"I realise that some of my criticisms may be mistaken; but to refuse to criticize judgements for fear of being mistaken is to abandon criticism altogether... If any of my criticisms are found to be correct, the cause is served; and if any are found to be incorrect the very process of finding out my mistakes must lead to the discovery of the right reasons, or better reasons than I have been able to give, and the cause is served just as well."

-Mr. HM Seervai, Preface to the 1st ed., Constitutional Law of India.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Lengthy Law Reviews and their Usefulness; Chevron and Rise in Arbitral Power

Followers of the law blogsphere would be aware of the ongoing debates on the usefulness of law reviews. The recent debate really started off with a New York Times piece titled "The Lackluster Reviews that Lawyers Love to Hate". A lot of responses were written to this piece and some of these responses (chosen in random) can be found here, here, here and here.  Our short take on this debate is the subject of this post. An allied purpose is to bring to the attention of our readers a seemingly interesting article published in the Stanford Law Review on the rise of arbitral power.
This blawgger read a recent post in the Opinio Juris Blog on the Chevron arbitration and the rise of the power of arbitrators vis-a-vis domestic courts/ tribunals. The post contained a link to a recent Stanford Law Review article titled "The Rise of Arbitral Power over Domestic Courts" by Michael D. Goldhaber. The article's title seems extremely interesting considering the abstract of the same provided by the Opinio Juris post. However, as a practitioner, it is extremely difficult to read a forty four paged article on the topic.
This gives rise to the question- why are law review articles, especially by senior law professors, very very very long? Perhaps this is one of the factors which makes practicioners averse to reading law reviews. On the face of it, this phenomenon of publishing lengthy law review articles is more prevalent in USA than in UK. Is writing a lengthy article really necessary? In India, several law reviews do not encourage lengthy articles. I think this is good practice. If at all law reviews want to publish lengthy law reviews, there should be executive summaries summarising the paper in slight detail as a 250 word abstract might not be sufficient to encompass all the ideas stated in the paper.

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