I. Party Autonomy
Most differences between state court proceedings and arbitral proceedings have their origin in the essential role that the principle of party autonomy plays in arbitration proceedings. While party autonomy certainly plays a role in many state court proceedings, it is maybe the most fundamental and therefore the most predominant principle in international commercial arbitration. This particular relevance of party autonomy becomes obvious when considering the fact that any arbitration requires the consent of the parties. Yet, party autonomy also is a decisive factor when it comes to the composition of the arbitral tribunal, to the law applicable to the substance of the dispute or the proceedings and the question of whether the arbitral proceedings are conducted as ad hoc proceedings or as institutionalized proceedings administered by an arbitral institution. Furthermore, also the principle of confidentiality in arbitral proceedings is oftentimes regarded as being based on the principle of party autonomy.