Executive Summary: New Jersey has taken the first step toward becoming a global center of international arbitration by enacting the International Arbitration, Mediation, and Conciliation Act (the “Act”) on February 6, 2017. The Act provides the framework for making New Jersey an attractive destination for resolving international business and trade disputes.
Purpose & Scope
The Act should raise New Jersey’s profile in the international trade and commerce dispute resolution industry and promote a global alternative to civil litigation in the busy federal and state court systems. A key component is the use of New Jersey’s public research universities as centers to resolve international, business, trade, commercial, and other disputes through arbitration, mediation, conciliation, and other alternative dispute resolution mechanisms. The Act should result in the expansion of work already taking place at university programs such as New Jersey City University’s Institute for Dispute Resolution.
The Act allows for arbitration of disputes:
- involving at least one person or entity that is a nonresident of the United States;
- involving property located outside the U.S.;
- relating to a contract to be enforced or performed outside the U.S.; or,
- bearing some other relation to one or more foreign countries.
The Act does not apply to disputes pertaining to real property in New Jersey (unless the parties expressly submit to the resolution of the dispute) or disputes involving family or domestic relations law. Arbitral awards or settlements issued by a program or center under the Act are enforceable by New Jersey courts.
Employers’ Bottom Line: The Act is the first step toward promoting international arbitration, mediation, and conciliation in New Jersey. Employers can monitor how the Act plays out over time to see if New Jersey gains traction as an international center for resolving disagreements and disputes arising from global international commercial transactions, and whether these programs provide streamlined, cost-effective alternatives to civil litigation involving employers in New Jersey and throughout the world. The full text of the Act can be found here: ftp://www.njleg.state.nj.us/20162017/S1000/602_I1.PDF.
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