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This article focuses on the history and evolution of the US court's attitude towards unilateral arbitration and dispute resolution clauses, but also considers the practical approach of national courts to theses clauses. It goes on to consider some potential pitfalls in the operation of unilateral clauses, which should be borne in mind when developing a strategy for bringing or defending a claim which falls within the scope of a unilateral clause. There can be few objections to the general validity of unilateral arbitration clauses. The principle of party autonomy is the driving force behind international arbitration and, provided it is tolerably clear that the parties intended the arbitration clause to operate unilaterally, courts should be reluctant to interfere with the parties' agreement. There are also no persuasive public policy reasons why such clauses should not be upheld in commercial agreements. In addition to the issue of whether such unilateral clauses are permissible under certain law, it is important to be aware of how they should properly operate in practice, that is, useful guidance on the subject of the proper operation and effect of such clauses where they are intended to be used to enable a party to decide whether, and in what circumstances, a claim should be referred to court or to arbitration.