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The Final Award In Loewen V. United States

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Chapter Summary

The dispute concerns North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) claims brought by Raymond Loewen and the Loewen Group Inc., respectively, against the United States. In an obiter dictum comprising almost a hundred paragraphs, the tribunal provided its reasons as to why the judgment of the Mississippi trial court constituted a miscarriage of justice. In its "final word", the tribunal guards itself against the "natural instinct, when someone observes a miscarriage of justice, to step in and try to put it right". It is peculiar to read the tribunal's credo of moderation at the end of a lengthy award that combines passionate obiter dicta with scanty reasoning on the rationes decidendi. In half of the award, concerning the perceived denial of justice by the Mississippi court, the quest for justitia seems to be driving the tribunal; yet no findings are made.

Keywords: justitia; Mississippi trial court; NAFTA; obiter dictum; rationes decidendi; Raymond Loewen; tribunal; United States



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