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This is a review and critique of the legislation of Texas relating to arbitration of civil controversies. The legislation consists chiefly of an arbitration statute providing for the arbitration of disputes generally and a separate statute providing for the arbitration of controversies arising between employers and employees (or their unions). These pieces of legislation are examined from the viewpoint of determining how well they facilitate the arbitral process and how well they are designed to assure the integrity of that process. Questions also occur as to whether the statutes provide a superior or less useful system of arbitration than common law arbitration. If parties desire to arbitrate, should they choose the statutory or the common law system? Has the judicial administration of the statutes through court decisions facilitated or deterred their use? This review of the arbitration legislation of the State is invited not only by the foregoing questions, but also by Article 16, § 13 of the Constitution of Texas, which provides that: "It shall be the duty of the legislature to pass such laws as may be necessary and proper to decide differences by arbitration, when the parties shall elect that method of trial." How well does the foregoing legislation carry out the duty assigned to the legislature by this constitutional provision?
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