A Critique of the North American Dredging Company Case
This chapter examines the so-called ‘structural errors’ relating to the determination of jurisdiction by arbitral tribunals. It focuses on the case of North American Dredging Company in which the United States-Mexico General Claims Commission incorrectly declined jurisdiction in an inter-state proceeding because the contract between the respondent and the affected company excluded the latter from seeking diplomatic protection. The chapter makes a forceful argument that arbitral tribunals should resolve a dispute based on an independent assessment of the applicable law and not uncritically follow earlier precedent.
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