoretical justifications of the principle of party autonomy in choosing jurisdiction, drawing upon Kantian ideas of individual autonomy, non-instrumentalist private law theory accounts, and the increasing dominance of contractual principles within the modern law of civil procedure. In addition, I examined the reasons for limiting party autonomy in view of considerations of equality and certain public interests. Furthermore, I examined the evolution of party autonomy to choose a forum within the national systems of the U.S., Germany and Russia. I argued that some of the rationales behind the historical developments that led to party autonomy recognition in these national systems can be used to justify party autonomy in international dispute resolution.

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