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Friday, February 13, 2015

Religious Arbitration

Arbitration's Counter-Narrative: The Religious Arbitration Paradigm by Pepperdine Law Professor Michael Helfand argues that religious arbitration "holds the hope of unlocking the transformative potential of arbitration, enabling parties to employ arbitration not simply as an expedient venue for resolving disputes, but as an alternative forum that can breathe life into mutually shared values." That is because in religious arbitration parties "select religious authorities to resolve disputes in accordance with religious law. And, as a result, these forms of arbitration are embraced not solely as a utilitarian mechanism to resolve a dispute, but because they enable parties to resolve a dispute in accordance with shared religious principles and values."

I agree and see this as an example, a particularly powerful example, of privatizing law, i.e., parties opting out of the law provided by government and using privately-created law. I have written that this privatizing potential of arbitration is widespread and believe it occurs outside just religious arbitration.