The Brave New World of Disputes

Climate change, energy and the financial crisis will require an array of resolution mechanisms

The National Law Journal, April 14, 2009
By Ian Meredith, Laura Atherton and Marcus M. Birch

Changes to the global landscape during the next two decades are expected to drive a new generation of disputes.  Climate change and unprecedented pressure on world resources — including carbon-based energy sources, minerals, food and water — will be among the key structural drivers.

At the same time, the global financial crisis and the rise of state capitalism seem set to provide the catalyst for further financial and economic conflicts.

This new generation of disputes will call for a sophisticated range of dispute resolution mechanisms and may challenge existing structures.  Arbitration may be the primary focus for the resolution of natural resource-based conflicts that are commonly both international and technically specialized, but court-based litigation and the consensual alternative dispute resolution also will play key roles.

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